What is "Lift"? Part IV: Understanding the Offbeat in Compound Time

Compared to offbeats in simple time, offbeats in compound time are much simpler. Compound time uses beat groupings of three notes and the offbeat is located on the second note of these three note groupings. There are only three rhythmic variations in compound time that use offbeats: a grouping of three eighths commonly found in jigs or slip jigs a dot/cut group of three found in 6/8 or 9/8 marches, and a six-note grouping of sixteenths found in both the jig and 6/8 march styles. The following examples illustrate where these offbeats are found:

 

Offbeats in a Jig/Slip Jig

 

Accented beats using groups of three eighth notes

Accented offbeats using groups of three eighth notes

Accented beats using groups of six sixteenth notes

Accented offbeats using groups of six sixteenth notes

 

Offbeats in a 6/8 or 9/8 March

 

Accented beats using dot/cut notes

Accented offbeats using dot/cut notes

Accented beats using groups of six sixteenth notes 

Accented offbeats using groups of six sixteenth notes

Now that we know where the beat, backbeat and offbeat are located we need to discuss how to use this knowledge to create lift when composing a drum score. We'll be discussing this next week. Until then, happy drumming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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