Linear drum beats, a term that I was introduced to at drum college, are made up of single drum hits only. No drums or cymbals are hit simultaneously. This leads to interesting sounding beats that can be quite hard to play after a little deviation from basic linear patterns.
Basic patterns like “Bass, Hi Hat, Snare, Hi Hat” are linear beats and this one in particular is very popular and easy. In germany, this linear rhythm is known as “Mieze Katze” or “Mie·ze·kat·ze”, which translates as “Kitty Kat”. This is something I saw on a show called ‘The moaning of life’ (see video below).
There are many many combinations you could try for linear beats, and they are a great way to use some of your rudiments, like paradiddle based rudiments. Introduce accents on certain notes to really spice things up. Have a go at these 7 linear drum beats, and then get experimenting with making up your own!