Polyrhythmic Ostinatos - part 1

Drum Lesson by Alain Rieder

Example 1
Here are three hi-hat ostinatos (in the audio example, each line is played four times).
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Example 2

The same ones, played in a 3-bar sequence.

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Example 3

The 3-bar ostinato, applied to other bass-drum patterns

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The three-bar ostinato can also be viewed as being in 3/4 or 6/4 and played over 4/4:

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16-bar Groove Exercise

This example is an application of this concept, to the first exercise of my Time Manipulation Drum Book.

Each pattern is played twice, but if you listen to the sound file, the hi-hat plays the previous shifting accents instead of the unaccented eighth-notes that are written.

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  • For more suggestions on how to work on this concept, see Section 7 of my Time Manipulation Drum Book. Look at examples 100–113, on pages 123–126.
  • Example 113 on page 126 is actually the complete written version of what's played here on the previous audio track as well as on the next video.
Vimeo Video

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Example 5
The next example is a short excerpt from a song from a John Lennon & Yoko Ono album.

Album: Double Fantasy
Drummer: Andy Newmark
Song: Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him

Andy Newmark is a legendary drummer, and he played this shifting hi-hat part in a very creative and tasty manner.

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Musical examples are granted for your personal use only.
© 1998 Alain Rieder - all rights reserved
video © 2019 Alain Rieder - all rights reserved
Fair use: short excerpt of John Lennon's song for educational purpose

NB - The previous exercise isn't part of my Time Manipulation Drum Book

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