This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the March 2016 issue, which is available here.
Progressive Drumming Essentials
Part 8: Advanced Beat Displacement
To take our beat displacement prowess to a higher level, we’ll learn how to shift the pulse by smaller increments. Let’s focus on displacing grooves by a 16th note. A great example of this idea can be heard on the track “I’m Tweaked/Attack of the 20lb Pizza,” off Vinnie Colaiuta’s self-titled solo album.
Before you can start shifting the downbeat at will, you need to first learn how it feels to displace a groove to each 16th-note position against a quarter-note pulse. The most important thing to remember in these first examples is to stay rooted in the pulse. You don’t want to misperceive your displacement and end up feeling beat 1 in the wrong place. Counting out loud will force you to feel the pulse correctly. Playing quarter notes with your hi-hat foot or bobbing your head to the beat also helps to feel these rhythms properly.
Check out a video demonstration of the exercises below.
For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the March 2016 issue, which is available here.