Still Mmm-Mmm-Good

I got some good feedback on this one so I’m running it again but this time with the complete PDF. “Pea Soup” is a term used by some drummers to describe the sound that results from playing the hi-hat with lots of attitude in order to add “flavor” to the beat.

The playing style affectionately described as “pea soup” can be achieved in a variety of ways. Some drummers get this result by playing an open hi-hat sound, followed by a quick closed hi-hat sound. They may also strike the hi-hat cymbal with lots of attitude and focus on accenting the open sound to make the hi-hat “bark.” This can create different “colors” which means that a drummer can get a variety of different sounds out of the same drum or cymbal by simply striking it differently. You can use the pea soup approach to create two different colors by playing the open sound with the shank (or side) of the drumstick and the closed sound with the tip (or end) of the drumstick. You could also play the open sound on the edge of the hi-hat or strike the cymbal closer to the bell (or middle) of the hi-hat to achieve different sounds. While the concept of pea soup is simple, the level of difficulty can increase depending on how much flavor you want to add your beats. The most important thing to remember is not to over do it. A drummer must always maintain good time and meter. Too much extra flavor can interfere with the beat. Just like cooking a favorite recipe, you must use the right amount of ingredients. Practice with a metronome and find the right balance.

Below is an example of Pea Soup. Here is a PDF with a breakdown of each bar using our FUNdamentals notation. (Click image for full-size.)

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