Jim's Notes: A Course in Drumming
Simple Rhythm Construction Set
(Part I)

This is a collection of popular small rhythm elements and their hand patterns. These elements are combined in different ways and make up most of the world's hand drum rhythms.

 

S = slap

B = base

P = pressed base

t = touch

O = open tone

x = open tone that may also be played with a stick. ? =

can be S, B, P or t l & r = striking hand

 

Three space element:

 

|1 2 3|        |1 2 3|

|?   O|        |? x x|

 l   r          l r r

 

Four space element:

 

|1 & 2 &|    |1 & 2 &|    |1 & 2 &|     |1 & 2 &|

|B   O  |    |O   ?  |    |?   O O|     |O O    |

 r   l        r   l        r   r l       r l

 

Six space element:

 

|1 2 3 1 2 3|     |1 2 3 1 2 3|     |1 2 3 1 2 3|

|B   B O   O|     |B   B O O O|     |?   O O O  |

 r   r l   l       r   r l r l       r   l r l

 

|1 2 3 1 2 3|     |1 2 3 1 2 3|     |1 2 3 1 2 3|

|O O O t t t|     |P   O   O  |     |P O O P O O|

 r l r l r l       l   r   r         l r l r l r

 

Eight space element:

 

|1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|   |1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|   |1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|

|x     x     x  |   |O   O O   O O  |   |B     O B   O  |

 r     r     r       r   r l   r l       r     l r   l

tresillo            cinquillo           calypso

 

|1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|     |1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &|

|O   O   ?      |     |O O ?   t t t  |

 r   r   l             r l r   l r l