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CREATIVE COORDINATION
& ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE

www.hudsonmusic.com
© 2007 Hudson Music THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE 1
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CREATIVE COORDINATION
& ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE

"DLOPXMFEHFNFOUT
Thank you for picking up this book.

I’ve been very lucky to have been given a chance to express myself and share my ideas with
you. I hope this book will inspire and motivate you to improve or further your skills.

I am truly thankful for your support and the amazing feedback from each one of you over
the recent years. Thank you.

I would like to thank Rob Wallis and Paul Siegel for their vision and friendship. It’s been a
real pleasure and lots of fun to be part of the Hudson family.

Thank you Taryn Herbert and Sean McClintock for your hard work and enthusiasm.

Thank you Steve Ferraro, Mike Dawson and Jo Hay for turning my handwritten scribbles into
this wonderful book.

And thank you Elizabeth for your love, patience and understanding. Thank you for giving
me the space and support to do all this. Lex and Flynn, you guys are the best!

I think my mum would be proud of me!

Thomas

THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE 5


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The exercises and songs in this book are transcribed from my DVD Creative Coordination & Advanced Foot Technique.
These exercises are advanced and extremely challenging. Hands and feet are equally important in contemporary drumming.

This book is full of Òcombination exercisesÓ that require the use of hands and feet at the same time but in different
ways. With these exercises youÕll be working on technique, endurance, accuracy, timing, independence, coordination,
mechanics, and stamina, all at the same time and with all four limbs. This is a new way of practicing and playing drums; it
requires a different attitude and a complete reversal in the way you look at the role of hands and feet in drumming.

When practicing this new technique, you can Ðand should- switch all hand patterns and all foot patterns. You can play any
foot exercises with your hands, and vice versa. Also, you can -and should- combine any exercise with any other exercise.
For example, you might take a foot pattern from Chapter 2 and play the ÒmatrixÓ on top of that with your hands, then
reverse the two, playing the matrix with your feet under the foot pattern, which you are now playing with your hands.

The material in this book is not for beginners but since the concepts and exercises are new altogether, drummers of every
playing level will Þnd ideas and inspiration here. These exercises comprise 1"35* of this book.

4&$5*0/ explores the importance of foot control in contemporary drumming and it prepares your feet for the following
sections. This is where to start if you want to understand and play high-end contemporary drums. ItÕs all about the feet and
therefore about coordinating your feet with your hands. But, in order to do that itÕs all about the feet Þrst. By learning all the
foot patterns in Section 1 you have a foundation to build on for Section 2.

4&$5*0/ provides a unique coordination practice system. This formula is displayed clearly and comprehensively as a
coordination ÒmatrixÓ. This section describes all the steps you need to take to achieve totally ambidextrous control of your
instrument. The formula is easy to remember and applicable to any and all coordination and independence problem you
might ever encounter on this instrument. The formulaÕs variables can be replaced with any rhythm and sticking pattern so
the system is completely ßexible. This allows you to use the formula in the most creative and musical way. It enables you
to ÒcustomizeÓ exercises and it prompts you to make creative use of the simple coordination guidelines of this system.
Coordination practice has never been any more exciting, rewarding and creative. The orchestration examples of the
matrixÕ sticking cycles will inspire you to Þnd your own voice and sound on the drums.

The way these exercises are constructed is unique and extremely efÞcient. The coordination element of all these
combination exercises will keep you concentrating on the intellectual component of drumming while you are getting an
intense technical workout of hands and feet at the same time. In addition, each exercise allows for maximum creative and
musical input in regard to dynamics and orchestration which makes ÒpracticingÓ more like ÒplayingÓ.

1"35** of this book demonstrates the use of these extremely modern drumming concepts in a musical context and
in various playing examples. All the songs were written speciÞcally to give you a musical platform for applying these
drumming concepts. The content of each chapter is ÒcompressedÓ into these songs. This allows you to try and apply the
exercises immediately in the context of a song. It allows you to experiment with the patterns and it enables you to fully
understand all of the possibilities and implications of this revolutionary new drumming concept.

THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE 9


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Now letÕs get started. Drums play rhythmically and dynamically. ThatÕs pretty much it.

