Right Hand Crotchets In 12/8 Grooves

An idea for using odd groupings for the right hand in 12/8.

In this lesson you will be applying an odd grouping of notes to the right hand when playing in 12/8. The groupings you would expect to see in this time signature would be either dotted crotchets or four sets of three quavers, but in these grooves you will be playing six crotchets. This gives the groove a more 'simple time signature' feel and can provide a really cool variation when a piece uses straight 12/8 throughout. This idea has also been covered in the time signature of 6/8 and you can find a link to this lesson at the bottom of the page.

There are two ways to notate the right hand part. The first is to follow the groupings rules of compound time signatures and the second is to follow the rules of simple time signatures. The compound version will look like this:

The compound time version of the rhythmic notation.

And the simple version like this:

The simple time version of the rhythmic notation

I find the second of these represents the fact that the right hand is playing an odd grouping best and it is also a little less cluttered so this form of notation will be used below. In terms of playing this part, the right hand falls on all odd counted notes. So '1', '3', '5', '7', '9' and '11'.

Listed below are some examples of this right hand concept applied with kicks and snares. For this first lesson I haven't applied any 16th notes, but these will be covered in a later lesson. In the first groove I have deliberately used constant eighth notes to make where the right hands fall a little clearer.

Example 1

A 12/8 groove with crotchets on the right hand


Example 2

A 12/8 groove with crotchets on the right hand


Example 3

A 12/8 groove with crotchets on the right hand


Example 4

A 12/8 groove with crotchets on the right hand


Example 5

A 12/8 groove with crotchets on the right hand


TASKS

  • Using the 2 minute rule, get all grooves up to a tempo of at least 120bpm.
  • Create your own kick/snare variations on these patterns. Write as many down as possible.
  • Use these patterns as part of a Structured Pattern. This idea works well as both a fill or groove.
  • Experiment with different right hand rhythms in 12/8 grooves.