The excerpt below is taken from the complete article that appears in the July 2015 issue,
which is available here.
Progressive Drumming Essentials
Part 1: Understanding Odd Time Signatures
by Aaron Edgar
Before we start playing sick proggy grooves in 17/16, let’s start at the beginning and define time signatures. Time signatures tell us the length of a bar, or measure. This is done with a pair of numbers. The bottom number refers to a subdivision (4 = quarter notes, 8 = 8th notes, and 16 = 16th notes), and the top number tells us how many of those notes are included in one measure.
In the video below, we demonstrate some of the exercises included in the article, which cover quarter-note meters (4/4 and 5/4), 8th-note meters (7/8, 12/8, and 11/8), and 16th-note meters (17/16, 15/16, and 21/16).
Be sure to check out the article in the July issue for transcriptions and more detail on how to master these basics of odd-time drumming.