## Linear Drumming Approach

#### Introduction:

In linear drumming, there are multiple ways to approach learning and”mastering” this type of playing. Some of these approaches include:

- Chain the paradiddle rudiments together with single stroke roll and double stroke roll. Then substitute the feet in or add in kick drum hits in-between the rudiments.
- Combine singles and doubles with the hands and the feet
- Memorize and combine multiple licks then displaced the start of a lick within a beat.
- Gary Chaffee’s Patterns series books
- Mike’s Johnston’s “Linear Drumming” book

No matter the approach, what is important is that it makes sense to you AND it works for your situation. I thought the Gary Chaffee book “Sticking Patterns” would work for me but it did not work for my situation. Then one evening while at work I discovered an approach while dissecting a bunch of linear patterns and licks.

As I analyzed the patterns I broke the patterns into groups of 3s and 4s. Doing that I noticed that all of the patterns could be broken down into 24 separate 3 note combinations linked together. Yes, 24 is a lot of combinations to remember and practice but conceptually it is only eight patterns with three different starting notes. I will explain later.

A few things to mention before moving on.

- I have not actually practiced this approach yet. I plan on starting this approach this month (May 2019) and document my practice along the way.
- More important, this approach is not new. As a matter of fact Dave Weckl introduce this approach, if not something very similar, in one of his videos.

#### Definition:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_drumming

Linear drummingis a drum kit playing style in which no drum, cymbal, or other drum component hits simultaneously. Unlike other forms of time keeping and fills, there is no layering of parts.

#### The Approach:

1 | R – L – R | 4 | L – R – L |

2 | R – R – L | 5 | L – L – R |

3 | L – R – R | 6 | R – L – L |

7 | R – K – R | 10 | L – K – L |

8 | K – R – R | 11 | K – L – L |

9 | R – R – K | 12 | L – L – K |

13 | K – R – K | 16 | K – L – K |

14 | K – K – R | 17 | K – K – L |

15 | R – K – K | 18 | L – K – K |

19 | R – K – L | 22 | L – K – R |

20 | K – R – L | 23 | K – L – R |

21 | R – L – K | 24 | L – R – K |

Optional combinations:

**K – K – K****R – R – R****L – L – L**

Listed above are all 24 combinations plus an additional three combinations to increase the possibilities of linear drumming. These 24 combinations can be simplified to 8 combinations given that 3 patterns are the same but starting on a different part of the pattern. The combinations conceptually can even be simplified down to four combinations if a drummer chose to and look at a combination from only a Hand/Foot perspective. Then one would substitute in an ‘R’ or ‘L’ where there is a Hand marking.

- H – K – H would turn into R – K – L or L – K – R or L – K – L or R – K – R

#### Personal Note:

I look forward to practicing this approach since linear drumming is something that I’ve always wanted to learn and improve on. Many times I might hear a particular fill in my head that requires a combination of hands and feet but I have never stop to practice it in a way that I am not just memorizing 16/32 note licks.