Right Hand '1 +a' Rhythm In 6/8

An interesting 6/8 groove construction idea that involves playing standard 16th note groupings to create a polymetric feel.

In this lesson you will be taking a standard 6/8 groove and applying a 1 + a rhythm to the right hand part. This rhythm has been covered in a couple of ways in 4/4 (see This Lesson) and the rhythm lends itself nicely to that time signature as the start of each grouping starts on a numbered count. However, when you try to play this in 6/8 you will notice that isn't the case. You would expect groupings within this time signature to fall in blocks of threes and sixes, so when applying a one beat grouping (such as the 1 +a rhythm) the blocks won't fall nicely inline with the bar. This makes for some quite interesting grooves when applied to the right hand.

What you essentially end up with is a very basic polymeter, a polymeter being where two time signatures are played together at the same time. The right hand part will be 3/4 and the kicks and snares in 6/8.

The right hand for the grooves shown on this page looks like this:

The right hand for this groove

So the bar follows the usual 6/8 grouping but is phrased in blocks of two eighth notes. I have included the phrase marking over the top to clarify what is happening. This polymetric feel can be drastically increased if you accent the 8th notes within this rhythm. I will include that in some examples below.

Listed below are several grooves where this right hand is used. I have tried to use a variety of construction ideas around this rhythm but remember to use it as a basis for constructing your own groove parts. As with all grooves where the rhythm of the right hand is important, try to use a voice that has a clear sound. So things like closed hi hats and rides rather than open hi hats and crashes.


Example 1

A 6/8 groove with a 1+a right hand.


Example 2

A 6/8 groove with a 1+a right hand.


Example 3

A 6/8 groove with a 1+a right hand.


Example 4

A 6/8 groove with a 1+a right hand.


Example 5

A 6/8 groove with a 1+a right hand.


TASK

  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get all grooves up to a tempo of at least dotted crotchets at 120bpm.
  2. Create further variations on these grooves.
  3. Apply these grooves to a phrased piece as either the groove or fill.
  4. .

Four Bar Phrases

Phrase 1

A four bar phrase using this concept


Phrase 2

A four bar phrase using this concept


Phrase 3

A four bar phrase using this concept