Want to build your snare drum chops, and work on your independence and alternative phrasing at the same time? The Vinnie will help with that.

I was shown this by my mentor, Grant Collins. Apparently this pattern was made famous by Vinnie Colaiuta, hence it’s name.

It’s a pretty harmless little pattern. It switches from singles to doubles to triples to quads, then all the way back down again. Quite simple, and it keeps your hands from getting bored. I’ve added some brackets so that you can see the groups.

This is pretty easy to get your hands around. Focus on even, smooth strokes. Relax your hands and let the sticks bounce as much as possible. The idea is to play a nice even stream of notes.

Once you’ve mastered the changes, try playing quarter notes on the hi-hat:

Initially, I found this quite challenging due to the overlap of the phrases over the beat. Fortunately it lines up on 1 in every bar, so it’s not too much to get your head around. ┬áTake it slow, and maintain a smooth feel.

For added co-ordination and independence, try adding a Latin footpattern underneath:

Finally, if you’re still bored…

Switch out the singles, doubles, triples and quads for flams, flam taps, flam accents and flam paradiddles. No image for this one, because I don’t want you to get too distracted, but click here for the PDF of all of the exercises.

Have fun! Don’t forget to leave a comment to let me know how you went, or if you have a question.


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