Playing 16ths tips?

Just wondering how long it took people to play 16th hi hat patterns well? Or if anyone has any tips to share?
I’ve been doing section 4 - lesson 2 and I’m finding I’m really sloppy with my left hand in terms of timing. I’m not too bad on 8th grooves with little fills but when I need to keep the 16ths going consistently it falls apart. So far, I’m finding it improves a little with a bit of bounce off the pads, somewhere between muscle tension, yet keeping my wrists relaxed and not stiffening up.

I have two lessons in the course after the one you’re doing now that should help in improving this.

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Now, it’s probably best to just do those lessons when you’ve actually arrived at that point, but it might be worth it to take a peak and see what we’ll be working on. The first lesson I mention is fine to do right away if you want to. The second one is probably not a good idea to try without the preparation of the other lessons. It’s all about keeping time without a metronome and we’re training that in the lessons before.

To summarize what needs to be done in the long run: I’s a combination of things.

  • You need to know how to fill the space between to slow clicks with 16th notes and not play them a little too fast or a little too slow. If you have to pull on the handbrake or hit the gas pedal every time you hear the metronome click, you don’t know (yet) exactly how it feels to play 16th notes. For me I always played them a little too fast. It wasn’t until I artificially started relaxing and playing the 16th notes a little slower than I thought they had to be when I started to notice I could fill the space between the clicks without arriving at the finish line a little bit too early.
  • You need to develop control over your hands and make them work together to create this alternating movement that is very fluent. One hand goes up when the other goes down. This will eliminate hiccups in your playing.

In closing, learning to play great 16th notes on the hi hat will take time. It’s ok if you don’t sound like a pro at this point. In all honesty, sounding like a good drummer will require you to spend some time going through the entire curriculum here and then you probably need to practice some more :slight_smile:

Let me know if you need anything. I can also talk about this in the March livestream if you need more info.


That’s great advice, thanks!
I seem to be bang on 32nd late. Ha!
I’ll probably hang on until I reach those lessons. I’m happy to stay on the lesson I’m on and practice a bit more until I see some improvement.

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Very good. If you can get some improvement in, that’s basically the thing to aim for. Then just move on and try and get some improvement in the next lesson and so forth.

I use this “layers of paint” analogy a lot. You gotta put on a coat of paint, then let it dry and then put on another layer.

That’s why moving on to something else and not aiming for perfection is so important. You gotta let the paint dry and then come back and apply another layer later. Especially in the “early days”, which will still be a year or two :slight_smile: