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Prigione Eterna
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:43 pm
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:24 am 

I'd like to share something I've found on various forums but I ignore the original source of. Hopefully this wasn't already posted here by somebody else; in that case, I apologize.
I am not the author and I ignore who the author is. I take no credit.
This may be the most thorough explanation of all things blast beat ever. Interesting read for anyone into this stuff.

BLASTMANIA! by Scratch

I think I need to clarify the way I do blastbeats, and what blastbeats ARE. A blastbeat involves a fast, straight snare beat (8th notes at 180bpm or higher), often with a similar ride or hi-hat alternating alongside - or occuring with - it. The bass drum patterns vary, but the iron rule is a fast snare.
There were three main drummers who people claim started the blast - Charlie Benante, on SOD's "Milk", Kurt Bretcht on DRI's "Dirty Rotten LP", and Mick Harris on Napalm Death's "Scum". For the record, it's Charlie ("Speak English Or Die" came out 2 years before the others. Nuh!)
As for the methods of playing them, there are 2 main variants, the European way, and the American way.
There are tons of cool effects you can do to make all of these sound cooler:
You can:
- add another bass drum underneath either of these to create a double kick blast (as I will go into more detail later)...
- transpose any of these into 6/8 or 12/8 time, so there will be 3 snare notes per beat (or any other time signature for that matter)...
- experiment over different surfaces (a personal favourite of mine is to, instead of the snare and hats, use the toms and ride bell/china!)
- and cut the cymbal work in half (instead of doing 8th notes on the ride or hats, just do quarter notes instead).
Depending on which method you are using, the effect will be different. There are several drummers who have taken the format further by adding their own trademarks to the following templates. I will list those at the end. On with the show!

1. The European method, variants, and masters...


This is the version used by many a black metal and grindcore band. The classic European way involves alternating the hats and snare at 16th notes, with bass hits coinciding with the snare. It's basically a single stroke roll (RLRLRLRLRL etc) with your right hand on the hi hats or ride.
The bass drum can either be on the beat or off the beat, and you can always cut the footwork in half (some people stupidly call this the "cheat blast") by splitting it over both your feet with two bass drums when the tempo gets to 260+. It's good to do open handed also (the sticking would switch round).

hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
bass- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 170-250 bpm (anything above that and there's very little audible difference between any other blast IMO, as the offbeat between the hats and snare is almost nonexistent.)
AS USED BY: Trym (Emperor), Hellhammer (Mayhem), Danny Herrara (Napalm Death), Nasum etc.
CLASSIC USE: Ye Entracepurium (Emperor)

b) ALTERED VERSION (Snare first)

You can switch your hands around too, so the snare is leading. This would be LRLRLRLRLR, and is a pretty good exercise for left hand work. I quite dig this one and use it a lot, it has the punchiness of the all-at-once American blast with the washy chaos of the European blast.
Again, you can put the bass drum on the offbeat, but then you're just doing the standard European version. And the footwork, again, can be split in half.

hats- -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
snare x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 190-260 bpm (anything below it sounds too slow and not 'manic' enough, anything too fast sounds like an American version done real sloppy).
AS USED BY: Well...no one comes to mind....maybe me!!!!
CLASSIC USE: My cool *** song that exists in my head.


Basically, play the main version, and then add in your left foot so you are alternating your kicks and doing a double bass pattern. There is no way to "cheat" and cut your footwork in half if you're lazy...so be warned, this is a toughie.


hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
bass1 x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass2 -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

You can't really hear the double kick effect though, unless you're well miked or have a nice click with your bass drums, as the snare tends to drown it out. But still, when done properly it works great. You can switch the hand work round too, of course, but that's quite close to a "Cannibal Blast" - more on that later.

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 180-260 bpm (this one works great transposed into 6/8.)
AS USED BY: No one really comes to mind.
CLASSIC USE: Again, some cool *** song that exists in my head.

