Problems with space and time

Diet Kirk

Silver Member
My surname is Kirk, but sadly I am no Captain!

I found the thread about keeping time on the hi-hat interesting. The OP had difficulty when playing 8th notes on the hi-hat.

I have the complete opposite problem. Whether its keeping time on the hi-hat or with the right hand, I find that the larger the subdivision I'm playing the harder it is for me to play interesting stuff with the kick and snare. For example if I tried to play whole notes on the hi-hat and quarters on the ride, I really struggle playing 16ths on the kick and snare underneath. We arn't talking crazy tempos here either.

For example Who's Tony suggested the importance of playing unison notes. I seem to have the problem that the more unison going on the better.

I have always found that the faster my time keeping limbs are playing the more dexterous my other limbs.

Any ideas on exercises to address?


Silver Member
New Breed!!

Should solve the unison thing.
Hard work man, thats all.

For something less soul detroying than New Breed try this.

Choose an ostinato on the right hand (16ths for instance)

Play back beat for now but maybe try it with ghost notes.
Then play all the possibilities of 1,2 or 3 consecutive bass drum notes.

Then try to play some melodies on the bass drum while keeping that going.
Then improv.

Switch the hands around change the ostinato or do the same with the snare.

Or heres something else to try

There are 4 main hi hat (Rh) ostinatos

upbeat 8ths (all the +'s)

Choose a groove that you have nailed - your I'm such a badass groove!
Then play the same groove but change the hi hat pattern.

Levee breaks is a good one to try it on as is Cold Sweat or anything really

Good luck

this would be a great magazine question! ;-)


Gold Member
Play a grove you are very comfortable with. Then substract your right hand and only do whole notes there . Then go back to your comfortable grove.

Keep on doing that back and forth and concentrable on everything being the same (but the right hand).

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
Try practicing with the train beat. Bass on the 1&3 and hats on the 2&4. Then try alternating the hat ostinatos to whole notes, then quarters. While your doing that with the bass and hats, your doing the beat on the snare drum where the right hand is doing quarter notes with the accent on the 2&4.

wy yung

Try isolating limbs. I read that you have trouble playing 16's on the BD while playing whole notes on he hi hat. So begin small.

Begin with 1/4 notes on the hat. You can then play the 1 e on the BD. So 1e 2e 3e etc.

Once comfortable with that you can then play the e&. Followed by the &a and so forth.

Then play 3 sixteenth notes, then four and so on. Once comfortable play 1/2 notes on the hat. Then dotted 1/2s followed by whole notes later.

Begin very slowly, say 40 bpm. Gradually move the tempo up, then down again until you begin to feel control.

Then add another limb, for example the right hand playing 1/4s on the ride.

As you become more comfortable you can then make the patterns more complex. There ae many books such as Syncopation you can look to in order to play ideas with each limb.

Be patient. Try to resist the urge to play everything fast all at once. Rather, focus on the accuracy of each limb with the click. Aim for accuracy and control as your main goal. Speed and complexity will follow.

This is a very short lesson. If you can get together with a good teacher who can watch and offer feedback on the spot, I highly recommend you do.

Good luck.