Difficulty LevelThis video drum lesson is going to teach you one of John Bonham’s most famous drum lick ideas. Most drummers refer to this drum lick specifically as the “Bonham Bass Drum Triplets”. This should not be confused with the “The Bonham Triplets” discussed in this other Drums The Word lesson found here. Bonham was famous for using two lick ideas both based in triplets and you might like to be aware of this to save any future confusion.

This drum lick involves playing a steady pulse of notes with your right or left hand and then filling in the gap with two bass drum notes. The three notes, including the hand stroke, make up a steady and evenly played triplet.

R B B or L B B

When playing a steady flow of notes on the Hi-Hat for example the bass drum is able to slip in a flurry of triplet notes in between each Hi-Hat note. This common method allows the drummer to add moments of excitement and tension into a drum groove without actually interrupting the pulse or the groove. The bass drum notes don’t actually get in the way of the drum groove but certainly add a point of interest to nay drum beat.

This drum lick can also be used as a drum fill. If the right hand for example were to play tom tom notes around the drums and the bass drum were to fill in the triplet notes then this could be used as a very powerful and bass heavy drum fill idea.

If your bass drum foot technique is struggling to reach a speed you want to be able to play at then you could transfer the two bass drum notes to the double bass drum instead. I will often play this lick on double bass drum when speed and power is required. It is however highly recommended that you are able to play this with a single foot as this technique will free your single bass drum foot up to do other things while still maintaining control over the Hi-Hat. I am still working on my single bass drum foot speed and use this lick to practice with a lot.


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