2. The American method, variants, and masters...


As stated before - very simple - 8th note patterns on the hats, snare, and ride, all at once. Mainly used by death metal acts - and Charlie Benante, who brought this to life with the SOD classic "Milk" back in '85.

hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

This method requires quite serious co-ordination. Pretty much all death metal drummers use this method at some points in their career, it's very impressive when done at the speed of the masters. If you're looking for an easy way to do this, do the European method, then synch your hands together so you're slamming both your hands straight down at the same time.
You can cut the footwork in half once the tempo reaches about 250+ - as this, to my mind, is the only blast that really works a treat upwards of 260. This isn't one just for those with slow feet, if you have fast hands but can't hit the speed that you have with your hands on your feet to make a double kick blast - just do this. Upwards of 270bpm - and as fast as 340 bpm (!), the two
footed Suffocation blast magically becomes a HYPERBLAST, as most famously used by Flo Mounier.

hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass1 x---x---x---x---
bass2 --x---x---x---x-

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 180-340 bpm. (Practice your singles to reach that kind of speed, it's worth it! But don't underestimate the power of doing this blast at minimum speed - the reason it got the label "Suffocation blast" is because Suffocation used it really slow - for the sole purpose of cranking up the intensity, and it worked. Brilliantly.)
AS USED BY: Doug Bahn (you guessed it...Suffocation), Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy), The Berzerker, and tons of other death metal bands.
CLASSIC USE: Too many to mention, but if I had to pick one, I'd go for Hate Eternal's "King Of All Kings". Searingly intense stuff.


A blastbeat that is used by Pete Sandoval almost exclusively, to gain the same kind of effect that you can get with the European blast - i.e. chaos - is to have the hats and snare hit simultaneously, and then a kick hit - so it's a "snare led blast":

hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 200-270bpm (Sandoval transposes it into 6/8 on many songs, i.e. Rapture).
AS USED BY: Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel).
CLASSIC USE: My personal favourite is "Heaving Earth".


Easily the most challenging blast - an utter bitch to do - you're slamming both your hands down simultaneously, whilst doing 16th double kicks. Work on your double kick and American blastbeat technique throughouly before combining this.

hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass1 x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass2 -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 200-as fast as you can get it bpm (of course it's limited only by your kick speed really).
AS USED BY: Cannibal Corpse, Cryptopsy, Hate Eternal etc.
CLASSIC USE: Mithras - "Worlds Beyond The Veil". You probably haven't heard this song, but it's an instant hit in my eyes.

3. Other methods...


Kataklysm have prided themselves on their blast technique. Simply a 16th note snare pattern with quarters on the hats and bass. Sounds like an utter jackhammer.

hats- x-------x-------
snare x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass- x-------x-------

AS USED BY: Kataklysm.
CLASSIC USE: Kataklysm - "In Shadows And Dust".


The drummer from Krisiun borrowed an idea from the Kreator drummer, Ventor (who has 8th note ride, quarter note snare and triplet kicks to form his "Ventor Beat"), and in tranposing it into a blast situation, uses a modified version of the "Cannibal Blast". With simulataneous hands and ride, instead of straight 16ths on the kicks, he does triplets. This means you can blast at tempos you normally wouldn't be able to with 16ths, depending on your technique. (Unfortunately, because it's a 3 on 2 polyrhythm of sorts, I have no way of showing you this through here because I can't space everything out!)

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 220-300bpm (though I don't really care for this blast).
AS USED BY: Krisiun.
CLASSIC USE: The first track off "Works Of Carnage" is a good example (I forget the name, and though it's good, it's probably not the best either).


In use by bands like Origin, and most recently, on Kataklysm's new material. Again, like the Cannibal Blast, but you're doing a ONE HANDED ROLL on the snare count! Utterly insane! So that's a 16th note snare and kick pattern over the top of each other!

hats- x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
snare xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
bass1 x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-
bass2 -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

RECOMMENDED TEMPO: 180-240bpm (good luck getting it fast as Longstreth!).
AS USED BY: Origin, Kataklysm etc.
CLASSIC USE: Kataklysm - Ambassador Of Pain (although it's a new tune, I think it works GREAT in the context of the song!)

Congratulations, you've passed Blastbeats 101. Now, grind like an S.O.B.

King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 13320
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:17 pm 

well katakysm didn't use gravity blasts they called it hyperblasts and it's not the use of a one handed roll either. unless this is on something after arms of devestation
I just do more stuff than you ever will.

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