Independence & Coordination in Drum Playing

Learn about drum independence and coordination from drum teacher Jason Gianni in this Howcast drum video.


When learning to play the drums you're probably going to come across two terms such as independence in coordination. Typically that's what you play or that's how you play when you're trying to exhibit your patterns. You're playing different rhythms in each limb of your body. You're reading them or playing them from ear and that's what's creating this coordination and independence.

The simplest explanation of coordination is what you would do when you're a kid when you're supposed to rub your stomach and pat your head at the same time. That's basically an example of coordination.

If you know anything about note values and reading...on the drums you're putting different forms of coordination or independence against each other to create rhythms. As you get more advanced on the drums the rhythms get harder and harder until your limbs are completely independent of each other.
But just a standard beginning of coordination in independence begins with your basic drum beat. A basic drum beat is going to require you to play eighth notes on the high hat, a snare drum on two and four, and a bass drum on one and three.

Right off the bat, you're playing different rhythms in your limbs. That is a definition of independence in coordination. That would sound something like this: eighth notes one-and-two-and-three-and-four-and- on the high hat. Beats one and three on the bass drum and beats two and four on the snare drum having a call-and-answer effect on each other. When you put it together you get your coordination. One, two, three, four.

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