Wally Schnalle: Spicing The Ride
The most common ride pattern out there is probably straight eighth-notes. We often don’t even think about it, and our right hand automatically serves up a steady stream of them. But changing it up can lend a whole different feel to a groove. These examples will give you some choices that will help you season your ride and complement the music just right.
Playing the quarter-notes in Ex. 1 can create a powerful groove. Ex. 2 demonstrates some uneasy tension by playing every third sixteenth-note (note that this is a three-bar cycle). Ex. 3 is the comfortable and familiar eighth-note ride pattern. Exs. 4—6 feature the same rhythmic content as the previous three examples, except that the ride is played as two sixteenth-note groupings, which adds some rhythmic interest.