Hardest “simple” things to play on drums

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Playing very slow drum fills with feeling is very difficult.

The first time the drums come in on All By Myself comes to mind. This fill has stuck with me.

It's so exposed, with so much space in between the notes, so much opportunity to screw up the groove.

It's 3 simple notes with a ritard. Very difficult to play correctly.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yes. Shuffles!!
I didn't realize how difficult it was until I heard several drummers without any sense of swing try to play one.
Even more difficult...making a shuffle feel GOOD!

I should also add: Playing a shuffle without fills every 4 bars.
Playing an ENTIRE song that has no fills.
Every 4 bars. Lol. In my world lately it's like every four gigs lol. Not complaining. Discipline is the word of the day, by choice. I keep time and support from within, 99% of the time, and I am very appreciated for it by the guys I play with. I'm in a very traditional bass, drums, guitar, harp/front guy/singer Chicago style blues band. I have to say, it's both against my nature and the best thing for me, having to drum with the yoke on. There are times where I'm just playing 2 limbs, bass drum and snare drum and I'm pretty sure I'm killin it, judging by how it feels. How many times do you (not) hear that live? Not even a hi hat with a simple kick and snare beat? It rocks. Simplicity is very much underrated. The more I leave out, the better it feels. There's my unpopular drumming opinion.
 
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beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Every 4 bars. Lol. In my world lately it's like every four gigs lol. Not complaining. Discipline is the word of the day, by choice. I keep time and support from within, 99% of the time, and I am very appreciated for it by the guys I play with. I'm in a very traditional bass, drums, guitar, harp/front guy/singer Chicago style blues band. I have to say, it's both against my nature and the best thing for me, having to drum with the yoke on. There are times where I'm just playing 2 limbs, bass drum and snare drum and I'm pretty sure I'm killin it, judging by how it feels. How many times do you (not) hear that live? Not even a hi hat with a simple kick and snare beat? It rocks. Simplicity is very much underrated. The more I leave out, the better it feels. There's my unpopular drumming opinion.

Haha, I feel like I should be playing 230 BPM and over the top fills every 2-4 bars.. I have spent years on linear chops, blast beats, double kick and have finally come to realize less is more. 1 good solid fill a song that FITS makes the music.

It took me learning all this to realize those displaced fills that go way over the bar line are cool for solos, and jamming to "drum trax" but don't work in real music.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Haha, I feel like I should be playing 230 BPM and over the top fills every 2-4 bars.. I have spent years on linear chops, blast beats, double kick and have finally come to realize less is more. 1 good solid fill a song that FITS makes the music.

It took me learning all this to realize those displaced fills that go way over the bar line are cool for solos, and jamming to "drum trax" but don't work in real music.
I feel your pain. I'm trying to fix that now, and sometimes it's mentally painful to not do a fill or go fast all the time. It's funny, because I can sit at the pad and run the same pattern endlessly without issue. It isn't hard mentally and the repetition doesn't get boring. Doing that on the instrument is a whole nother story.
 

gish

Senior Member
How about hi hat quarter notes with the foot on the upbeat. I found that to be deceptively challenging. I have become somewhat obsessed with hi hat footwork recently after realizing how deficient I was in that area.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
How about hi hat quarter notes with the foot on the upbeat. I found that to be deceptively challenging. I have become somewhat obsessed with hi hat footwork recently after realizing how deficient I was in that area.
A ton of people have issue with hihat work in general. just keeping time

that is why I do 1/4 notes, upbeats, and 1/8 notes with EVERYTHING.. it's no longer that difficult.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Another really hard “easy” thing is switching styles/tempos every 8 measures, like in a medley or in some musical theater. That’s super-hard.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
Beat with open hihat on the beat and not in between the beat. Open HH 1234. It’s very hard to make it sound clean and neat. otherwise, like the others, slow shuffles or blues with regularity.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Sublime - Santeria. Never gave that song a second thought. Seemed total cake walk and boring, then I tried playing it. Gee, it sounded simple! It actually really is. There's nothing to it, but feel....all feel...
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I agree ‘Something’ is surprisingly tricky. Playing really slow kick and snare without hihat takes patience, and playing the busy tom section quietly makes it harder.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
I've been working on my triplet feel a lot and found that just playing the simple jazz/swing pattern (feather BD on quarters, LF/HH on 2 and 4, and spang-a-lang with RH/RIDE) while playing every triplet with the left hand was really challenging at first. Zoning out on this for 30 minutes/day has helped a lot of things like my triplet feel, half-time shuffle, developing weaker hand, and making spang-a-lang become more automatic. If you like notation, it's line 1 on page 18 of chapin's Advanced Techniques book. Really simple, but challenging to make feel and sound nice.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Learning drum parts that seem simple, but really aren't. Case in point:

Because of Ric Ocasek's recent passing, my band is learning a few Cars tunes to play live. The drums to "Just What I Needed" seem simple, until you sit down to play along. There's a bar of 3 after the unison guitar/snare hits at the beginning (very odd way to come in to the tune). He starts the first verse with only the snare drum on 2 & 4. Then, he puts the backbeat on 1 & 3 on the second half of the phrase during the third verse. Genius yet a pretty simple concept. I've got it down now, but playing it is harder than you would think...................

 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've been working on my triplet feel a lot and found that just playing the simple jazz/swing pattern (feather BD on quarters, LF/HH on 2 and 4, and spang-a-lang with RH/RIDE) while playing every triplet with the left hand was really challenging at first. Zoning out on this for 30 minutes/day has helped a lot of things like my triplet feel, half-time shuffle, developing weaker hand, and making spang-a-lang become more automatic. If you like notation, it's line 1 on page 18 of chapin's Advanced Techniques book. Really simple, but challenging to make feel and sound nice.
Funny I've been doing almost the same exercise, the only difference is I play a shuffle rhythm on the bass drum and I put the HH foot on the "lets". But the full trips on the snare and the jazz ride pattern on the ride is the same.
 
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