Developing Independence with Meshuggah’s “Bleed”

Meshuggah’s “Bleed”, from their 2008 album obZEN, is the subject of many drum covers on YouTube. In this exclusive lesson for the SilverFox Woodshed, I’ll show you how you can take Tomas Haake’s groove and develop independence with it.

There are variations throughout the tune, but the core double-bass groove is based on a rudiment called the herta. (I like to call it DAH-LAKKA DAH-LAKKA!) In this groove, it’s expressed as a repeating single-stroke phrase of two 32nd notes and two 16th notes, creating a 4:3 pulse with the feet. On top of this, Tomas plays a very straight 4/4 half-time feel.

Here are some steps to take in order to make this groove an ostinato over which to improvise:

  1. First get comfortable playing the herta with
    your hands and your feet. I recommend the warm-up exercise I demonstrate in the video. I play four hertas and add four 16th notes to the end to make it a 4/4 phrase. Feet and hands play alternating bars. See the chart below.
  2. Get comfortable playing the basic “Bleed” groove.
  3. Play the hertas with your feet as an ostinato and with your hands play the chart we used in our previous lessons (download below). Take one bar at a time as needed. Be sure to count in 4/4! (Refer back to lessons 1 and 2 for Developing Strong Inner Clock.)
  4. Play the hertas with your hands and play the chart with your feet. Again, be sure to count!

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sf_downloadpdf Download the PDF Chart


  1. Hi I like your ideas I’ve been looking for the silver fox laminated sticks I had several years back. They seemed to last longer a bit heavier but lots of punch. I am self taught and very low budget but have been working on putting short roll lines on the bass drums while doing some syncopation with the hands. The rolls are from George L. Stones stick control. Any suggestions?


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