Introduction to Pattern Morphing

Pattern Morphing
Here I present the bases of an innovative methodology that will allow you to truly progress in all aspects of your drumming.
This powerful approach can be applied to advanced exercises and concepts as well.
  • Most of the exercises I write are based on a unique 16-bar structure. They are intended to be used in a variety of creative ways.
  • You can work on the 16 patterns separately, link them together, or combine them.
  • One of the goals of these exercises is to transition from the base pattern to a destination pattern by playing the 14 intermediate patterns between Pattern 1 and Pattern 16.
  • This format allows you to learn how to create smooth and progressive transitions between two different rhythmic motifs.
Example 1 - Groove Exercise 1
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  • I usually suggest repeating each pattern 2 or 4 times and moving on to the next one without stopping.
  • When it's too early to move on to the next pattern without stopping, I have each pattern repeated 8 times, and we move on to the next one with a 2-measure stop between the different patterns. For this purpose, I use preprogrammed metronomes that help maintain the structure.
Example 2 - Separate Patterns
To understand the concept, read the previous exercise and play each pattern 8 times, inserting two-measure breaks between the patterns.
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This mp3 is the full Groove Exercise 1 (Patterns 1-16), using this structure.

Example 3 - Pattern Morphing Series 1 for Groove Exercise 1
Based on this structure, I have developed a very interesting methodology that I call Pattern Morphing. It is fun to work with and, most importantly, it helps develop your musicality, reading skills, and concentration.

The idea is to take the 16 patterns of an exercise and combine them into 16 two-measure series, resulting in 256 two-measure patterns for each exercise.

For the first series, we take Pattern 1 and combine it with all the others, including itself. Here are the first four combinations:
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This audio track demonstrates the entire Series 1, that means sixteen two-bar patterns.

Example 4 - Pattern Morphing Series 2 for Groove Exercise 1
For the second series, we take Pattern 2 and combine it with all the others, including itself.
Here are the first four combinations as well:
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This audio track demonstrates the entire Series 2, that means sixteen two-bar patterns.

Example 5 - Metronome structure
Instead of writing the 256 patterns, we will assemble them mentally. It is quite easy and it will help with reading and concentration.
I recommend using the structure already seen for the one-measure patterns, by repeating each two-measure pattern four times.
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The audio track demonstrates the whole click structure at 80 BPM.

Use this metronome structure to practice the remaining series (3 to 16) for Groove Exercise 1 above.

For example:
Series 3 is Patterns 3 & 1, 3 & 2, 3 & 3, 3 & 4, etc.
Series 4 is Patterns 4 & 1, 4 & 2, 4 & 3, 4 & 4, etc.

Example 6 - Full Pattern Morphing Series 2 for Groove Exercise 2
As a further demonstration, here is the complete Series 2 for Groove Exercise 2 that can be found in both my Time Initiation and Time Manipulation drum books.

Groove Exercise 2 can be seen here

Although the idea is not to rewrite everything, this example shows what's being played and how fun and musical it can be.

Remember, these are only 16 two-bar variations out of 256, assembled from a single 16-pattern exercise.
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Drum Books by Alain Rieder


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