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

Rock Perspectives

Five and Seven Over Two

Exploring Odd Polyrhythms

by Aaron Edgar
The key to internalizing any polyrhythm is to feel how the rhythm interacts with the pulse. In its most basic form, we can build a five-over-two polyrhythm by playing every other quintuplet partial over two beats. This is demonstrated in Exercise 1 with counts written below the notation. Be sure to count out loud, and play your bass drum on the “ta” of each beat. The goal is to play consistent quarter notes with your bass drum—they shouldn’t feel like offbeats. Starting on beat 1, play every second quintuplet partial with your right hand while keeping an even spacing throughout the five-note grouping. “Ka” in beat 2 should feel almost like a slightly rushed offbeat 16th note.

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