VIDEO LESSON! Progressive Drumming Essentials, Part 2: Demystifying Polyrhythms

This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the August 2015 issue, which can be purchased at:

Rock Perspectives

Progressive Drumming Essentials

Part 2: Demystifying Polyrhythms

by Aaron Edgar

Polyrhythms, which are two contrasting subdivisions played simultaneously, can create beautifully hypnotic, entrancing patterns that dance around the pulse. They can also weave themselves into complete and utter chaos. Sometimes, when hidden subtly enough, polyrhythms enhance the music more subliminally. In recent years, bands like Meshuggah, Animals as Leaders, and Tool have played a major role in keeping polyrhythms popular. For progressive drummers, learning polyrhythms is a rite of passage.

When you’re beginning to learn polyrhythms, you need to have a handle on independence, and your time has to be solid. You also must be ready to work your mental muscle—the brain. The best way to begin mastering polyrhythms is to break them down into their most basic form. Whether you’re already a polyrhythm ninja looking to fine-tune your skills or you’re simply poly-curious, working through the steps in this video will put you well on your way to twisting rhythms like never before.

For additional insight, as well as transcriptions of the examples explained below, check out the complete article in the August 2015 issue, which can be purchased at:


Learn more about the August 2015 issue