5/4 four-way coordination
Open-Handed Four-Way Coordination in 5/4
Last issue we explored some four-way coordination exercises, which were in 5/4 and in an eighth-note triplet rate. This month we continue the theme but turn our attention to 16th notes. The groups of five entail playing three notes; the first, third and fifth notes of five notes, accenting the first and third notes. When played through 16th notes it will repeat four times in one bar of 5/4. This can be seen in Example 1.
In Example 2 we introduce our first coordination challenge where the right hand now plays a broken 16th-note rhythm with the groups of five in the Rhythm left hand. - 2 8 Even 2 with only two limbs this is a challenging piece of coordination so the right hand could be simplified to eighth notes at first. In the video the left foot is stepping quarter-notes and the bass drum plays beat 1 of each bar.
Next, in Example 3 the left hand moves around the kit playing each group of five on a different drum. The video also introduces the idea of attempting these examples open-handed, so moving the left hand to the hi-hats and moving the right hand around the kit. Example 4 pushes the coordination up another level by introducing the bass drum filling in the spaces in the groups of five, however to make things a little easier the left hand remains on the snare drum. Finally, Example 5 sees the right hand moving back around the kit and with the final challenge being attempting this leading with either hand.
These are challenging exercises to attempt and they aren’t really intended to be applied to music directly. Instead, they’re aimed a developing a high degree of independence and sense of syncopation so that when playing something less demanding it should help it to feel relatively easy and effortless by comparison.