Double Bass Exercises

Using Cowbell Patterns for Bass Drums (and Double Bass) Grooves

Here are some patterns on which I am currently working. I'm trying to perform these as smooth and effortlessly as possible. Slow, concentrated practice is what I'm after. And it's working! The groove is starting to happen. The first pattern is a standard cowbell pattern from the Afro-Cuban musical vocabulary. It's found in my forst book, Practical Applications, Book One. Please Email me for info about this book, Afro-Caribbean Paractical Playalongs, or any other of my books.

double bass

Here's a double bass groove. No cymbal or snare has been added. I'm going to leave that up to you. I first just practiced the bass drums by themselves. Later, I added quarter notes on ride cymbal, "2" and "4" on the snare. I lead the double bass patters with my right foot. The right foot is on the first space of the staff, the left foot is on the first line.

double bass

The next two patterns reflect a newer bell pattern from Afro-Cuban music. I use the 2nd measure of the bell pattern for my new bass drum pattern.

double bass

double bass

And the last two patterns are all about another new pattern played on the cowbell. Learning this will first require some reading skill, deciphering the 32nd note patterns. Slow and methodical practice has given me the ability to play this pattern with various ride patterns. It grooves!

double bass

double bass

Catá Patterns Applied to Double Bass

Catá is an instrument played in Cuba and made from different materials. Catá is also the name of the rhythm. The name "catá" comes from the sound of the rhythm. Sometimes the rhythms are played on a box, like a small cigar box, and sometimes they are on a piece of bamboo. Catá rhythms most commonly accompany Cuban rhythms like rumba, palo, makuta, and tumba francesa. If you're serious about studying Cuban music you have to know about catá, how to play it, how it sounds, and (most importantly) how it fits with the clave. The next two patterns follow the rumba clave in 3*2 direction. The top pattern is a two measure phrase. The 2nd pattern has two sticking variations.

double bass

Here are the two patterns applied to a double bass set up. Your "ride" hand is playing rid cymbal in this example. Of course, you can play any surface. One you have the eighth notes down, try other ride patterns.

double bass