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Learning 7/8 Odd Time

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

Learning how to play in an odd-time signature can be a bit challenging at first. This is especially true if you’re only used to playing in 4/4 time. In this free drum lesson, Jared Falk teaches you how to play your first 7/8 drum beat and drum fill, and a couple of exercises that will help you develop the feel for playing in 7/8 odd-time signature. He also goes a little bit into how the numbers of a time signature relate to the way you count it out, and to what you see in a measure of music.

Most professional drummers tend to split odd-time signatures into groups of two and three counts. If you feel like counting to seven is a little too much, split this odd meter into smaller groupings of 8th notes like 2-2-3. This way, you can count patterns in 7/8 like so: 1 2-1 2-1 2 3.

You can use any drum beat and drum fill featured on this website for coming up with some fresh ideas in 7/8 odd-time signature. How do you achieve that? Glad you asked! The top number of 4/4 means that there are four counts in a measure. The bottom number of 4/4 means that the quarter note takes those counts. In a measure of 4/4 time you have eight 8th notes. So you can actually think of 4/4 as being 8/8. If you remove one of the 8th notes from 8/8 you get 7/8. By removing a single 8th note from any pattern in 4/4 time you get a new one in 7/8 time. If you’d like to explore this concept right away, use the drum beats from the free drum lesson “Beginner Cross Sticking” to get started.

Once you’re done with this free drum lesson, we encourage you to check the free drum lesson “Beginner 7/8 Drum Fills“. This free drum lesson is the first of a series of three that will have you learning beginner to advanced drum fills in 7/8 odd-time signature.


This Lesson Has 11 Comments

  • Bob Sayer says:

    Seems to me You’re learning also according to the Bloopers!!
    Does that mean I need to Bloop to Learn?

  • Eddie says:

    Thus if 4/4 time equals to 8/8 eight notes and we’re removing one eight note, it cant be equal to a 4/4 anymore but as a 3/4 + 1/8(or 7/8) because the last beat isnt equal to two eight notes?

  • Arijan says:

    I don’t understand this quite its 7/8 but you can play quarter notes?That part confuses me if you can play quarter notes what makes it different from 7/4 time?Is it just the speed of playing or what that really confuses me

    • Janado says:

      Hey Arijan.

      Read the small write-up just below the video. It explains what you want to know.

      Take care.

    • mitchell says:

      quarter notes in 7/8 time would be counted 1, 3, 5, 7. The reason quarter notes in 8 time make the 1 last until the 3 and the 3 last until the 5 and so fourth is because 2 eighths make a quarter and because were in 8 time we count eighths notes (stems joined with one single line) 1,2,3,4… instead of 1 and 2 and 3 and…… which we would in 4/4 because 2 eighths make one quarter count. Also its important to point out we could not count 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 as eighth notes in 4/4 because then we couldn’t fit an ‘and/eighth note’ on 7 to take us back the 1 because there is simply no room for it. This is exactly why we have 4 time (common time) and 8 time.

  • Raul says:

    Would love to see a Odd Meter System in the near future. Also the Drum Fill System with discs and books!

  • Changos says:

    “so simple” hahaha

  • Matt Shank says:

    The bloopers are great. Lol.

  • Sandi says:

    Nice work, but can you take it a level up at the 7/8 time signature? I mean some intermediate / advanced beats / fills.
    Oh, and once again, good explaining! :)

    • Janado says:

      Hey Sandi,

      Check the small write-up just below the video. There, you’ll find some tips on how to come up with new drum beats and drum fills of your own.

      Take care and have fun.

  • Daniel Chong says:

    lol, thanks for the update and btw nice bloopers!

 
 

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