This very simple exercise for hand-foot coordination promotes healthy polyrhythmic groove. Put those sticks down and just clap your hands and stomp those feet. It’s a three-way combination you can have fun with by changing up the parts as you play. Initially, you play everything three times. Clapping parts: Ex. 1 — three times. Then move to Ex. 2 — three times while the feet do their thing: Ex. 3 — three times into Ex. 4 — three times then Ex. 5 — three times into Ex. 6 — three times. After you master this initial progression, improvise the repeating amount and the form in the moment.
Use a three-tempo approach, slow-medium-fast. First, starting at a medium tempo for a few minutes or more. Stop. Then try it very slow — your slowest possible tempo. Notice how an extreme tempo difference can change the whole feel. Stop. Then play as fast as you can but with a musical expression. Have fun, stay healthy, and don’t forget to breathe!
Medeski Martin And Wood drummer BILLY MARTIN (aka illy B) has recorded more than 60 albums with Bob Moses, Iggy Pop, John Scofield, The Lounge Lizards, Dave Burrell, and many others. billymartin.net