This isn’t something that you can just understand intellectually and then be able to perform it. It’s not purely conceptual in nature even though all takes place in the brain. It takes work to be able to find that place while you perform and then stay there until you’re done. It takes brain training, in the most literal sense of the phrase.
The way Billy practices it is to play two meters of time. Whatever your favorite groove is… you know… the thing you play to reassure yourself that you don’t suck. Play that for two meters and for the next two meters play something else. We aren’t talking about busting out your stand by bag of licks or playing a more complicated variation of the original beat. Try and play something that sounds melodic. The reason being is that playing melodically is much more difficult on a drum set. You don’t have chord progressions or notes A-G# to work with. Playing as melodically as possible on the drum set makes you really push the envelope, not just lean on it. After the two bar improv you go back to the groove you were doing earlier.
Essentially you are just practicing making the transition from one mind set to another by continually jumping from a groove into a spur of the moment fill and back again. In more conventional terms its like when you practice making the transition from two single strokes to bouncing the stick in the double stroke roll.
So that’s it, and incase you were wondering how I know so much about this stuff… I spent nine years in China studying Kung-Fu… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I hope this article encourages you to try this and do some research on some of the stuff I talked about here. I hope even more that it motivates you to try and learn some of this stuff. However, don’t believe anything I said unless you know it to be true or took the time to research it. I reserve the right to be wrong about anything I say, and have exercised this right on many occasions. This article is copyright of whoever it is or isn’t copyright of, may be a choking hazard to children under 3 and/or induce seizures in certain breeds of ferret, member FDIC, batteries not included. (End Article Disclaimer)