Three over Four Triplet Groupings
by Tim Lake
jazz drumming #idea 43
Playing three over four is a very common musical device, especially so with groups of triplets in 4/4. You can hear Jimmy Cobb playing something like this on So What, but it also crops up on many other records in fills and solos from many other jazz drummers.
By dropping every fourth triplet beat you get a figure that repeats three times over the 4/4 bar. (A).
The intention here is to play it hand to hand with single strokes and get used to the feeling of it.
Once it gets comfortable trying play just the first two triplets of every four (A1) and then just the first triplet of every four (A2) which gives you a three over four polyrhythm.
Next, try moving through each exercise and back A → A1 → A2 → A1 → A.
Experiment with moving the figures around the kit.
Experiment with hands-on separate sound sources to see what sounds emerge.
Experiment with a variety of sticking patterns (RLL / LRR / RRL / LLR)
Finally playing the figure on the snare drum with one hand and jazz time on the ride cymbal.
Practice with a metronome and with feet keeping basic time.
The PDF contains the three other possible placements of the pattern and I think you can work out the rest from there.
Next time, we will play with some ways to voice some similar ideas as comping figures.
Have fun. Make music.