When it comes to music rock is really a broad term - Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, and so on. Other genres bend the structure with the likes of Folk Rock, Blues Rock, Funk Rock. Logically, there must be some elements that allows for all these styles, and more, to fall under the 'Rock' umbrella. There's a few musical components involved but definitely the approach to drumming is an essential aspect in defining if a song is rock or not.
Today we're putting up four common versions of a rock beat. None of these beats are particularly hard. That's great for beginners who might like to learn some basic beats. But, we're also giving you some homework. Something to think about. We want you to think about what defines each one of these beats. We'll get you started. All of these beats use straight eight hits on the hi-hats (the 'x' marks). Three of the beats contain identical hi-hat work, and one, the Heavy Rock beat, plays in straight eights, but the hats are in the open position (as indicated by the circle around the x in the score). Why? What sound is a drummer generating by leaving the hats open? And how does that help define that particular beat as a hard rock beat. Pause for a moment and think about that.
We haven't included a diagram here but if you can't read drum score yet we've already explained the 'x' marks indicate hi-hat hits. On the rest of the score the lower note is a kick drum and the higher note is your snare drum. You can see it quite clearly in the Country Rock beat.
Have fun working through these beats. Have even more fun contemplating the elements of each beats. Because developing those thought patterns is going to help you become a more creative, intuitive and thoughtful drummer.
As a bonus we've included tracks to listen and play along to. We've kept them at a reasonable tempo. Play faster or slower, whatever suits your style. And... if you want to use them on any of your own projects. Go for it. Download away!