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How To Make Your Drum Grooves Sound Better

Randy Cooke  /  UPDATED Mar 5, 2023

Have you ever wondered why your favorite drum beats by your favorite drummers sound so good? And no matter what you do, you just can’t manage to emulate their sound? Chances are they all have one thing in common: good dynamics. More specifically, the hi hat and ride cymbal dynamics.

The heartbeat to any drumbeat is the kick and snare drum. They need to be loud, pronounced, and the focus of what you’re playing. If you play your cymbals at a similar volume, this can sound a little overbearing since they’re competing with the kick and snare and have a higher frequency (and the sound guy will probably hate you).

The solution? Play your cymbals at a lower volume. You might find this difficult since this will challenge your limb independence. An easy way to do this while keeping your snare and kick loud is to simply keep your stick close to the cymbal, so even if you try and play loud it will still be a quieter hit since the stick has very little distance to travel.

Once you’re comfortable with doing this, apply this concept to all of your go-to grooves. Not only will this make them sound more musical, but this also allows you to add in more notes and accents into your playing without getting in trouble. Randy Cooke throws down a couple great demonstrations of this in the video!

More lessons from Randy:
Rock Drumming 101
How To Chart A Song Quickly

Drumeo Team - We're professional, award-winning drummers and drum teachers, coaches, recording artists, and content specialists who are passionate about drums and helping drummers around the world. This post was written and/or edited by Sam Landa, Brandon Toews, Jared Falk, Dave Atkinson, or another pro on our team (which has a combined 1000+ years of drumming experience). Are you looking for inspiration, education, and support to take your playing to the next level? Join the Drumeo community today!

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