‘Study the Greats’ is a series of quick videos where host Austin Burcham walks you through beats by some of the world’s greatest drummers.
In this episode, he breaks down a cool section from Todd Sucherman’s drum solo recorded during one of his visits to Drumeo. It’s based on 16th note triplets, and can be broken down into two distinct phrases.
Phrase 1 – which we can also call section A – is one beat long: KLLRLR. Try it slowly at 40 BPM, then speed it up to 70 and finally 100.
Phrase 2 – which we can also call section B – is two beats long and starts off the same way as the first phrase (KLL), but it ends with single strokes around the toms. If you have a smaller drum set than Todd, just play more notes per tom.
Now we need to combine these two phrases to make one measure of 4/4. Todd does this by cycling the first phrase twice, then playing the second phrase.
With Phrase 1 (A), Phrase 2 (B), and an ending pattern (C), the entire framework is structured AAB AAB BBC.
Don’t forget to add in the left foot on the hi-hat, which will fall on the ‘and’ of every beat.
It’s all about repetition and structure. Take this opportunity to play the same form and subdivisions while coming up with your own patterns and phrases inside of that framework. Try it in straight 16ths, or alternate between this and 16th note triplets.
There’s a lot of power in repeating coherent phrases and constructing them into a musical form. Get creative, come up with your own phrasings and forms, and create your own drum solo.
If you want to see Todd’s full solo (and lesson), watch this video. The section Austin breaks down is at 1:12:18.
Did you enjoy this video? There’s an entire ‘Study The Greats’ series inside Drumeo Edge that features some of your favorite legendary players. Click the image to check it out:
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