The Metal Teacher I never had…
I posted a lesson on how to play a 4:3 polyrhythm a few months back and there has been a lot of confusion surrounding it. Some people think I’m playing triplets or some sort of Polymeter or even playing at a different tempo. Hopefully this brief explanation will clear things right up! In my video lesson I’m playing a repeating three 16th note pattern. Now each beat is comprised of four 16th notes, we all know this, so all I’m doing remember is accenting every three instead of every four. Now keep in mind I’m not doing anything different tempo wise, just moving along with the 16th note subdivisions. So to visually help all of you “see” what I’m doing, let’s write out the actual notation and see how if all falls into place!
Step 1: Here are the three beats (3/4) of 16th notes. As you can see I’ve labeled each beat. Here is what this sounds like-
Step 2: Here I’ve marked (with a star) the three 16th note pattern moving across the three beats. THESE ARE NOT TRIPLETS!
Here is what just the 3 note pattern sounds like-
Step 3: Playing this way creates four evenly spaced hits on top of, over, three quarter notes. This pattern will land on the down beat of 1 every three beats. We put them together thus creating a 4:3 Polyrhythm, yay!!! Try and count (or hear) each part separately even when played together.
Here is what they sound like together-