Syncopation/Displacement – fundamental exercises

In this lesson, we’ll start to deal with a tricky and very useful concept – displacement and syncopation. What exactly is displacement – it’s when you take a pulse or a count, and you place it somewhere other than the standard quarter-note count. For example, if we were counting quarter note accents within 16th notes: R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L – the first R of each of these would be on the ‘1, 2 ,3 ,4’. In between each of those ‘R’s, we have ‘L R L’, or to re-imagine them… we’ll call them ‘e & a’ so across a sixteenth-note count we end up with:

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a

Now instead of placing the right-hand accent on the 1, 2 ,3 ,4, we can displace the quarter-note accent by a sixteenth note by placing it on either the ‘e’, ‘&’ or ‘a’.

In this lesson, I’ll present a few exercises to help you hear what this displacement sounds like, and get you used to displacing on each of these variants.

Loop exercise 1 – 16th note displacement on snare

Loop exercise 2 – 16th note displacement, tom accents

Displacement Lesson – Part 2

Taking things a stage further, we’re going to work on holding down a basic displaced drum beat. Using the displacement pattern we’ve practiced above, we’re going to play a straight 4/4 beat but we’ll displace the right hand through the four sixteenth-note placements we’ve established.

Loop Exercise

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