How To Groove In 5/4

By Mike Cosgrove Published in the September 2006 issue of DRUM!

In this lesson, we’re going to explore odd-time groovin’. Ex. 1 is a basic rhythm of five beats against four beats. Get comfortable with it before attempting the other exercises. Exs. 2 and 3 are kit-based grooves that are fairly simple to play as long as you count sixteenth-notes. In Ex. 2, keep quarter-notes with the right hand, and double up for eighth-notes in Ex. 3. In Ex. 4, incorporate alternating sixteenths (RLRL) with the hands, and make sure to nail the backbeat on 2 and 4. Finally, in Exs. 5 and 6, alternate sixteenths between the right hand on your ride and left hand on your snare. You will also be challenged to accent the bell of the ride on & of every beat. Careful: The left hand gets a little tricky in Ex. 6. Have fun!

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