This month we’re focusing on the use of odd numbered groupings on the bass drum and examining some of the potential consequences when you mess about with the numbers three, seven and nine.
We will use two odd numbers of sixteenth notes on the kick drum, firstly nine strokes followed by a snare, then a group of three on the kick, again followed by a snare. The result is a phrase containing fourteen sixteenth notes, coincidentally one bar of 7/8:
To spice up the 7/8 groove a little, perhaps making it more dynamic, we can incorporate some grace notes on the snare.
Okay, now try keeping the hi-hat in even quarter notes (in 4/4) over your 7/8 kick and snare pattern. You should hear the emphasis shift from down to up and back again every two bars.
Let that quarter note wander now, playing on two different sound sources.
If you play the 4/4 cymbal quarters constantly – while keeping the 7/8 kick and snare pattern (formed by our nine and three concept), you will find it resolves after every seventh bar. Confuse the band with this one if you dare. All you’ll need is one more bar in 4/4 to make up a nice even eight, and maybe a thick skin to counter the complaints in the rehearsal room.