This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the February 2016 issue, which is available here.

Rock Perspectives

Progressive Drumming Essentials

Part 7: Beat Displacement

Has a song ever caught your ear in just the right kind of wrong way, leaving the music feeling twisted? You knew the musicians were playing together correctly, and you might have even been familiar with the song, but what you felt as beat 1 was somehow wrong.

We can create this effect using beat displacement. It’s primarily used as a rhythmic illusion that shifts the pulse against the rest of the music. We can also use it as a tool for writing new, interesting patterns.

Let’s take an ordinary drum groove and push the beat forward by an 8th note. Our right hand will continue playing straight 8th notes on the ride cymbal, so we’re only shifting the kick and snare notes forward. What was originally on beat 1 will now be on the “&” of 1…

Check out a video demonstration of the exercises below.

Aaron Edgar

For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the February 2016 issue, which is available here.

Learn about the February 2016 issue of Modern Drummer featuring Adam Deitch