Category: Rhythm Blog

Mary’s Exercise Series: No. 1, 2, & 3.

Sideways Tenor ClefThis is the first of a series of exercises that can be played on any keyboard instrument. They will be helpful regardless of your primary instrument.

These exercises were ultimately inspired by the mater classes of master teacher and musician Steve Coleman that can be seen on youtube.  You don’t need to stick strictly to one way of working on these. This is a basic concept that you can run with…

And without further extraneous words…

An Exercise for Drumset: Pass The Bembé Bell

Just an exercise of sorts to share. This exercise involves the african bell pattern known as “the standard pattern” or, via cuba, the bembé bell pattern using a bass drum, hi hat, snare drum with brushes, and a metronome set to 35. Hi hat always plays “2 & 4.”

LINKS: Steve Coleman Master Class Videos from Seeds::Brooklyn ++


I was only able to attend one of Steve Coleman’s master classes at the Jazz Gallery during his tenure on monday nights. But I recently happened upon the Brooklyn::Seeds youtube page (link below) where not only can you check out an archive of past performances there in the space but also, at this time, four full-length videos that Steve apparently did there in collaboration with the Jazz Gallery.  Links are below in addition to one other video link, and a couple other related links….

Rhythm Sight Reading / Play-Along (mostly odd meter)

Garwood Whaley's Fundamental Studies for Snare Drum

Garwood Whaley’s Fundamental Studies for Snare Drum

If you own this book or pick-up a copy from Steve Weiss Music (an independent music store) you will find these mp3’s fun and useful. Each mp3, marked with a number and tempo, is meant to be looped on your mp3 player or in itunes. Each piece has several tempos. Pitches were randomly generated within set ranges to produce tracks with no

RHYTHM BLOG: Constant Quarter

Rhythm Blog

Something I’ve been doing to work on my time and odd meter stuff in general is an activity I’ve coined Constant Quarter. I first thought of this a year or two ago while shedding a difficult composition by pianist/composer Matt Mitchell which contained a section in 13/16 and again recently rehearsing a tune by guitarist/composer Nick Demopoulos that has a 4/4 + 7/16 groove.

RHYTHM BLOG: Odd Meter Reading Practice (Play-Along mp3’s and Charts)

Rhythm Blog

Here are sequenced mp3’s and charts for a short piece I wrote for Bb trumpet, trombone, electric bass, and drums called September Counterpoint (2010). There are frequent meter changes and two tempo changes. It’s a simple twelve-tone piece that was recorded on Monthly Meeting September 2010. Enjoy reading and playing along.

RHYTHM BLOG: Two Polyrhythms or Rhythmic Ratios in 3/4

Rhythm Blog

So, this is the first Rhythm Blog post. Please visit the About page for an explanation of this blog….

As with all posts that will appear on this blog, this post is meant as a kernel to spur your own ideas. If you begin by mastering this small idea, you’ll probably find yourself with many more ideas and concepts. While I work on this idea mainly behind a drumset or as a rhythmic compositional device, this can be applied to any instrument or situation…


This post will compare repeating quarter note triplets and repeating dotted eighth notes in 3/4 time and the various related situations that arise. These two polyrhythms, or rhythmic ratios as I like to call them, occur between the quarter note and the respective repeating rhythmic values. Triplet quarters over quarters is a common example of 3 over 2 and dotted eighths over quarters of 4 over 3. For more on rhythmic ratios check out the polyrhythms/rhythmic ratios page.