Jazz drummer and educator John Riley’s book Beyond Bop Drumming is full of concepts that are extremely challenging yet musical. Recently, in addition to digging into many of the advanced four-way coordination concepts in John’s book, I attended multiple clinics by Steve Smith, who’s renowned for musically incorporating Indian rhythms and odd groupings into his playing. A combination of these two influences inspired this article’s concepts. We’ll focus on playing a five-note grouping in a jazz context, taking a figure and varying it several different ways against a typical jazz ride pattern.

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