Polyrhythmic dexterity and ambidexterity are two essential skills to have when playing modern music. Being able to hear complex rhythms in your head is a good start, but it’s also good to practice various patterns “against” one another. The following will enable you to superimpose two-against-three or three-against-four rhythms with ease in any musical setting. Starting with your hands, you can also practice with your feet or any limb combination. Interested in more complexity? Use this same method to build up superimpositions using fives, sevens, and nines.
Peter Erskine has played with Weather Report, Steps Ahead, and the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and holds an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College Of Music. http://petererskine.com