Play­ing groups of five through eighth-note triplets

Rhythm - - THE RHYTHM INTERVIEW - Pete ri­ley p.ri­ley@mac.com

If we’re play­ing in an eighth-note triplet rate and want to play groups of five notes, with a bit of sim­ple maths (five notes mul­ti­plied by three notes per beat) we ar­rive at the con­clu­sion that it will take 15 notes to re­turn to the down­beat, so five beats of eighth-note triplets. Hence why all of this les­son’s ex­am­ples are writ­ten in 5/4. You could al­ter­na­tively play the groups of five in 4/4 and feel them mov­ing over the bar­line (and re­solv­ing af­ter five bars). We don’t have the space here, al­though it’s def­i­nitely worth look­ing at.

Our first ex­am­ple shows the groups of five, in which we’re play­ing the first, third and fifth notes, mov­ing through our bar of 5/4. This cre­ates quite a syn­co­pated rhythm in it­self, which can take some get­ting used to and in the video (print and iPad only) you’ll see a few dif­fer­ent ways of de­vel­op­ing this and mov­ing it around the kit. Next in Ex­am­ple 2 the co­or­di­na­tion chal­lenge starts as we be­gin play­ing the groups of five in the left hand while the right hand plays a shuf­fle rhythm. You could also play this and the re­main­ing ex­am­ples with the right hand play­ing jazz time, though they will now take two bars of five to re­solve. In Ex­am­ple 3 we then be­gin or­ches­trat­ing the fives around the kit while in Ex­am­ple 4 the four-way co­or­di­na­tion chal­lenge re­ally kicks in as the bass drum is now fill­ing in any of the miss­ing eighth-note triplets. No­tice here that to makes things a lit­tle eas­ier the left hand has moved back to the snare, with Ex­am­ple 5 fi­nally show­ing the chal­lenge in all its four-way and or­ches­trated glory.

Of course, by its na­ture this kind of ma­te­rial is un­likely to be some­thing di­rectly ap­plied in a play­ing sit­u­a­tion, how­ever the co­or­di­na­tion and syn­co­pa­tion it de­vel­ops will un­doubt­edly open new doors.

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