Write Creative Drum Parts, Part 2: Anticipated Rhythms

Original article from the June 2011 issue of Modern Drummer Magazine

June 2011

Rock ‘N’ Jazz Clinic

Write Creative Drum Parts

Part 2: Anticipated Rhythms

by Chris Prescott

In part one of this series (April 2011), we discussed various ways to make a direct connection with the rhythms found in other musicians’ parts.

For this installment, I’d like to take a slightly broader approach. In addition to the interpretation of the rhythm of a song’s melody, it is extremely important to know simply how the music flows from measure to measure. We can observe this through the way chords and melodies are introduced and stressed within the meter. The downbeat on the 1 often maintains the strongest emphasis, but this isn’t always the case. Listen closely to the music and notice if melodies or chord movements are instead anticipated.

An anticipation is defined as a rhythmic attack that occurs ahead of the downbeat. Using a typical measure of 4/4 time as an example, we expect a strong beat on the downbeat of 1. If this accent is moved ahead to the “&” of beat 4 of the previous measure, then the accented note occurs an 8th note earlier than expected. This anticipation gives music forward motion that effectively builds momentum and energy.

The mp3s below illustrate a few ways you can accentuate these anticipated rhythms within your grooves and fills.

8th-Note Guitar Strumming Rhythm With Anticipation

8th-Note Drum Interpretations

Rest On On

8th-Note Fills

16th-Note Guitar Strumming Rhythm With Anticipation

16th-Note Drum Interpretations

16th-Note Fills

Check out the complete article in the June 2011 issue for transcriptions and additional insight.

Modern Drummer Studio Specs

  • Apple MacBook Pro laptop
  • Ableton Live digital audio workstation
  • M-Audio Profire 2626 audio interface
  • M-Audio Octane 8-channel preamp
  • Moon Mics sub-frequency kick mic
  • Shure microphones (Beta 52A, Beta 56A, SM57, Beta 98AMP, KSM32, KSM44A, Beta 181, Beta 91A, KSM137)
  • Direct Sound Extreme Isolation headphones
  • Zoom Q3HD Handy Video Recorder