All Rhythms Knowledge resource

ALL RHYTHMS helps explain rhythm through cataloguing the teachings of all the world’s teachers and artists by expounding upon:

  1. Enumeration of all aspects of rhythm (e.g. time signature/meters, subdivisions, polyrhythmic relationships, etc)
  2. Percussive application (rudiments, 1-2-3 basics of expression and linear elaboration/syncopation/improvisation),
  3. the Style/Genre Database in reference to Cultural Geography and Oral Tradition (master teacher artist lineage),
  4. Catalogue of World’s Music, Teachings, and Link to Sources.


World Style Database

Master Teacher Artist Lineage – coming soon

Percussion Instruments

Transcription Database – coming soon


Music is an art form whose medium is sound. Common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture.”

Music is an art and therefore can be interpreted from any celestial or human made sound. “20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, There is no noise, only sound.“[1]

“Relativist, post-modern viewpoint, musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez summarizes, the border between music and noise is always culturally defined—which implies that, even within a single society, this border does not always pass through the same place; in short, there is rarely a consensus…. By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be, except that it is ‘sound through time’.” – Wikipedia on Music ( [2]

“Sound through time describes music.”

Sound passes through time 1) freely or without rhythm (arhythm-without recurring movement or symmetry) or 2)rhythmically (from Greek ῥυθμός – rhythmos, “any regular recurring motion, symmetry”) is a “movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions.” –Wikipedia on Rhythm

When there is rhythm, there is regularity. Regularity in this case means a pulse or reference point, of which there can be many; Polyrhythm is the simultaneous sounding of two or more independent rhythms.). Each pulse carries rhythm forward so each individual pulse is a wholeness. When music is described as the “harmony of the spheres”, this can show how in rhythm, there is always a common pulse that returns to itself. Imagine a clock hand completing one rotation as it traverses the sphere, it travels the whole extent of the sphere and always comes back to the beginning, the constant pulse.

The way we interpret time describes the diversity of Earth’s expressions, it is subjective to the individual experience or creation of musical expression.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” –Classic Expression

ORAL TRADITION and evolution through technology and media

Music, in many cultures, has been an oral tradition (meaning the knowledge of music making was passed down from master teacher to student). With the growth of technology starting from the invention of the radio, tv and the internet, knowledge of music is also passed from artist/teacher to listener/student aurally and intellectually on a mass level.

Learning to read and play music by ear: Solfege (do-re-me-fa-sol-la-ti(si)-do), Solfeo ( , Indian Svaras (sa-re-ga-ma-pa-da-ni-sa).


Music is uniquely perceived by every culture and have unique ways of expressing rhythm. A culture can perceive and develop aspects of rhythm that cannot be quantized like feel, inflection, articulation. While there are computer programs that index artistic styles with complex algorithms, and one can imitate a unique rhythmic feel, a current machine cannot integrate and adapt a musical like that of a human. If a machine like a drum machine does this, it is at the request of the human operator. In other words, most rhythm is quantifiable on basic levels, while the intricacies of feels seen in different cultures cannot always be quantized or replicated by a machine.

When a recurring pulse or rhythm exists in music, we can quantify it (count it) and even write it out (it can be transcribed in a literal format and anyone who is literate in that format can derive music from notation. music doesn’t need music paper to be made, while music paper needs humans to elaborate in order to make music. Oral tradition passes knowledge without written record).

As one becomes musically literate, the path to integrating and assimilating musical influences within one’s self, one may (with great results): “LISTEN, TRANSCRIBE, RECREATE, & INNOVATE” – Rich Thompson, Count Basie Orchestra, Eastman School Professor.


TIME: Unquantifiable

Raw sound from Nature, human interpretation, feel, folk styles.

This is quantifiable in that you can transcribe the dance steps and rhythms, but they are changing and created by unique humans.

*Attempts at quantifying Norway’s Springar Dance Step yield obscure fractions of pulse.


Time Signatures

wholeness divided into parts (bars/measures, fractions) • duple and triple meters • common time and wholeness of pulse(s)

Singular expressions (varying divisions of wholeness-range from total piece of music to smallest subdivision or expression), Duples (2s) and Triples (3s) make up linear rhythmic expression.


