Polyrhythms Simplified : Two Over Three Intro
Polyrhythms are essentially two or more contrasting rhythms played simultaneously. To dive head first into this we’ll take the easiest example; two over three. In order to create this rhythm, first, we need three beats we can imply two over.
Taking our three bass drum quarter notes as the pulse, now we have something to work with. In order to equally space two notes over the same time frame, we need to subdivide this into eighth notes and play every third one of them. To start we’ll put a note on beat one, then in between two and three, on the “and” of two.
It may be a little awkward at first to get your body to play this rhythm, but once you have it under control we need to learn how it relates to actual music. Otherwise it’s just a grouping of notes. To do so, I’ve related it to a rock beat that I’m sure you’ve all heard.
In this example I changed time signature, but the important part is to understand how this rhythm relates to music.
Now that we have a decent understanding of the most basic polyrhythm : two over three. We can now dress it up a little bit. Let’s move our first note onto beat two and continue our hihats as eighth notes like we had in the groove.
There you have it! The most basic polyrhythm under your belt! Scroll below to learn more!
I hope you enjoyed the out takes and Professor Catt Halpern!