Eighth Notes – Subdividing The Beat – Drum Lessons Simplified

Eighth Note Subdivision

Eighth notes are half as long, or twice as fast as quarter notes. If you’ve seen the last video on quarter notes you’re already well on your way, as I described eighth notes briefly in that video as well.

In a bar of 4 4 time, there’s room for four quarter notes or eight eighth notes. Let’s take a look at a transcription of what I’m doing in this video.
Eighth notes - Beat and Fill #1
Above we have the beat that I’m using for all of the examples in this main series and then a bar of just eighth notes on the snare drum. Notice that in the beat, my right hand is playing eighth notes on the hihats and my Hell Stack.

Eighth Note Fills

Examples three and four are both interesting options. My toms are set up in a way that’s somewhat irregular. You can play these on any toms you want. Notice that the flams are split between different drums.
Eighth Note Fills
In examples five and six we have a couple more flam based fills split up with the bass drum.
Eighth Note Fills
Keep in mind that we don’t need to exclusively play eighth notes in our bar. We can cut the bar up with any other subdivision we want. For now we’re just looking at the whole bar. But as an example we could have quarter notes on beats one and two then eighths to fill the rest of the bar. Have fun and experiment with your own beats and fills. Make sure you keep it groovy though! Our entire purpose as drummers is to keep the pocket, make time FEEL good. If we can’t do that, nobody is going to want to play with us. 🙁

Have fun and keep on drumming!
Quarter Notes - Thumbnail   Eighth Note Triplets