Multiple Measure Drum Grooves


Not all drum patterns complete themselves in one measure; some take two to four. It is important to maintain symmetry and contrast between the measures of multi-measure drum grooves.  



Half Time

Moving the back beat to the third count of every measure creates the illusion that the pulse has slowed down to half speed. Half time works best with medium, medium/fast, and fast tempos.


Kick Drum Variation

Kick drum variation can be stretched over more than one measure to add more variety to the drum part. The kick in the second measure of this example is highly syncopated and is balanced out with less syncopation in the first measure.


Backbeat Shift

The backbeat of one measure can be shifted ahead or behind a single subdivision. It should be balanced out in the other measure by moving it back to the downbeat. Beat two was shifted over to the + in the first measure and shifted back in the second in this example.


Subdivision Subtraction

Attacks in the subdivision line can be subtracted to create two measure patterns.


Double Clap

At the end of the phrase (usually in the fourth measure), a second backbeat instrument has an attack on the + of three and beat four. Once you know about the double clap, it is hard to not hear it everywhere.