I decided to throw a curveball out here. You can easily say “I can play these” and ignore the lesson here, or you can take the challenge and see what you can do with them. Almost every drummer has a hard time laying back. First, you have to want to lay back. I play in a lot of groups, and I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills if I did not enjoy putting my all into making these grooves feel good. Try to play each one for a couple minutes straight without budging. Try to swing each one. Then try to groove on each one and slowly start to embellish on it. Be true to the challenge because you will only be hurting yourself. I can name hundreds of songs that use these drum beats and take almost any complete pattern and break it down to one of these. Think of this as your foundation in drumming. Enjoy this exercise. It is what you make of it. All of the true masters of the drum set have a mastery of the basics.

Ryan Carver is a professional musician and educator based in New Jersey, USA. Find him online here.