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The Steady Streams: 8th Note Triplets With Cymbal Variations

By Neal Busby
For those of you who were fortunate enough to have attended my Double Pedal Workshop at
Just Drums you will probably recall that I spent some time discussing what I describe as "The
Steady Streams". Steady streams are unbroken patterns of one note value played as single
strokes. Note values included were: 1/8ths, 1/16ths, 1/16th note triplets and 1/8 note triplets. In
this exercise we will expand upon the options available for the ride cymbal over the 1/8th note
triplets with 2 & 4 on the snare. All steady stream patterns are to be played with single strokes
with the feet. Exercise one is the basic pattern.
1.
Ride
Snare
Kick

y
.
c .

3
R

..

3
R

Now we can begin to play around with the ride cymbal notes. By simply moving the right
hand on the ride to play in unison with our right foot on the bass drum we have a quarter note
triplet feel on the cymbal that move around the snare drum hits. This creates a multi level
dynamic triplet rhythm that has a distinctive sound and pulsating feel:
2.

R
3

y
.
.

>

R
3

>

R
3

..

By adding another right hand cymbal hit we can further enhance the forward motion that
leads to quarter notes 1 and 3:
3.

R
3

y
..

>

R
3

>

..

The Steady Streams: 8th Note Triplets With Cymbal Variations


By Neal Busby

In exercise 5 we are going to front load the beginning of the beat and play more sparsely over the
2nd half. It is patterns like these that go hand in hand with complementary guitar riffs of the
heavier variety.
5.

>

y
.
.

>

..

And finally we have an example of one of my favourite drumming ideas to experiment with rhythmic modulation. In context the ride cymbal pattern seems like much like the patterns of
the other examples. But if we look closer and isolate the ride without the bass drum and snare
parts we can hear that the ride pattern is really playing a straight eighth note rhythm. This
rhythm is then modulated over the existing triplet rhythm for a very cool effect.

6.

y
.
.

>

R
3

R
L

>
y

R
3

To ensure a strong ride cymbal performance start by playing the patterns using the bead of the
drumstick. Once the patterns have been perfected you can play the ride notes using the shoulder
of the drumstick and access the bell of the ride for a very dramatic strong sound. Always start
your patterns slowly and gradually increase your speed to a musically satisfying pace.

..