A question that is commonly asked in our drum lessons is “How can I improve my four-way coordination?”. So in this lesson we are going to address this topic and present a great limb independence exercise that you can use to drastically improve your four-way coordination. This exercise is also a great drum warm-up!
The concept is simple; each limb plays a different rhythm, and once the four rhythms can be played simultaneously, they are reassigned to different limbs.
Sounds easy right? It depends on what the rhythms are! But don’t worry, in today’s lesson we will be using quite basic rhythms to introduce what we call
The Wheel of Rhythm
Here is a diagram of the rhythms that will be played in the first example:
Now we will have one of the studio’s students Patrick demonstrate the exercise:
Great job Patrick! What a great student!
Now we will show the other three possibilities for this given set of rhythms:
Now check out this video of Patrick using this concept while playing along to Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones.
Here are the rhythms he will be using:
Work on this concept diligently and you will see the results in your playing. As mentioned above we used simple rhythms for today’s example. But you can literally put ANY rhythms into this wheel! That’s what makes this exercise so great.
What to do next? Work on the given examples to fully understand the concept, and then try your own ideas. Remember though that four-way coordination is difficult and that this concept will take A LOT of hard work. So work hard, be patient, be disciplined, and go for it!
With 7 years of teaching under his belt, Mathew has taught people of all ages and levels as well as students with special needs. He has successfully helped prepare auditions for college and university levels. He is currently the drummer for the punk rock group Reign The Sky and also freelances around Montreal. Mathew has a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Jazz studies from Concordia University.