Should I practice all drum patterns on both sides or is it not necessary?

For example - I started learning how to play ghost notes and all the youtube lessons that I've seen so far show how to play them through a basic beat where your right hand is playing the hi-hat, your right leg is obviously playing the bass and your left hand is playing the ghost notes on the snare. Should I also practice this so that my left hand plays the hi-hat and my right hand plays the ghost notes or is that something which is kind of "unnatural" and almost never done?

Same goes for any basic beat. Would you ever play the most basic drum beat (hi-hat, snare, bass) reversed in the same way or is it not the way it's done while playing songs so there is no reason to practice that as well?

  • 1
    Check out youtube for the Drumeo lesson by Thomas Lang for one (awesome) example of practicing both ways
    – Alex
    Sep 23, 2015 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


I have seen videos by some amazing and well established drum tutors which state that when practicing a move, make sure your hands are as strong as each other, and you don't play all dexterity in your lead hand. Ghost notes are a good example - said videos recommend you can do it both ways around.

Another example was a sticking of RRLRRLRRLRRL on hi-hat (left on snare for ghost notes) for Rosanna by Toto (left hand does something clever for the main snare strike). The recommendation was to get used to this LLRLLRLLRLLR as well.

The reason is not because you'd ever play it like this necessarily, but if you have the even-ness of skill in both hands, you're less tied to doing things a certain way and more likely to have innovations yourself, unrestricted by the wrong (less dexterous in required movement) hand being in the wrong place.

This becomes more important with things like paradiddles (RRLRLLRL) where the limit of how fast you can do this pattern may be your 'weaker' hand's ability to do a double strike. If both your hands are kept up to speed, you're going to find it easier to do this kind of thing more quickly.

Obviously the feet do different things so the even-ness isn't so important there, unless you use a double bass drum perhaps.

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