Hemiola vs. Polyrhythm

mrfingers

Senior Member
It's really not cool to derail the conversation into talking about your feelings/theories when somebody asks a legit music question. This is a music forum. If you don't like people knowing and/or using music words, do something else.
I agree and it would be really helpful to those of us less trained in the finer points of drumming to give drumming examples. We are drummers, after all. Play 3:2 for example.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Apparently Todd is angry. I'm not. As far as being a nameless internet idiot, I'm anything but. Below is my contact info. Feel free.

Jerome Fourmy DBA John Wesley Gibson (johnwesleygibson@yahoo.com)
4925 East Kathleen Rd
Scottsdale AZ 85254
602-501-0662

I never said anything about a person's gender or sexual preference. I suggest you quit feeling so guilty about whatever it is that's bothering you. This post has gotten way off course.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
no man, I've been dealing with nameless idiots on the internet forever. just another day at the races.

not that you care-- because you're a troll-- but when someone asks a question you don't know the answer to, you don't have to pipe in to shit on everyone who does, and on the questioner for asking. you CAN actually shut up and learn something. or comment on one of the other ten thousand threads that are about your feelings.
 
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johnwesley

Silver Member
So now I've advanced from nameless idiot to troll. You my friend are the one that can't deal with opposing ideas and others opinions. Consequently you resort to name calling. I don't care to surround myself with only those of the same thoughts and ideas. If I disagree, so what? Lighten up dude. You have your ideas, I have mine. Nothing to get all wound up about. I'm simply expressing an opinion that music (drumming,) doesn't require a Masters degree to prove you're good. If you want a Masters or Phd, fine. But neither will get you through 3 hours on stage every night and putting an audience in a euphoric frenzy. Again. Lighten up.
 

danondrums

Well-known member
no man, I've been dealing with nameless idiots on the internet forever. just another day at the races.

not that you care-- because you're a troll-- but when someone asks a question you don't know the answer to, you don't have to pipe in to shit on everyone who does, and on the questioner for asking. you CAN actually shut your face and learn something. or comment on one of the other ten thousand threads that are about your feelings.
Thanks Todd - What you're doing reminds me of how Tommy Igoe runs his facebook page.
There is zero room for ignorance and he deletes anyone who questions anyone else's learning process.
I think it's great, and it's time to start calling out those who interject unhelpful and off topic opinions so that they stop.
 
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toddbishop

Platinum Member
Oh thanks Dan-- it's not my forum to police, but non-gear, non-opinion conversations are so rare on here that I get annoyed when idiots try to derail them.

For anyone interested in playing music, I've written a ton of stuff on this subject-- maybe too much, but I'm developing material for a book. It's actually really basic-- as a rhythmic idea, and as drumming vocabulary, and as drumming coordination. A whole lot of what we do comes from that 3:2 polyrhythm-- without it we'd all be playing marches.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Well, it's a question of awareness, and how much music you know. I don't see it as an exercise, I see is as straight rhythm DNA; so understanding it in your playing means you understand where a whole lot of common rhythm comes from. It's everywhere in jazz, funk, rock, New Orleans, Brazilian, Cuban/Caribbean, and African music, and other Afro-Latin musics. Which is 95% of the universe, as far as percussion is concerned. If you spent any time with my funk stuff, you would notice how many ordinary funk rhythms are just straight permutations of a hemiola rhythm, fit into 2, 4, or 8 beats. As are any number of familiar Latin rhythms.

For how it relates to jazz drumming, you might start by reading the meter within meter chapter of Jack Dejohnette's book. Anyone who has spent any time with Elvin Jones's playing knows what I'm talking about. Or Roy Haynes, or Tony Williams, or Zigaboo Modeliste, or Idris Muhammad, or Ed Blackwell, or Max Roach, or Mel Lewis... it gets kind of silly, because the list is endless. Spending the next 5-10 years learning how to play an Afro 6 groove in a meaningful way would give some insight into it.
 

ZackP

Junior Member
And I have a little extra disappointment when someone tells someone "your questions aren't valid" and implies that this type of question would hold somebody back from growing musically.
I guess we shouldn’t differentiate rhythms either. Terminology is key and drumming is not simple.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Same here. A series of subdivisions is not hemiola. A hemiola, at least in classical terms, has the effect of a temporary time signature change, in order to momentarily create rhythmic tension.

A hemiola occurs when we group notes in a way that is not evenly divisible among a measure. So, the grouping, if continued, will traverse the bar line. Some definitions of hemiola insist that the bar line is crossed by the grouping, at least according to the faculty at Wayne State University.
So it seems there are two excluding definitions of hemiola in this thread now:
a) a hemiola is a 3:2 polyrhythm;
b) a hemiola is an odd grouping, like groups of three 16ths, if I got brentcn's post correctly.

As far as I know, hemiolas are not polyrhythmic, but a kind of syncopation that gives the illusion of a new time signature. German wikipedia gives the following example:
 

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Supernoodle

Senior Member
Listened to at a couple of examples on YT, the term seems to come from classical music. Easier to hear than describe.

I would agree with johnwesley that music theory can get a bit over the top. 90 percent of us primarily need to worry about the feel and articulation of what we intend to play. But I have deep respect for those who have mastered this and can look into more advanced theory...

Also, for most of us knowing/quoting theory is not going to be popular with the rest of the band!
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
So it seems there are two excluding definitions of hemiola in this thread now:
a) a hemiola is a 3:2 polyrhythm;
b) a hemiola is an odd grouping, like groups of three 16ths, if I got brentcn's post correctly.

As far as I know, hemiolas are not polyrhythmic, but a kind of syncopation that gives the illusion of a new time signature. German wikipedia gives the following example:
This is what I'm talking about. We now have various definitions of what is or isn't. It's drums. Play 'em. Enjoy 'em.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Oh come on, I think you made your point already. It's good now. Discuss the matter or just read, or stay away from the thread.
You don't seriously think I will enjoy playing drums less because of this thread and discussion, do you?
 
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