'R L L F' Exercise Syncopated In 6/8

A syncopated 4 note pattern in 6/8 using the grouping from a previous exercise.

In this very brief lesson you will be creating a 6/8 variation of the 'R L L F' exercise learned in an earlier lesson. Despite the change to a compound time signature, you wil be retaining the simple time grouping of four to create some syncopation. If you weren't to play to a click this will sound like playing in 3/4. On paper this is a fairly easy transistion as you just need to play the grouping three times, however the application to a compound timing means groupings don't always start where you expect and it is very easy to loose your place. The important part of this exercise is how it fits in relation to the beats of a bar of 6/8.

This lesson will be fairly brief as you will just be applying one grouping to a new time signature. The intention is to improve your ability to play around with syncopation whilst giving new ideas for both the application of the 'R L L F' sticking and fill/groove construction within 6/8.

The exercise looks like this:

The R L L F exercise in 6/8

As you can see the groupings fall across the beam. It is highly important that you play this exercise with a metronome to get the feel of it against the groups of 3s of 6/8.

You can also apply accents and ghost notes as with the previous exercise. We'll keep it simple and accent the right and ghost the left, that would look like this:

The R L L F exercise in 6/8

For now that is all I will cover. In following lessons you will look at using the grouping in fill and groove construction which will involve both some simple orchestration and more more complicated ideas. In the mean time, spend time working on getting comfortable playing the groups of four over groups of sixes.


  1. Using the 2 minute rule, get the exercise up to a tempo of around 180bpm.
  2. Experiment with orchestrating the exercise.
  3. Try applying the grouping as a fill.
  4. Add an eighth foot count. This is quite a difficult co ordination challenge.