Online Drum Lessons

Subdivision Combinations

Friday, January 3, 2020 by Chris McCaig | Rhythms

Subdivisions are smaller beats within a main beat.

In 4/4 time the main beat is a quarter note ♩

The quarter note subdivisions we'll be using are:

Quarter Notes = 1 per beat

Eighth Notes = 2 per beat

Eighth Note Triplets = 3 per beat

Sixteenth Notes = 4 per beat

Quintuplets = 5 per beat

Sixteenth Note Triplets = 6 per beat

Septuplets = 7 per beat

Thirty-Second Notes = 8 per beat

By combining subdivisions we can strengthen our rhythmic accuracy and timing.

To work on subdivisions further you can use each combination with the Master System.

For example:

⚫️ = Quintuplets

⃝  = 8th Note Triplets

Download the pdf for this lesson

8th Notes and Quarter Notes

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 by Chris McCaig | Rhythms

Once you've played all the exercises on the snare drum, try the following variations:

Bass Drum

Around the kit


Hi Hat Pattern (groove)

Kick Pattern (groove)

16th Note Combinations

Monday, May 27, 2019 by Chris McCaig | Rhythms

Once you can play the 16 different rhythms from the 16th note master system, the next step is to combine them.

In the example below I have chosen 6 + 12 + 8 + 11 as our different rhythms.

 The next step is to work on the sticking associated with this rhythm. 

The way the sticking works is we base it on the RLRL sticking associated with playing four continuous 16th notes, then omit the R or L's that occur on a rested note. 

Try the example below:

  For the next step we use our new combination as a hi hat pattern for a groove: Next we play the combination as a bass drum pattern: Finally we use the same combination as a fill. There's lots more that could be done with this rhythm so you should experiment and come with different ways of orchestrating it on the kit. 

The next step would be to choose four other rhythms from the 16th note master system and experiment with those.