The Beast

At the end of chapter one of Bobby Rock’s drumset book Metalmorphosis is a one measure lick Bobby named “The Monster”. A couple of pages are used to break down the lick limb-by-limb, isolating different combinations of what any two limbs are playing, developing the independence necessary to play “The Monster” as a whole. I would daresay not many players, if any, could sight read “The Monster” at first glance.


I often wondered if I could develop or create my own Monster lick, and over time, not intentionally but rather by methodically building on a simple idea, I created my own Monster, which I dubbed “The Beast”. Let us first look at “The Beast” in its entirety, and then I will break down the creation process step-by-step.

“The Beast” consists of left foot playing the hi-hat, right foot on bass drum, with the hands playing on the snare, cowbell, middle, high, and low toms in order of appearance. Notice that the first note is a double stop on snare/cowbell.


As mentioned I didn’t set out to create “The Beast”, it developed slowly over a period of about two years. “The Beast” started its unholy infancy with me looking for ways to develop my foot independence to a greater degree. So the birth of “The Beast” began with a ¾ pattern with the bass playing a Samba beat against the a 16th note grouping on the hi-hat that shifted between the down and up beats.

You could think of the hi-hat as a 6/8 pattern played against the bass drum’s ¾.


After jotting this idea down on paper, I laid it aside and forgot about it. About a year later, while rummaging through my notes, I found my foot idea. It was then that I decided to add a dotted 8th note cowbell to the foot exercise to up the ante, make it more challenging while also giving it a tad more musical appeal. The following was the result.

More time went by, possibly another six or seven months. And then one day it occurred to me that a drumset lick with one limb inactive, in this case the left hand, was not acceptable. So I added simple quarter notes on the snare thereby increasing the independence complexity.

As a whole the above pattern is quite tricky in itself, but the rhythms played just by the hands is a simple pattern. I then began to wonder if it were possible to fill in all the empty space of the hand rhythms, and so sat down on the kit and worked out a tom fill that did just that. The result was the final form of “The Beast”, though more time would pass before it would occur to me that I had indeed created my own Monster.

After you’ve developed the necessary skills to play “The Beast”, one cool approach to playing it is by playing one measure at a time, starting with the rhythm on the hi-hat and adding another measure/limb, with the last step adding the tom filler notes.

Have fun, and good luck with working up “The Beast”. And may you create Monsters of your own.