6 Basic Beats, by Barney Arathoon,

This is the beat in which you hit the hi-hat as little as possible. So far we’ve been playing what’re called Eighth Note beats. This basically means that you hit the hi-hat eight times per bar. This next rhythm is called a quarter note pattern because it only has four hi-hat hits per bar. From an ordinary Four on the Floor rhythm we can remove half the hi-hat hits per bar.

1. Begin playing Four on the Floor and make sure you have the count going in your head.
2. 1...+...2...+...3...+...4...+...... Hi-hat on every number and ‘+’, bass on 1 and 3, snare on 2 and 4.
3. Now, as you keep the count going steadily in your head, stop hitting the hi-hat on every ‘+’ (but keep them on all the numbers).

It takes a while to get the hang of this one because you’re so used to playing eight hi-hats a bar, but keep trying because it sounds great once you’ve got it. It’s important to keep the count exactly the same as when you play Four on the Floor. Once you’ve got it, it should sound like, thoom......tang......thoom......tang......thoom......tang......thoom......tang......

Notice how there are bigger spaces between each bass and snare hit. This shows where the hi-hat would be if you left it in. You’re playing at the same rate as you would Four on the Floor, remember, so there will be big silent gaps between the bass and snare. This beat should sound bigger and louder, and it delivers more of a punch.

The thing about quarter note beats is that you can speed them right up! With no hi-hats between the bass and snare hits to slow you down, you can squeeze everything together. This means you can play, literally, as fast as you can. With a bit of practice to make sure you hit the hi-hat in the right place every time, and raising your bass pedal hitting frequency (this takes a lot of practice, stamping the pedal over and over without breaks makes your shin seize up), you can play this one at rocket speed, like a proper Tommy Ramone! When you speed up it will eventually sound like,


This beat is good for fast, simple rock/punk songs.