The first step to learning Bleed is understanding the “Herta” pattern. The “Herta” pattern originates from drum lines and drum corps. It is basically a single drag played with alternate sticking.
To break it down we start by playing 16th notes with our hands accenting in groups of 3.
4 BARS played @ 50 BPM
This is a 3 over 2 pattern.
The next step is to add an extra 32nd note after every accent. This will change the sticking as follows.
Once you have got a feel for the 3 over 2 "Herta" its time to move the pattern to the feet.
If your double bass drum technique is not advanced just start by playing it slowly. Set your metronome at about 60 BPM at first. If you are comfortable playing it faster then increase the BPM, but make sure you have got it solid before you progress.
Once you have the foot pattern down its time to add the hands.
The hands play a simple half time groove in 4/4. The hi-hat on the quarter note and the snare on the 3rd beat of the bar.
Accented 8th notes is closer to what Haake actually plays. For the sake of ease we will consider it a quarter note. As you get better you can add in the 8th notes. The same applies for many other Meshuggah songs.
First just add the hi-hat to the foot pattern taking note of the left foot and the right foot as they fall under each hand stroke. (noted below)
Once you feel comfortable playing the foot pattern with the hi-hat, add in the snare.
This is a densely layered groove. It has a lot going on at the same time. The feet play a counterpoint rhythm to the hands.
One of the most important aspects to learning any Meshuggah groove is co-ordination. Make sure any layered notes are played in unison. Avoid flams between limbs.
To ensure this you need to be aware of which foot strokes fall under which hands. Below is a diagram that shows which hands and feet are played in unison. (This would be the inverse for left-handers.)
It will take some work to get this up to the speed of 115 BPM. It all depends on how developed your double bass drumming is.
There are also a few small variations in the first section of the song. These variations are used as lead-ins to the next section or next riff. Bar 8 has the first one - just before the vocals enter.
Bar 8 of transcription
The snare accents inline with the "Herta" pattern. You may need to practice this by itself. This could be quite tricky especially when switching back to the original pattern.
The other variation is in bar 16. It pre-empts the riff change.
Bar 16 of transcription
The cymbal crash on the last 16th note of the bar needs to be played with the left hand (or the non-leading hand) so that the leading hand can play beat 1 of the next bar.