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

Rock Perspectives

Progressive Drumming Essentials

Part 10: Implied Metric Modulation Madness

One of my favorite rhythmic tools is implied metric modulation. This trick can make music appear to change tempos dramatically. The modulation is implied because the tempo doesn’t actually change. The bpm will stay the same, but the pattern will feel faster or slower by changing its subdivision.

People commonly hear music with a bass drum on beat 1 and backbeat on beats 2 and 4. Using different subdivisions, we can spread out the backbeat spacing to imply that time has slowed down or compress it to suggest a faster tempo. In these first examples, we’re going to slow down an 8th-note rock groove by trading our 8th notes for dotted 8th notes, which are equivalent to three 16th notes.

Aaron Edgar

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


Modern Drummer magazine May 2016 issue