Simple Drum Rhythms

Introduction

Welcome to the Rhythm & Rests sets of exercises! These are designed to help you read different rhythms on the drum kit. They start out VERY simple and progressively get more complicated. It’s really essential that you practice these to a metronome so that you know you’re playing in time. You can find an on-line metronome in the ‘Extras’ section of this site. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to download Sheet Music Pack 1 for these exercises. Try playing along with the videos below!

Time To Work

Rhythm & Rests #1 – Quarter Note Rhythms (BAS003)

In this simple set of exercises we look at some quarter note (crotchet) based rhythms played on the snare drum. Note that everything here is in the ‘4/4’ time signature, that means four quarter notes are in each bar, so in every bar you count up to 4. We’re playing at a steady 100 beats per minute and for the moment we’re not worrying about the sticking too much, so play the music using either or both hands alternating.

Very Easy Quarter Note Drum Rhythms – Rhythm & Rests #1 [17]

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Rhythm & Rests #2 – More Quarter Notes (BAS004)

In this set of exercises we add in the bass drum, playing on beats 1 and 3. Practice this using a metronome – start real slow and then when you feel confident bring the speed up to 100bpm.

How to Read Simple Drum Rhythms – Quarter Notes (Rhythm & Rests #2 – BAS004) [22]

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Rhythm & Rests #3 – 8th Note Rhythms (BAS005)

In this set of exercises we bring in the quaver or ‘eighth note’. A quaver lasts for half the amount of time as a crotchet, so it’s a faster note – to help you count in quavers you can count “one and two and three and four and”. Watch the video for an explanation of how you should stick these exercises – by sticking we mean whether you should hit the drum using your right or left hand. Have a go at these exercises:

How to Read Simple Drum Rhythms – Eighth Notes (Rhythm & Rests #3 – BAS005) [23]

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Rhythm & Rests #4 – More 8th Note Rhythms (BAS006)

Finally we add in the bass drum to beats 1 & 3 while playing a mixture of quarter notes and 8th notes on the snare drum. Have a go at these exercises. Keep it slow at first, practice to a metronome and when you’re confident bring the speed up to 100bpm:

How to Read Simple Drum Rhythms – Eighth Notes (Rhythm & Rests #4 – BAS006) [24]

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Rhythm & Rests #4 – Exercises With Stickings (BAS006)

This version of Rhythm & Rests Part 4 has the stick markings included (R / L) – remember stickings on this site are shown for Right Handed drummers playing on a Right Handed drum kit. For more information about playing Left Handed / Open Handed watch this video.

 

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