Q: Your drumming on Breaking Benjamin's Saturate
is superb. On "Polyamorous," you do a double bass
drum/hi-hat groove that's really off the wall. How did
you achieve this groove? And did you use a remote
hi-hat throughout the album?
 Brandon Parker

A: Thanks for you kind words, and for selecting me
for your question in the Ask A Pro section
     The double bass drum groove that you mentioned
in the middle section of "Polyamorous" is a combi-
nation of a 16th-note pattern played on the kick drum,
quarter notes on the "semi-open" hi-hat, and the
snare drum dropping on 2 and 4.
     Ninety-nine percent of the time, I play straight-
forward 16th notes ont eh bass drum by alternating
be tween the feet, beginning with the left foot
(LRLR LRLR). When you alternate this way, the left
foot and the left hand (for snare drum) will usually
match up exactly on beats 2 and 4.
     I used to teach drums, so if I were to be sitting
down with you, here's what I would suggest to do:
You have three different parts here, so simplify it by
starting with just two at a time. Too often people
become frustrated because they try to put everything
together right away. Begin by playing just the bass
drum pattern. With alternating bass drum patterns,
sometimes the hardest part is getting started. Once
you're in the groove, you're in. Then try to match the
snare drum up on beats 2 and 4.
      When you get those two patterns going together,
try adding the hi-hat (with the right hand) into the mix.
Sixteenth notes can be counted "1 e and a, 2 e and a,
3 e and a, 4 e and a." In case you aren't a reader of
music, the following chart will show you an easy way
to do it.

To make the reading flow better, let's use the "+" sign to symbolize the sound "and."
      As I mentioned before, the hi-hat is adjusted to be "semi-open" on this particular tune. When I know my feet are going to be occupied most of the song on the bass drum, I'll adjust my hi-hat to get the sound I want, and leave it there.
It's ironic that you asked if I use a remote hat. I haven't in the past. However, I'm considering incorporating one into my setup as we're working on our second record. Thanks again for your inquiry, and I hope this helped you out.