Independent Cymbal Rhythms

  • Posted on: 13 November 2014
  • By: sheldonkreger

Independent Cymbal Rhythms is a new release from Hal Leonard. Written by drummer Bobby Williams, this instructional drum book will fill a gap in drum book libraries of any size.

The first thing to note is that this book isn't about patterns that a drummer would play just on the cymbals. Rather, the topic at hand is variations which can be played on the hi-hat or ride cymbal, in the context of modern grooves.

By focusing on the lead hand, drummers can create new levels of freedom. While many drum books place foot patterns under repeated hand ostinatos, this unique book includes variation in both the lead hand and the right foot – at the same time. While a few sections have a steady lead hand, most focus of variations of given subdivisions – for example, mixing both sixteenth and eighth note patterns on the lead hand.

Another interesting differentiation than classics like The New Breed is the focus on short, one bar grooves. This is necessary when the lead hand patterns are complex, because they will take some time to master. In addition, this book specifically drills changing between subdivisions with the lead hand – which is not something that most of the classics cover.

Furthermore, this book covers many subdivisions, including quarter notes, eighths, sixteenths, thirty-seconds, triplets, and sixteenth-note-triplets. This means that drummers of any style will be able to apply the phrases to any style they decide to learn.

Open handed players will rejoice in the fact that these grooves can be played with either left or right hand lead – or both. There are no restrictions on which hand you choose to lead the patterns.

While most of the book is written in 4/4, there is a special section on 12/8 – which is a great time and something you'll have a hard time finding covered in depth elsewhere. Ghost notes played with the lead and backbeat hand are also explored in one chapter.

Overall, Independent Cymbal Rhythms offers a quick way to drill switching between lead hand patterns. It's an under-explored topic which is applicable in any style of music.

Get Independent Cymbal Rhythms on Amazon

Bobby Williams
Hal Leonard