Difficulty LevelIn this free drum lesson I wanted to show you another extract from the book. This free drum lesson will teach you the best drum beats to the song Chop Suey by System Of A Down.

Drummer John Dolmayan continues to impress drummers of all ages since exploding onto the scene 10 or so years back. For this song he creates some ultra cool tom based grooves and sixteenth note ride cymbal gems to have a go at.

 

Why The “Chop Suey” Drum Beats Are So Great

Stopping and starting a beat with millisecond precision is hard. Playing with maximum force is hard too. Doing both at the same time is really bloody hard. We’re hooked from the beginning of the tom tom intro.

Chop Suey System Of A Down John Dolmayan Free Drum Lesson

 

How To Play It

Occurs at the beginning of the track. Here we have a tribal style drum beat using the tom tom’s to great effect. The bass drum is playing steady quarter notes, helping to keep the band in time, allowing the hands the freedom to dance and play over the top.

The hands move round the toms in order of pitch, starting at the top on the high tom. Try to use the suggested hand sticking above as this is the most efficient way to move around the drums. The left hand starts the group of four notes on the ‘a’ of beat 1.

Notice that both the floor tom and high tom are played at the same time as each other on beat 1 of the bar. The last two floor tom notes on beat 4 and the ‘+’ of beat 4 could be played with any hands but is easiest when using the sticking RL.

 

Other Bars Of Interest

Chop Suey System Of A Down John Dolmayan Free Drum Lesson

 

How To Play It

Occurs at 0:30 right after the tom tom intro. This looks deceptively simple to play but it is hard to nail the timing. The half open hi-hat plays quarter notes with the right hand while the bass and snare drum fall on the downbeat and ‘a’ of each beat. This creates a kind of sixteenth note shuffle pattern.

Be careful with the timing of the bass drum as habit tends to push the second bass drum onto the ‘+’ of each beat, instead of the ‘a’.

 

Other Bars Of Interest

Chop Suey System Of A Down John Dolmayan Free Drum Lesson

 

How To Play It

Occurs at 1:00 for the first time during the first chorus. One handed sixteenth notes are played with the right hand on the ride cymbal with a steady and simple snare drum back beat on beats 2 and 4 of the bar.

The bass drum plays a lovely sixteenth note pattern that pushes into each of the downbeats on beats 1 and 3.

 

Other Bars Of Interest

Chop Suey System Of A Down John Dolmayan Free Drum Lesson

 

How To Play It

Occurs at 1:55 in the second half of the second chorus. Here we see how John builds upon the previous drum pattern, played in the first chorus, to give the second half of the second chorus more impact.

The same ride cymbal and snare drum pattern is played, just as before, but we now have extra bass drum notes to play. Most noticeably on the ‘e’ of beat 2 just after the snare drum.

 

 

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