Tag Archives: Odd Time Signatures

Jazz Ostinato in 7/4 #1

Using Todd Bishop’s jazz ostinato method, we’re going to continue working on our 7/4 playing. The exercise below has a repeating right hand/right foot/left foot pattern, with variations coming from the left hand snare part. These are great exercises to help you internalise the 7/4 swing pattern and to expand your 7/4 vocabulary. Enjoy!

 

Jazz Ostinato in 7 4 - Full Score

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Comping Exercise in 7/4

Continuing with the theme of odd time vocabulary development, here’s an exercise designed to help you get more comfortable in 7/4. It’s based on a John Riley comping exercise from his ‘Art of Bop Drumming’ book. Make sure the pattern at the top of the page swings comfortably before attempting the comping phrases.

 

Comping in 7 4 - Full Score

  • First, play the 8th note phrases on the snare. Then try moving the phrases on to the kick & left foot hi-hat.
  • Next, play the phrase on the kick drum with continuous swung 8th notes ‘filling in the gaps’ on the snare.
  • Now move on to the 8th note triplet phrases. As before, keep the right hand ride pattern swinging with the comping phrases in support of the ‘dominant’ ride pattern.

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Triplet Warm-Ups in 7/4

Justin Brown – Odd-Time Master

After listening Ambrose Akinmusire over the last few weeks, I’ve been inspired to continue developing my odd-time playing. Having posted numerous 5/4 exercises, I now want to start concentrating on 7/4.

Below is the triplet warm-up exercise from John Riley’s Beyond Bop Drumming book adapted into 7/4.

Using the 7/4 swing pattern at the top of the page, play the comping phrases underneath at a mezzo piano dynamic. Make sure to keep the right hand swinging.

As with other odd-time signatures, it’s helpful to divide bars of 7/4 into smaller chunks. A common division of 7/4 is the 4-3 division (counted as one bar of 4, one bar of 3). The swing pattern at the top of the page can be counted easily as a 4-3 division.

7 4 Triplet Warm-Ups - Full Score

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Comping Exercise in 5/4 #2

Here are more exercises to help you develop your 5/4 swing vocabulary. Apply the same process as the first instalment with the 5/4 phrases acting as comping material over a 5/4 swing pattern:

 

Comping in 5:4 Part 2 - Full Score

We can also take this further and start ‘filling in the gaps’ using the 8th note comping phrases:

  • Play the phrase on the kick drum and ‘fill in’ the 8th notes on the snare drum. Bars 1-2 will look like this:

Bar - Full Score

  • Play the phrase on the left foot hi-hat and ‘fill in’ the 8th notes on the snare drum. Like this:

bar2 - Full Score

  • Next, play the ‘short’ 8th notes from the phrase on the left foot hi-hat. Play the ‘long’ 1/4 notes on the kick. Bars 1-2:

3

 

Now apply these three methods for all 16 bars of the 8th note comping phrases.

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Triplet Warm-Ups in 5/4

Having a list of warm-ups that help you flex your muscles both mentally and physically should be the aim for any drummer. Below is a warm-up based on a comping exercise adapted from John Riley’s Beyond Bop Drumming book. I’ve converted the original 4/4 exercise into 5 beat phrases and placed them under a 5/4 swing pattern. Make sure you keep the right hand swinging and play the comping phrases with a mezzo piano dynamic.

5 4 Triplet Warm-Ups - Full Score

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