A few months ago I was lucky enough to have a lesson with the great Ernesto Simpson. Ernesto has mastered the intricacies of odd number groupings and manages to insert them effortlessly into his playing so, rather than sounding like technical trickery, they become another facet to his melodicism. Not an easy task! In the short time we had together he showed me some simple 5 and 7 note stickings played as triplets. The exercise below is based around a 5 note RL RLL sticking played over triplets. Play four bars of time, followed by exercise 1. Repeat for all 6 exercises. In the video below I play through the exercises, followed by an improvisation at 200bpm based around the RL RLL sticking. This one’s tricky so remember to start slow!