Playing rhythms without dynamics is losing Þfty percent of what we do so these Þrst exercises are designed to teach you
how to play even dynamic transitions, smooth crescendos, and decrescendos.

This forces you to pay extreme attention to the power of each stroke to form a smooth dynamic ßow. As you play,
concentrate on maintaining really good technique.

So when you play these dynamic transitions with your feet, make sure you play a solid backbeat with your hands that
does not change in dynamic levels. So when you play very quietly with your feet, make sure you play a strong backbeat
and maintain that strong backbeat when you play louder with your feet, like so:

&9&3$*4&

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

p p f

All the 16th-note off-beats are played with the left foot. All the strokes on the beat, all the eighth-notes, are played with the
right foot. And make sure you play the two feet at an even volume. The left foot needs to be played with as much power as
the right foot.

This might be difÞcult at Þrst because the right foot has been conditioned to play syncopated phrases, but once you get
started youÕll Þnd these stickings with all the ÒoffsÓ played with the left foot totally natural.

So instead of playing patterns with just one foot, with the right foot on the kickdrum, for example, and the left foot on the
hi-hat keeping time, youÕre now splitting these patterns up on to two feet and that causes a coordination problem. So
patterns like this oneÉ

&9&3$*4&"

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

Éyou probably used to play with just one foot on the kickdrum, for example, with the left foot keeping time. But then youÕre
very limited in terms of tempos and speed. Obviously you canÕt play that very fast even if you do have a fast right foot.

And so now you have to kind of rewire your brain a little and split these conventional syncopated 16th-note patterns up
onto two feet.

THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE 11


All the 16th-note off-beats are on the left foot; all the eighth-notes on the right foot. So itÕs very easy to keep track. ItÕs
pretty much like what the hands are doing. And that also allows you to be in sync with both hands and feet whenever
you play cymbal accents with the right or left hand, you know that your right foot will be playing along with the right hand;
your left foot, along with the left hand.

&9&3$*4&# of this section goes like this:

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

&9&3$*4&$

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

When you are comfortable playing the kick patterns, try adding patterns with your hands on top.

For example, try Þlling in the gaps in the foot patterns playing accents with your hands during these rests in the foot patterns.

You can also try doubling the feet with the hands and accent along with them. This is a technique often used in creative
modern rock and metal playing.

Check out these examples and then create your own hand patterns on top of these kickdrum grooves.

None of these exercises are all that difÞcult, especially when played at a slow tempo; but they really help you to develop
those basic coordination skills of being able to play one-sixteenth, one syncopated 16th-note pattern, for example on two
different sounds with your feet, or at least with two different feet, and, on top of that, play a simple but coordinated hand
pattern with a steady backbeat, different tom sounds, a few orchestrations using different instruments with your handsÑ
like a hi-hat and three different toms with the right hand and playing a backbeat with the left hand and just working all
those components together into one coherent groove.

So those are basic coordination skills and I think these exercises will help you a lot to develop those.

&9&3$*4&%

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

12 THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE


&9&3$*4&&

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

&9&3$*4&'

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

&9&3$*4&(

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

&9&3$*4&)

R.H.

L.H.

R.F.

L.F.

THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE 13


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WeÕre going to start with alternating singles played with the feet and on top of this ostinato, IÕm playing the one to eight cycles
with the hands.

&9&3$*4&

Singles Doubles
R.H.
L.H.

R.F.
L.F.

3's 3's - alternate sticking #1


R.H.
L.H.
etc. etc.

R.F.
L.F.

3's - alternate sticking #2 4's - paradiddles


R.H.
L.H.
etc.

R.F.
L.F.

4's - alternate sticking #1 4's - alternate sticking #2


R.H.
L.H.

R.F.
L.F.

5's 6's - double paradiddles


R.H.
L.H.
etc. etc.

R.F.
L.F.

46 THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE


6's - paradiddle-diddles 7's
R.H.
&9&3$*4&
2 (continued):
8's (5 + 3) 8's (3 + 3 + 2)
R.H.
L.H.

R.F.
L.F.

8's - triple paradiddle 8's - (3 + 2 + 3)


R.H.
L.H.

R.F.
L.F.

THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE 47


.PPOSPDL1FSGPSNBODF/PUFT
Triplet-feel heavy rock. I wrote this because I love that kind of shufße-rock feel and today thereÕs simply not enough music of
that kind out there.

The groove in Section A is based on the Ò4-over-3Ó idea. The kickdrum patterns are what makes this song fun to play. I wrote
the tune to demonstrate the use of more complex foot patterns in a musical context: single-strokes, fast single-stroke rolls,
evolving foot patterns over repetitive riffs, 3-strokes, 5-strokes, sextuplets, 7-strokes, multipedal-orchestrations and fast
double-stroke rolls. Surprisingly, itÕs all in the bassdrum-part of this song.

The verse groove evolves with every cycle of 4 bars until it hits the chorus. Important in this section is the precise execution
of the fairly easy 8th-note triplet kickdrum pattern which implies the 4-over-3 feel. The backbeat is totally exposed in the riff
and needs to be played with that Òkiller instinctÓ that makes heavy rock music ROCK! Hit that snare drum hard every time
and thatÕs half the rent already! I play straight quarter-notes on the half-open X-hat with my right hand on the right side of
my kit, which gives me Òroom to moveÓ with my left hand for the heavy backbeats. The kickdrum pattern develops over the
course of the verse into a more complex part when I am adding 5-stroke rolls, and crashes on the 4.

The chorus groove is a slight variation of the verse pattern. Instead of X-hat quarter-notes, I am playing heavy crashes on
every beat of the bar. This section is also broken up with a lot more Þlls around the accents with the band and generally a
ÒlooserÓ feel and vibe. Everything revolves around the backbeat to give the section stability and that ÒrelentlessÓ push.

The chorus ÒtagÓ is a syncopated 4-bar unison part. This unison part is also based on the 4-over-3 concept. I am using lots of
groups of 4 triplets with the last one missing which makes it sound less Òtriplet-likeÓ and it makes the part more complicated
sounding than it actually isÉ which is the whole point of this little tag. I wanted to write something that sounds a little ÒoutÓ
before coming in with the driving verse pattern again to create tension and contrast.

In the second A (verse) section I am speeding up the process of developing the kickdrum pattern because the section is
shorter than the Þrst time.

The second B section (chorus) has a few more hits with the band in it and I am also playing even more Þlls, but I am trying
to maintain that heavy pulse throughout- hence pushing very straightforward 8th-note triplet Þlls around the kit between
the accents.

This leads into the Þrst multipedal-orchestration section. I am playing a simple 4-instrument orchestrated 1-bar cycle foot
ostinato. ItÕs basically a ÒshufßeÓ pattern orchestrated over 4 kickdrums with an unusual ÒstickingÓ pattern of: r-r l-l r-r l-l.

On top of this I am playing heavy accents along with the band on crashes and the concert bassdrum (gong drum). It ends on
a big crash and a 4-bar tacet section.

On the following 1 a new time signature and feel begins. This solo section is in 6/8, and starts with a fast double kick groove. This
section is pretty wild and full of interaction between me, myself and I (since I am playing the drums, guitars and keyboards here).

There are lots of unison accents and hits as well as a lot of Þlls around the toms, snare, and kickdrum. I am phrasing along
with the distorted keyboard solo and at the same time I try to catch accents with the riff and I Þll wherever possible just to
make it sound more like Òorganized chaosÓ.

Then follows another M.P.O-section with accents on the gong drum. This time I start the pattern halfway through the section,
leaving a little space after the busy solo. A big 8th-note triplet Þll takes it back into the outro choruses.

The kickdrum pattern changes after 8 bars to continuous double-stroke rolls. At 140 b.p.m. this is pretty taxing to play. The
Þrst 4 bars I am playing quarter-note triplets on the crash cymbal; the last 4 bars are straight quarter-notes so it feels like itÕs
slowing down towards the end with more emphasis on that heavy rock head-banging sort of feel.

I end this tune with the unison part. I love songs with endings. Fade-outs always sound like compromises to me, unless itÕs
for a very deliberate and speciÞc reason. So here we have a real big ending, powerful and to the point.

138 THOMAS LANG: CREATIVE COORDINATION & ADVANCED FOOT TECHNIQUE


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