Looking for a cadence? Looking for lots of cadences? I’ve got you covered! Over the years, I have composed and released more than 55 original street beats and stadium grooves. Between the three premium products linked here and the collection of free material further down the page, I’m sure that you will find something that is perfect for your drumline. For the most part, the music in the premium products was written for a predefined purpose, a real drumline that had to learn and perform it, or to target a particular skill level… on the other hand, the free compositions on this page are more experimental and self-indulgent, meant to push boundaries and prove to myself that I could do it. Sometimes creativity is inspired by the constraints it has to operate within… and sometimes creativity is unleashed by unbridled freedom. Whatever the circumstances, it has all been a joy to conceive, compose, and share my music with the world, and I hope that you enjoy what I’ve written!
Free street beats and stadium grooves: The following pieces are provided for the benefit of anyone who can use them; I grant permission for the distribution and performance of these pieces, provided my name and my site's URL remain on the sheet music.
If you want to re-arrange or otherwise modify any of these pieces, send me an e-mail to ask for permission. I will not withhold permission; however it is useful for me to know what changes other people find appropriate. If you're nice, I may even let you have the Finale file or Music XML so you can more easily modify or arrange something. Drop me a line to let me know what you think: email@example.com
If you would like any of these pieces re-arranged or re-imagined for a different skill level or ensemble (say, more or fewer bass drums, tri-toms instead of tenors, a less flam-heavy vocabulary, etc.), I can fulfill such requests on a contract basis at reasonable rate.
In order to better understand the notation and height systems used in these pieces, download the fatmattdrums notation legend: 2-Page Document: pdf (228 KB)
Emeritus is a slamming street-beat that adds low-humming tom drums to the typical battery instrumentation, inspired by the extra bit of punch that a lot of show-style drumlines bring to the table. Creative use of triplet feels and transitions to duple feels create suspense and release while maintaining a strong pulse to march to.
This Bass Cadence served as the introduction to NC State’s arrangement of Spider for many years. It has since been retired, so I want to share it here, since I have not written anything else quite like it. It is arranged for 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4-drum bass lines. The NC State version is the 9-drum arrangement, while the VDL recording is the 6-drum arrangement.
Here is a Virtual DrumLine recording of the 6-drum arrangement:
The X-Ray Climb is the result of playing around with MuseScore for a couple of evenings, just to try it out. MuseScore is a free musical notation program that has a free extension for drumline notation and playback. It’s a pretty solid piece of software, and it’s absolutely amazing for the price! There were only a few things that I gave up on trying to figure out how to do (like adding my copyright notice, so I just did it in PowerPoint), and it was intuitive enough that I could write something new and original by just playing around with it. Like when you play around with a new instrument (like a bass or guitar), and there’s just something fun and interesting about it which helps to direct your ideas, there was something about the experience that made this cadence what it is, and I am very pleased with the result.
For comparison, here is the same piece using the Finale ‘09 / VDLite sounds utilized by all my other recordings:
Thunder Horse is a rhythmic tour-de-force that employs variations on some very basic swiss triplet patterns to create a range of groovy feels that relentlessly push forward. Add some Agogô bell in the quads to really bring the funk, and make sure you've got a good handle on different dynamics, because you're gonna need it.
Baby Legs is a more experimental street beat written for the cool and comfortable tempo of 96 BPM. It blends inspiration from Cumbia and Drum & Bass styles to create some interesting feels that come together at the end for some heavy grooving.
Turbulent Flow is an advanced street beat that packs some serious groove. Just give it a listen; I'm sure you'll agree that it's the nastiest thing on this website.
¡Bust! is a street beat based on an old NCSU Drumline classic called "Hit It"—a long-time staple of the line's repertoire that has since been retired. I wanted to embellish some ideas from that piece as well as expand on the Latin feel with some heavy grooves to breathe new life into an old favourite.
 Guy is a street beat composed entirely in 5/4 time. It includes a lot of 10-beat phrases, and the whole idea behind it is kinda silly—hence the name—but I think it turned out pretty well.
Smoked Salmon is a shuffle-based stadium groove that should thump the stands so hard it makes you feel like you need a shower. It’s written around a simple pattern in the snare line which is actually a measure from the NC State travelling cadence, slowed down to 90 BPM and then swung.
Just a Touch is a simple stadium groove inspired by Judas Priest's "A Touch of Evil" from their 1990 Painkiller album. Execution should be very easy, apart from some scrape patterns in the quad part, and the groove should be very effective.
Stop Breaking Down is a bass drum cadence with an optional full battery component, inspired by the Widespread Panic cover of that tune… particularly Dave Schools’s catchy bass line.
Quit It is a lot jam adapted from the classic NC State cadence “Hit It” by taking the main ideas and fitting them to 7/8 time. I wrote this as a tongue-in-cheek birthday present for John Antonelli, the drumline instructor at NC State. There’s some hard stuff in here, but there are also some really cool moments that could be easily adapted into a stadium groove or onfield warm-up.
Givin’ it All is a slammin’ Stadium Groove inspired by 7Horse’s “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker.” Give it some time to develop, and everyone is going to want to start moving!
Quad Damage is a groovy street beat with plenty of advanced soli licks supported by battery impacts that tie everything together, so there's never a dull moment. This is a "new" piece, but all the elements existed in an old Finale file (pre-2011) that I recently dug up, where I had collected ideas that never made it into other pieces.
Malignant Narcissism is a street beat based on the eponymous instrumental by RUSH. The notes should all be very physically achievable, but there are some moments that will be very demanding of ensemble cohesion. Don't hurt yourself!
30 Under is a street beat written at 90 BPM for a much more laid-back feel than the 120 BPM you're used to. I don't know who is prepared to march that slow, but if you are, these notes are for you!
Cadence in 4/4 For Marching Percussion is a street beat consisting of four short movements—ideas I've been fleshing out over the years—that I've managed to work into a cohesive piece. The third movement is based on Annie's Theme by DJ Afrojack, and the fourth is based on a song by a band I played bass in while I was a teenager. It all adds up to a cadence... in 4/4.
Mud is a stadium groove based on the groove from Primus's My Name is Mud. Tenors definitely have to do the most work here, but there should be a good payoff once all the parts fit together correctly.
Did Pat 1 is the stock diddles exercise that the NC State drumline plays. It was the only "did pat", though, so it became a sort of joke that there was this elusive "Did Pat 2" out there that nobody could play. Well, here it is... Did Pat 2 is a short stadium groove in which all of the stickings are unnecessarily forced into an RRLL sequence. That doesn’t stop it from grooving, though.
Chuggawuggas centres around a rudiment combination in the snareline that sounds like "chuggawugga" to me (the inverted flam-tap followed by a flam tap). There is no cymbal part, as I thought it stood on its own fairly well. Chug along!
Dry Rub is a straightforward stadium groove inspired by the smooth flow of SNL rapper Blizzard Man, which was the motivation behind the quad part ("Let's all cool out and get in the hot tub!"). The other beats are pretty generic, so I thought I'd do something funny with it.
If you really liked any of these pieces and would like them re-arranged or re-imagined for a different skill level or ensemble (say, more or fewer bass drums, tri-toms instead of tenors, a less flam-heavy vocabulary, etc.), let me know and I can work with you on a contract basis for a reasonable rate.