Polyrhythmic Practice

By Matt Byrne Published in the April 2006 issue of DRUM!

In this lesson we’ll be working on the concept of playing polyrhythms between the kick and snare, as well as around the rest of the drum set. By broad definition, a polyrhythm is two different patterns played simultaneously against one another. However, to achieve the real feel and sound of a true polyrhythm, these patterns should be clearly heard as completely separate rhythms being played together. Are you confused yet? No worries! Exs. 1 and 2 are two of the more popular polyrhythms — 3 against 2, and 4 against 3. Ex. 3 uses a polyrhythm to create a beat. Check it out.

Polyrhythmic Practice Exercises