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125 free video drumset lessons Discover the 'LOST KEY' for Unraveling ALL the mysteries of rhythm, and musical time.

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Bill Powelson's School of Drums

PRIVATE DRUM LESSON 13 E-M
"Classic Swing 5/4"

Copyright 1998 Bill Powelson all rights reserved

Classic Swing 5/4

If you have mastered the Jazz Waltz beat in the previous lesson, this will be a piece of cake. 5/4 is a very uncommon time . . . based on five quarter notes to the bar, it has a somewhat lop-sided and uncomfortable feel.

The Permutation and Time Signature lessons have taught us that there are at least 1,099,511,627,776 potential variations of 5/4. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that this one single version, the 'Swing' version is by far the most notable.

After studying it here, it may be helpful to locate and listen to a song based on this rhythm. One old jazz tune comes to mind. Look for a song called 'Take Five' by Dave Brubeck. I think this song has hit the charts two separate times. Most of the larger record stores should be able you order you a copy. It was originally on an album called 'Time Out' by Dave Brubeck.

This Classic Swing version of 5/4 is really very simple if you already have the Jazz Waltz memorized. Simply add two more quarter notes to Jazz Waltz and repeat indefinitely. The math is simple: 2/4 + 3/4 = 5/4. Play around with this beat and discover your own variations. It may help to mention that all your expertise with Swing Independence will come in handy as you begin to experiment with variations of this unique and different beat pattern.

FILLS: It may be best to begin all your fills on the first count of the measure. If you play 5 groups of most fills . . . you will come out on the first count of the next measure. Later on, you may want to experiment with fills that begin on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even the 5th count of the measure. Again, the only thing that really matters is that you maintain the five count flow in every bar. If you lose track in the middle of a song, the entire band will come apart like a house of cards. It can get downright ugly! Be careful!

VIDEO: 5/4 with a single stroke fill, beginning on the 3rd count of the bar.

* If you've entered this site dierectly from a 'search engine' or 'outside' link, you may have missed it all! This is a complete ($2,000.00) structured course in drum set techniques. Many of the former students will tell you it's possibly the best course of it's kind, in the World . . . and it's totally free.

* Before you leave . . . Look for the four 'Lesson Menus' in the left column. See exactly what it is, you are leaving! Everthing you'll need to become a working, professional drummer . . . is here. Take the time to study ALL these lessons . . . ONE-AT-A-TIME. Make a BOOKMark on 'Lesson Menu #1' and return often. Work your way through ALL these lessons slowly, as if you were taking weekly lessons with a private instructor. That's what this site is all about; It's A FREE PRIVATE COURSE IN DRUMMING, with a teacher who has been playing and teaching longer than you've been alive.

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Copyright Bill Powelson 1996 all rights reserved.