Drummer Issue 109 – Polyrhythmic Grooves #2

Drummer Issue 109 – Polyrhythmic Grooves #2 (With a little help from Periphery’s Nolly Getgood)






Polyrhythmic Grooves – Part II

Hopefully you have got your head around last months polyrhythmic idea? Don’t forget there’s audio and a playalong to help you out – you’ll find it on my website at www.jameshester.co.uk and go to the ‘Lesson Index’ tab. This month I have decided to flip the polyrhythm over and look at playing a 5 over 3 pattern. Last months audio playalong was based on a film soundtrack idea – this month we have the help of Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood playing bass and guitars. Adam was a BIMM Bristol student who has since joined the band Periphery, playing bass and guitars and also producing their latest release – Periphery II. These polyrhythmic ideas fit very well into the metal scene – think Periphery and Meshuggah to name two of the best.


Example 1

Here’s a basic 5 over 3 pattern – the hands are playing the RLL sticking five times and the bass drum is playing the right hand part of our RLRLL sticking, producing a slightly warped shuffle figure. Take your time to lock the limbs together – feeling and hearing this pattern is the key to the following examples:




Issue 109 Example 1


Example 2

This example isn’t a polyrhythm but it’s one of the patterns that’s used in the playalong to emphasise the shift in meter. Make sure you are playing the right grouping and not shifting where the bass drum is being played. Perhaps try playing the RLRLL sticking over the top and swapping as in the audio example:




Issue 109 Example 2


Example 3

This next example goes back to example 1 and drops out the left hand ‘filler’s so you can now clearly hear the polyrhythmic idea coming through.




Issue 109 Example 3


Example 4

Here’s a shuffle hand pattern idea. In terms of back beats, we are just playing a backbeat at the start of every other hand grouping, so it will invert itself in the second bar.




Issue 109 Example 4


Example 5 and 6

And now more of a quarter note feel with the hands and a double bass drum idea filling out the first three notes of RLRLL. Example 6 shows exactly the same pattern but as a bar of 5/4, just to show how idea like this can be interpreted or felt in different ways.




Issue 109 Example 5






This track uses some of these grooves as the basis for section changes – once again, a huge thanks to Nolly for the huge bass and guitar tracking on this!




James Hester