Linear drumming is a technique used primarily in Jazz-Fusion and Funk drumming. The best way to describe this fun technique is as such:

In standard or normal drumming you keep time, (or an ostinato), using the high-hat or ride cymbol. More often then not just 4/4 time pattern.

In linear drumming however, you never hit more then one piece of your kit at the same time...This throws the idea, (and ease), of the ostinato out the window. This makes for really fun beat patterns that can be used as good fills.

Use the following drum pattern as a kick-start to understanding linear drumming, mang.

K = Kick Drum
H = High-Hat
S = Snare
T = Tom

______H________H__________
_________S________S_______
___K_________K____________

This one is beyond easy, but you get the idea. Mix it up by switching the Kick for the High-Hat, or replacing Snare with a Tom. When attempting to write your own patterns, keep in mind that linear drumming is a game of memory. It's like learning to count to 100...1 through 10 is kinda easy, but the higher (IE, more complex), you go, the more challenging it becomes. Don't kill yourself. Stick to patterns of 2 to 4 measures while getting a feel for what linear drumming is all about mang.

Here is another to play around with. I think this one makes the linear idea a little more clear. Repeat this pattern at a steady pace until you get bored:

___H_____ H_________________
_____T______K_______________
_S______S______S__S_________

Please read my write ups on ghost notes in drumming and Improv drumming

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