5 syncopated grooves in 3/4

5 different 3/4 grooves up for grabs today! These are some cool cycling ideas, in a way these particular beats are like 4/4 grooves compressed down into 3 beats, fitting wherever they can. Check out the grooves and their accompanying recordings!


Here we go!

Exercise 1: Back-beat on 3 with dotted 8th note kicks.



Exercise 2: Displaced back-beat on 3e with dotted 8th note kicks. This is basically a variation of exercise 1, with some extra notes and syncopation added in.



Exercise 3: Dotted 8th snares with a back-beat on 2. Notice the little linear pattern ending the bar. This exercise is interesting because of the 3 loud, evenly spaced snares. This beat is much more of a filler and gets tired a little too quickly to be used throughout a song.



Exercise 4: Anticipated back-beat on a before 2 and a back-beat on 3, kicks on downbeats. The quarter note kicks give a nice driving feel and steadiness while the hands move around over the top. This groove also has a little RRLL double on the hands. Also notice that the hands are playing singles RLRL through the rest of the groove.



Exercise 5: Snare on the 1, anticipated before the two and displaced after the three. This groove is a little bit more hard to follow and it feels like the bar could start just about anywhere. The two kicks feel very strong as the first kick is exactly halfway through the bar, the kick at the end of the bar sets up the 1 in an interesting way.


Make these grooves your own!

Playing in 3/4 in this way is always interesting. This steps outside of the 6/8 grooves or waltz styles we are used to. It’s almost like putting funk into a 3/4 style. These different patterns can be used as not just as beats. We can also use them as fills when playing in 3, providing for interesting grooves and flavours. Not only that, we could apply these beats to grooves that are in 4 as both fills and parts of our 4/4 beats. Have a play through all of these beats and see which you like. There are countless variations to add to make these exercises more interesting and take them further!

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