Two Hands Four Feet Grouping Exercise

This exercise will further develop your ability to use the left foot on the bass drum pedal to play sixteenth notes on the feet at a higher tempo. The pattern you are building up to in this lesson is in 4/4 but made up of groups of six notes, making it Syncopated. The exericse presented here is similar to our 4 Hands, 2 Feet exercise and this lesson will be presented in the same way. You will start by learning the absolute basic grouping for the exercise, which is six notes played on the hands as singles followed by two on the feet as singles, in the time signature of 6/8 then progress to the full pattern in 4/4. The difference is that the grouping of notes has been reversed.

As in all double kick exercises, make sure your left foot is falling exactly where it should and that it is playing at the same dynamic level as the right foot. Use this exercise to develop technique and speed before moving on to applying it as a fill.

Eighth Notes In 6/8

The grouping that makes up the final pattern contains six notes so to demonstrate you will learn it in 6/8 first. I'll start by giving the exercise as quavers to encourage you to start slowly.

An exercise in different groupings for double kick.

Before progressing make sure you can play this exercise at at least 130bpm.

Sixteenth Notes In 6/8

Next you will double the note values to sixteenths, giving you two occurances of the pattern within one bar.

An exercise in different groupings for double kick.

This gives you the basic grouping for the final syncopated pattern in 4/4. This will be referred back to as the 'original pattern' in the next two exercises.

One Bar Syncopated 4/4 Exercise

This first 4/4 exercise will be made up of one bar of sixteenth notes. In the previous lesson, linked above, we dicussed using time signature maths to work out how many times you can play the full original pattern within this space and how many notes will be left over. To do this you divided the total amount of sixteenth notes in the bar by the amount of 16th notes the pattern took and take the whole number. In this case that was two. You then subtract the number of 16th notes two occurances of the pattern fills from the number of 16ths in the bar, which was four. So you can play the full pattern twice and you have four sixteenth notes at the end to play around with. For this first exercise I have used the same grouping for the last four notes as in the previous lesson but feel free to experiment with something differnet. Phrase markings have been included in this example to highlight where the original pattern falls within the bar.

An exercise in different groupings for double kick.

Two Bar Syncopated 4/4 Exercise

As before, you will now convert this to a two bar exercise. You will follow the same mathmatical process to work out how this can fit as before and I'll recap now.

This time there will be 32 sixteenth notes in the full pattern (two bars worth so 16 x 2), so divide this by the length of the original pattern (32 / 6 = 5.3) and take the whole number, meaning you play the original pattern five times with some left over. Subtract the length in 16ths of the original pattern from the full 16th count (32 - 30), giving you two sixteenth notes left at the end after the full five occurances. For this exercise I have used two sixteenth notes on the snare but feel free to experiment with other note values that would fit the space.

Be careful with your timing in this exercise, with it being syncopated over two bars it is quite easy to loose your place.

An exercise in different groupings for double kick.

A Variations On The Two Bar Syncopated 4/4 Exercise

A very common variation of this exercise is to play the original pattern four times followed by two groups of four. We discussed this idea in the previous lesson and this time I have changed the orchestration of these eight notes slightly. Again, feel free to experiment with different ideas.

An exercise in different groupings for double kick.


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, aim to get the exercises up to a tempo of around 140bpm.
  2. Try working out a four bar version of the exericse.
  3. Orchestrate the exercises to create fills.


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