bloody rich's drummer survival guide
odd timing

Odd Timing
Find the accents - stress those. The most important thing to remember when playing ion odd timings - make it groove. Make it sound "NOT ODD." pink Floyd's MONEY is a great example. Most people never noticed it was in 7 at first.

A good way to start play an odd time is to break it down into parts. Does the beat sound "4/4" part of the time? Then play that part of the bar like it was 4/4.

For 7/8: Play it like a bar of 4/4 (snare on 2 & 4, except in reality those are 8th notes not quarters).home
Then a bar of 3/4 (snare on 2 or on 2 & 3). 12341231234123
Accent on 1 is common.

5/4: Common feel is like a 3/4 then a bar of 2/4 = 1 2 3 1 2, or..a bar of 6/8 and a bar of 2/4 - So a '1-2-3-1-2-3' [8th note feel] then '1-2-1-2' – 10 8th notes or 5 quarters.... works out to 1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-1-2-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-1-2.

There are so many ways to accent that:
1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-1-2-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-1-2. accent can be snare or bass drum
1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-1-2-1-2-3-1-2-3-1-2-1-2. home
etc. etc...

9/8: Can be played like 3 bars of 3/4, or a bar of 4/4 then a bar of 5/4

Practice playing in odd timings using a metronome.

Accent on 1 is common in many odd timings- BUT NOT TOO MUCH - you want the 1 to be clear but not 'WE'RE PLAYING AN ODD TIMING SO WE NEED TO SMACK THE ONE SO WE KNOW WHERE IT IS." And don't be too clever or use odd timings just to show how great you are on drums.

VERY IMPORTANT - To play drums, and odd timing sespecially, you need a good sense of 'TIMING.'

btw - check out the drum jokes section for the great joke on a drummer who can play in 7 [near botoom of jokes page]...