Getting Out Of Comfort Zones With Oddtime 6/8 Drumbeats

beat patterns4/4 timings get a little boring after awhile. Even in the laid back atmosphere of the blues, a little spice and experimentation can be a great thing to add further atmosphere and emotion.

6/8 drumbeats may seem a little odd at first, as most musicians are used to playing in fours (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).

As with most things, though, change can be a great thing as long as you use to it better your music. If you add a 6/8 passage just to say you did it, then your music will suffer as it will seem out of place.

Today we will discuss basic 6/8 drumbeat patterns that, when used tastefully, can make a world of difference in your heart wrenching blues piece.

Basic Tips In Learning 6/8 Drum Beat Pattern

The first thing you need to learn is how to count in 6/8. Unlike 4/4, you will not use the ‘and system’ to count your 6/8 passages. Get your metronome and, without touching your sticks, sit behind your kit. In fact, turn your chair away from your kit. Lay your palms flat on your knees. Now with your main hand, clap your knee along to the following rhythm:

1 2 3 2 2 3
1 2 3 2 2 3

Notice the larger numbers. Those are the starting counts, separating the measure in halves. When clapping your knee along to the metronome, the larger numbers will fall on the click, the smaller italicized numbers the counts between the clicks.

Get The Help Of A Metronome

If you are having trouble getting a feel of the rhythm, chances are your notes values are off. Slow your metronome down and focus your attention on the evenness of the clapped notes between each click. Once you feel more comfortable clapping along at a slower pace, speed the metronome up a bit.

Blues isn’t about speed, so you have no need to bring your metronome up to a tempo such as, say, 180bmp.

Once you have a feel for the tempo, the next step is to learn a simple groove. This simple blues groove, made using Guitar Pro 6, involves three voices; the ride, the snare drum, and the bass drum.

68 drumbeats

Download the .gtp file for the lesson ( Right click and Save As... )

If you do not have Guitar Pro 6 yet, you can download it instantly here…

Take note of how conservative this pattern is. There are no overpowering voices, just an easy, steady pattern. Blues drumming isn’t about stealing the audience’s attention with jaw dropping feats of dexterity or finesse. Blues drumming is about helping develop and deliver the intended emotion of the piece. When you write your own drum fills for the blues, keep this in mind. You don’t want to try and incite a war for power with the other instruments; you want to compliment them.

Writing Your Own Blues Drum Fills

When approaching blues writing, try to think about what you can give the piece, not about what the piece can do to showcase your abilities.

As with all lessons, when you are able to play this 6/8 drumbeat, try and create your own patterns. Build off of this groove; try adding your own instrumentation, or remove other voices to give it a different feel. Most importantly, keep your heart in your music, as this is what the 6/8 blues are all about.



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