I’ve been listening to Meshuggah off and on since I heard Chaosphere in 1999 but haven’t broken any of their music down until recently.
Dan Weiss gets all the thanks for the inspiration. After attending one of his drum clinics I decided I would transcribe one of their riffs to use in my practice for a few days.
I started listening to the album Nothing while shoveling snow a few weeks ago and the first verse in the song Glints Collide kept grabbing me. It starts at about the 30 second mark and while it sounds complex at first, it’s pretty straight forward.
It makes the most sense to write out in 4/4 time, but the riff is just a repeating pattern of 7/8 (4 times) that starts on beat 2. This leaves one extra quarter note on 4 of the last measure. I placed an accent where the 7/8 pattern starts each time.
And here’s what it looks like adapted as an eighth note comping pattern against a swing ride cymbal beat. All eighth notes are swung. Play HH on 2 & 4.
This is just the beginning. Here are a few ways I’ve practiced with this pattern:
- Work through various permutations to adjust where it starts or ends.
- Play HH with left foot on quarter notes.
- Play HH with left foot as dotted quarter notes.
- Play HH with left foot on all upbeats.
- Feather the bass drum and play the pattern between the left hand and left foot.
- Improvise a ride cymbal pattern that compliments the snare and bass drum part.
- Drop the ride cymbal and fill the space between the bass/snare on the toms.
Have fun and let me know if you come up with a more interesting way to use this kind of material in your practice routine.