FROM DRUM! MAGAZINE’S MARCH 2018 ISSUE | BY MUSICIANS INSTITUTE DRUM PROGRAM FACULTY
Lesson by Sammy Watson
Similar to implied metric modulation but different in terms of rhythmic composition, metric modulation establishes a set pattern in one note value and then applies that same pattern to a different note value. This is a very effective technique in creating an illusion of time speeding up or slowing down. Just as with the previous lessons, counting is imperative to maintaining the established tempo and downbeat placement.
A preliminary exercise, Ex. 1, is to simply play an eighth-note triplet-based groove with the hi-hat playing a template of steady eighth-note triplets, the bass drum on beats 1 and 3, and the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. Play this pattern for two bars and then move the placement of the bass drum and snare drum to land on every other eighth-note triplet.
Ex. 2 replaces the first two bars with straight eighth-notes on the hi-hat.
Ex. 3 adds a new wrinkle by modifying the bass drum pattern to incorporate sixteenth-notes.
We can create the illusion of slowing down by returning to Ex. 1 and placing the bass drum and snare drum alternating on every fourth eighth-note triplet (Ex. 4).
Ex. 5 blends this idea with Ex. 3, with the added sixteenth-note taking us to another planet.
Create your own groove and apply this concept. Pick a favorite song and apply this concept.