DAY 25 – Theory

3/4 meter – various ways of dividing time

Among the various types of rhythmic pulsation, exercises based on the number 3 are very interesting because of the possibility of tact division.

I will illustrate on several examples how you can divide 3/4 time meter into other interesting periods of time.

1. Pulse based on a quarter notes

This is the most obvious division. The main note of tact determines the character of the exercises built, which is illustrated by the examples on the snare drum and drum set.

2. Pulse based on eight notes

By dividing the main note into eight notes ​​- and counting in eights – you get a much more interesting opportunity to build grooves and fills. You can group six eights in a bar in several ways:

-2×3 eights,

-3×3 eights,

-2×2 quarter notes + 2 eights,


By changing the counting, you can change the nature of the pulse, but all the time being embedded in a fixed time signature.

3. Pulse based on sixteenths

It’s more interesting when you play even more densely by introducing sixteen notes.

Thanks to this, you have even more possibilities of 3/4 meter division, i.e:

-3×1 quarter note

-2×3 eights

-3×2 eights

-3×4 sixteenths

-4×3 sixteenths

Of course, this is not all counting options (we can combine the ones above, e.g. 2×2 eights + 4 sixteenths, etc.), but the last two seem to be the most interesting.

You can group sixteenths not only in 3 groups of 4 notes, but also in 4 groups of 3 sixteenths and it gives an amazing effect as if the meter played in the drumming.

A typical 3/4 time signature is made as if it were a 4/4 time signature counted by triplets. Of course, the 3/4 meter is preserved, but the impression of pulsation changes.

That’s enough of theory at the beginning of this lesson, go to practical exercises that will allow you to move freely in 3/4 meter and any three-pulse exercises!