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Online Drum Lessons

Master System

Saturday, June 1, 2019 by Chris McCaig | Master System

The Master System is a system that I have used for many years, both myself and with my students.

I didn't come up with it, but observed it in other drum books such as Syncopation, Stick Control, The Language of Drumming and others. 

The system challenges you to experiment and discover all the possibilities available to you in a given exercise.

The idea is to substitute the black and white dots with two different variables, such as sticking, notes and rests, accents and more.


Here are a few ideas to get you started:

⚫️ = play        ⃝  = rest

⚫️ = R        ⃝  = L

⚫️ = ♫        ⃝  = ♩ (any two subdivisions or rhythms)

⚫️ = accent        ⃝  = non accent

⚫️ = rudiment 1        ⃝  = rudiment 2


It may be helpful for you to work on this system with your teacher and write out each system as you work on it.

Keep a lookout for more lessons on this blog, expanding on ideas for the master system.


Download a pdf of this lesson