Advice about coming up with a beat please?


Senior Member
I've been playing some originals. In one number, the tempo is just too fast for me to cope with 8ths on the hi hats, (either one or two handed) but quarters don't seem to fit the song.

It's really pacey number and it's needs to be driven. I'm doing doubles on the bass on 1+, 3+. I've tried sloshing the hats, and I've tried opening and closing the hats on +1, +3 (and then keeping them closed), but it all sounds rather pathetic to me - and when I move to the ride for the chorus it sounds even emptier.

Does anyone have any other ideas ?


Platinum Member
You could try playing eights with both hands on the snare, accenting 2 and 4. This works best for fast shuffles, but can work for straight beats too.

Otherwise, I do what you already suggested. In 'walking on sunshine' I play two hands on hihat, bringing the right hand across on 2 & 4 - but you already tried that.

If 1/4's aren't sounding right, get the guitarist to fill it out with faster strumming.


Silver Member
You could break up the 8ths on the hats, leaving a select few unplayed, instead of playing constant 8ths. Might even sound quite interesting and catchy.

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
You could break up the 8ths on the hats, leaving a select few unplayed, instead of playing constant 8ths. Might even sound quite interesting and catchy.
Yes, like a Charlie Watts thing.

Could you tell us the tempo in BPM and the style of music? It might help in giving advice.

You might have to just suck it up and practice until your right hand can do it. If your chops don't let you play what you hear in your head then it might be time to work on them.


"Uncle Larry"
Would the pattern 1 and 2...3 and Resting on the "and of 2" and the "and of 4"?

Me personally, I don't dig the Charlie Watts thing where he stops the hi hat on the backbeat. It always sounded too jerky to me. Not smooth like buttah.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I think we need more onto on.

If 8s is what sounds right you'll just have to work on it. Use push-pull and when you have to play in tempo play quarters and gradually fill in as many off beats as you can, maybe a jazz ride thing, hitch ou can also reverse. This is also what one would do if a one handed 16th groove currently is to fast. You work on it on your own time and with the band you fake it until you make it.


Senior Member
Many thanks for the suggestions, which I will try. I like the idea of breaking up the 8ths on the hats, hadn't thought of that.

It's a rock number, and the tempo is about 150bpm

Sorry for the back-story, but ... it's not a question of ability. I can do it, but I'm finding soreness in my right wrist is becoming a problem. I stopped playing about 6 months ago - 2 x 1 hour sets of non-stop, fast paced rock covers was becoming agonising, and the band wasn't prepared to bring in any slow numbers or let me adjust anything to give me a break/rest.

What I'm doing now is not a proper band situation. Just me and some others helping a friend to work up his original material. The numbers are quite varied - style and tempo. None of the other numbers is a problem. This one is the fastest, and I don't want them to slow it down (they have offered). I like the material, and want to do it justice, so I was interested to see if there was a way to make it sound good without completely knackering my wrist.

I also like the idea of trying it all on the snare, although I think that might present the same problem, as I do tend to use a Moeller type whippy wrist for accents (perhaps I've been overdoing that, and that's the problem?)


Platinum Member
150 1/8 notes isn't too fast. If your experiencing pain I'd look at your technique..

You can always work on mollar, french, american etc and adjust if one causes you an issue. I will usually change techniques without even being aware I am doing it for different parts. eg, blast beats I do french for speed on my left hand. hihat sometimes goes to mollar if i want to hear more of a pulse.

If it can't be done you could work on both hands doing the hihat. (you said the ride sounds too weak)

If your whipping your wrist and hitting the hihat on an angle that could be jarring to the wrist... try lowering your hats and playing more down on them, or adding in more fingers for the stroke.

Drumming fast should burn the muscles, but never "hurt"

feel free to post a video if you want too. It usually helps


"Uncle Larry"
Does the song require tightly closed hi hats or is there some room for some slosh?

If you are accenting the quarters while playing 8ths, is it possible that quarter notes sound better than you are giving them credit for? Have you heard a recording? Sometimes it sounds better listening than it feels while playing.

Quarter notes would probably work if slosh is OK, maybe not so much if you need tight hats.

Some tempos are right on the cusp of "should I play these 8th notes one handed or 2 handed?" I have a tune like that. Sometimes I do it one handed, sometimes I feel better doing it 2 handed. One handed generally sounds better to me, and sometimes I can pull it off and other times I don't feel like struggling. Is there any issue just playing the full complement of 8th notes 2 handed? Good to be able to do that. Having a little headroom generally sounds better than struggling with something.


Senior Member
Well ..... I feel really stupid now !

I've JUST realised (from something in Larry's post, don't know what brought on the lightbulb moment) that at the practice when I switched to two handed, I actually went into two handed 16ths !!! I dunno - it just seemed natural at the time - to keep up the drive. I could keep that up for a while then started to lose timing

What a dummy. Two handed 8ths aren't difficult for me at that tempo and would give my wrist a rest. Although they still don't give the same drive to it, in my head anyway. BUT I think two handed 8ths with a tsst and the +1, +3 would do the job nicely. And perhaps I could manage just the ride parts on one handed 8ths? Perhaps a bit of ride bell in there too? I'll give it a shot.

But thanks anyway guys. I'm going to try out the other suggestions too - and this was worth it for me - or I would never have realised what I was doing at the time.

John Lamb

Senior Member
I'd second the suggestion about technique. Playing music shouldn't hurt, and if your wrists are getting sore at ANY tempo then you are doing something wrong. The Moeller thing will work wonders - there is a way to get a second stroke while picking up the stick - so not only are you not re-stressing your wrist, you are actually balancing out the first stroke. The technique also provides a meaty, muscle-y pulse that really suits most rock. (and funk and R+B for that matter)


Senior Member
Thanks all who commented on technique, but the soreness in my right wrist is not a drumming related issue. It's a very long standing (decades pre-drumming) physical problem that affects all sorts of thing - and getting worse with age unfortunately :(


Silver Member
Hey Daisy, if you're still looking for ideas, how about something like this (listen to the drums from the start up to about 1:00):
Back in the mid-80's, this is the first song I heard that made me think about playing something different from straight 8ths or 16ths.

Now this song is not everyone's style, and I haven't listened to that song for years; but I have used this type of beat for fast rock at times when I couldn't play 8ths fast enough! And it has a nice sort of forward motion, suggestive of 8ths without actually playing them all.