Metronome Lesson #1

This lesson builds on from a previous video I did called “Moving The Groove”. The idea presented in the video asks: Can you play a simple groove starting on any 16th note subdivision? By moving the groove around by just a single 16th note, the resulting sound is drastically changed.  This simple idea can be used on any short repetitive groove you already know, and helps you feel more comfortable playing all types of 16th note accents.

This next lesson is about recognising all the possibilities of 16th note and triplet subdivisions within the space of 1 beat. In a bar of 4/4 we have 4 beats, so in the exercise I play each subdivision 4 times before moving to the next. This video is my take on an idea that drummer Benny Greb talks about in his DVD “The Language of Drumming”. He talks about a rhythmic alphabet, and that the key to expressing yourself rhythmically is learn all the rhythmic subdivisions to create a strong foundation. I highly recommend his video. His approach is very laid back and easy to understand. You can also practice many of his ideas using only your voice and hands.

In most popular music, rhythms are given context by their relation to the quarter note pulse. In this case we will use a metronome.

By dividing a bar of 4/4 into 16 parts, we break each beat into 4 parts.

The video begins by moving a single note rhythm to each of the 4 subdivisions of a beat.

Next: There is 6 possibilities of where you can play a 2 note rhythm in the space of 1 beat divided into 4 parts.

Next: There are 4 possibilities of where you can play a 3 note rhythm in the space of 1 beat divided into 4 parts.

Next: There 2 possibilities of where you can play a 4 note rhythm in the space of 1 beat divided into 4 parts.

Now triplet subdivisions

There are 3 possibilities of where you can play a 1 note rhythm in the space of 1 beat divided into 3 parts.

There are 3 possibilities of where you can play a 2 note rhythm in the space of 1 beat divided into 3 parts.

There are 2 possibilities where you can play a 3 note rhythm in the space of 1 beat divided into 3 parts.

24 variations in total

Can you play them all in a row like this? Hear how each rhythmic variation relates to the quarter note pulse of the metronome. Are there some rhythms you find more difficult than others? Do you struggle feeling the triplet subdivision?

If you feel comfortable playing all of the rhythms in this video, it makes sense that your sense of groove, time and feel will improve too.

Contact me via e-mail for a PDF with all the rhythms written out.

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