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Below is a follow up exercise to our previous post. This time, the exercise focuses on developing your left foot independence (for those playing on a right-handed drum kit) by shifting the open hi-hat by an eighth note each bar.

It is highly recommended that you practice exercises 1-8 individually first before putting it all together in exercise 9.

Key points to focus on while practicing this exercise:

  • Although it can be very difficult at first; make sure you are closing your hi-hat and hitting it with your stick at the exact same time. Failing to do so will result in a flam on the hi-hat, which will make the groove sound sloppy.

  • Make sure your speed is consistent. A lot of my students will slow down their groove right when it comes time to open or close their hi-hat due to the difficulty of coordinating their left foot. If you need to slow it down to keep the grooves consistent then definitely do it! A solid groove at a slow tempo beats a sloppy groove at fast one.

Hope that helps!

Left Foot Independence - Backbone Drum School
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Below is a great exercise written by our teacher Jack Hill that will help you develop your bass drum independence. It works by shifting a single bass drum note by one 16th note (a semiquaver) each bar. Repeat each bar until it feels comfortable to play :)


  • Spend a bit of extra time on the bars where the kick drum is between hi-hat notes. These are harder to play!

  • Make sure your hand technique doesn’t alter when playing different bars. Your hands should stay the same no matter where the kick is.

  • Check your balance and try to not wobble on the stool when moving the kick around.

Download a PDF of the exercise by clicking on the file below.

16th Note Kick Permutations - Backbone Drum School
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Below is a great exercise created by our teacher Madi for any of the beginner drummers out there. It focuses on improving accents in a single stroke roll and developing independence between your right and left hand.

Key points to focus on while practicing this exercise:

  • Maintain even/equal stick height and consistent sounding strokes between both hands

  • Maintain good technique (stick grip, rebound and control)

Tip: Try playing your non-accented notes a little quieter, this will help to make sure your accents sound more prominent while practicing.

Hands Exercise-Singles with Accents
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