Leicester Drum School Blog

Leicester Drum School Blog

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FREE DRUM LESSONS!!! This blog will incorporate drum lessons, drum patterns, music theory, advice, random drum related stuff... just anything related to drumming, teaching them and learning how to play them. This service is provided for free. Hopefully, you'll find it useful. http://leicesterdrumschool.co.uk

Jazz Waltz in 6/4?

Drum lessons (advanced)Posted by Richard Thu, May 08, 2014 12:57:58
Yesterday, I pulled out an old worksheet I prepared about 6 years ago. It was a transcription of a "jazz waltz" pattern from a Van Morrison / Georgie Fame tune, "Early in the Morning" (I can't find the right version on YouTube, otherwise I'd link to it here).

In my original transcription, I'd written it out in 9/8, which obviously made sense at the time because there are three beats in the bar and it's played with a swing feel. The problem with this though is that it splits the pattern over two bars, which is kind of weird… and I now believe it to be incorrect.

Only when I looked at the pattern again yesterday did it dawn on me that it should be in 6/4. The pattern is a half-feel based around a dotted minim pulse. It makes much more sense this way and I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I originally wrote it out!

It's a really nice pattern. At one point there's a tied note in the ride cymbal pattern which makes it really jazzy. And the stepped hi-hat pattern gives it a 'skippy' sort of feel.

So, is it still a jazz waltz if it has six beats to the bar? Hmm. I must admit, I've always though of waltzes as having three beats, but this 6/4 pattern is phrased in two groups of three. I think it might still be a waltz. Here's a worksheet with both 9/8 and 6/4 versions of the pattern so you can judge for yourselves.

You can download it here.