Billy Martin: From Six To Eight

This is an example of what I do when switching from 6/8 to 8/8 (4/4). The best examples come from the West African masters of Yoruban culture. You hear it often in Afro Cuban, jazz, and West African drumming. You can also hear something similar in Medeski Martin And Wood’s recording of “Latin Shuffle” on Combustication (BlueNote). Remember: Your feet stay (and feel) the same. The only thing that changes feel is your hands (bell and toms). The sticking is the same. After repeating the part in 6/8 until you get it, play the 4/4 part for a while. Then switch back and forth between them. Finally, work on the “in-between” feel, where it sounds like you are playing both the six and eight feel simultaneously. Included here is another variation that uses the classic “rumba” clave as a bell pattern in 4/4.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Billy Martin