Remember when all you had to do with your feet on the drumset was play the bass drum and hi hat? Then, about twenty years ago, a second pedal was added next to the hi hat pedal so you could play double bass patterns on a single bass drum. Now the bar has been raised again, with drummers like Horacio Hernandez, Akira Jimbo, Alex Acuna, and Gregg Bissonette playing Jam Blocks or cowbells with the left foot. It is becoming more common to have three pedals on the left side, creating greater independence and challenging patterns.
When students come to me wanting to learn how to develop this independence, I give then a series of exercises. These clave ostinato exercises can be practiced with the left foot playing either cowbell, Jam block, or hi hat.