Silence is the fundamental state that is the basis of all sound. It becomes before the music, exists between the notes that make up the music, and continues after the music has stopped. It contains all possible rhythmic expressions simultaneously in the wholeness of silence. It is the human that cognizes ryhthmic relationships and embellishes them.


From silence emerges one single attack. Sustain and decay qualify the note played, yet one attack occurred.


Duple: One note followed by another.


Triple: Three note group is also the basic pattern underlying a triplet in a medium swing feel. (see: swing tempos. . .coming soon) All linear groupings higher than 3 are made up of 1s (everything is made up of 1s), 2s and 3s. Everything is made up of duples or triples. Single beat can be felt over or through any grouping.


Subdivision/Note Lengths and Rests

grid and subdivision chart coming soon…

1s 2s and 3s application

1s can be felt over any subdivision as the wholeness and the part; a single pulse can always be halved or doubled, and Triple Feel creates a hocket ( , or crossrhythm that modulates the time and feel. (metric modulations occur over larger rhythms {quarter noted triplets while feel modulations occur on the quarter note level – see feel shift transitions below) . snare rudiments (all percussive actions require each hand to do 1, 2, or 3 hits by itself. see TECHNIQUE).

linear (groupings) and vertical (polyrhythm)

2s + 3s = any possible resultant pattern (see Rhythm Pattern Enumeration) (also Sticking permutations- reference STONE)

Polyrhythmic relationship//Metric Modulation

2 to 3 relationship, 2 over three, duple v. triple


unison slowly phasing to offset (2 back and forth), back to unison. Example in Steve Reich’s Drumming.


duple to triple occurs on quarter note pulse level. phasing from swung triplets to duple 16ths contain many interpretations of rhythmic feels.

Rhythmic Enumeration and Permutation Sticking, Inversion, Accent, Feel.


“Carefully chosen from the 2^16 = 65,536 permutations possible using only right and/or left hand single strokes, these figures define a comprehensive approach to freedom and flexibility with sticking. The 192 “Flam Beats” paved the way for the wrist and finger stroke control styles of Wilcoxon and Morello, and continue to be among the most effective and challenging practice patterns I know.” – Bob Becker

SYNCOPATION is essentially when a rhythm is irregular, off the beat, or done to make strong. A definition of SYNCOPATION by Merriam-Webster: “a temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent in music caused typically by stressing the weak beat.”


Exercises and Applications Uses for PAGE 37 – coming soon…


Moeller and Morello

1s, 2s, 3s (4+buzz) make up all rudimentary expression

This is with the understanding from John H. Beck that an orchestral snare roll is sufficiently reached with 3 bounces per stick. In contrast,other teachers/players such as Mitchell Peters use a buzz roll that implements as many bounces as possible and overlaps the buzzes to achieve continuity. Crush Roll uses 4+ bounces.

Bass Drum, High Hat, any foot movement.
Rolling Technique (coming soon: see Steve Gadd)



“Drum rudiments are fundamental rhythmic patterns which will aid in developing basic techniques for drum playing. They are not a complete system, or method for teaching drums, but they do supply us with material for hand development and acquaint us with short rhythmic patterns which will be found in drum music.” -Haskell W. Harr, Drum Method Book Two, BUY HERE!

PAS 40 – coming soon.

NARD 26=13 + 13 (coming soon)
1 (one hand repeated or single stroke) etc. . . Extended Rudiments

NinjaDrummist Encylclopedia: 570 and counting

Sticking Permutations, Inversions, Hybrids Exercises and Applications
see George L. Stone, drumset application

“One of the greatest obstacles repeatedly confronting many of today’s talented drummers is their underestimation of the importance of mastering snare drum rudiments. Over the years, drummers of all styles have relied upon the snare drum rudiments as a means of inventing drum patterns for fills and solos, and developing technique. The lessons presented illustrate snare drum rudiments in their traditional notations and in their actual rhythmic notations. by applying the actual rhythmic notations we can orchestrate the stickings of the rudiments for the drum set, adding new dimensions by inventing patterns for fills and solos. With our lessons, we attempt to bridge the gap between rudiments and their application to the drum set in playing various styles of music.”

— Joe Porcaro on his Drum Set Method published by Hal Leonard.


1s 2s and 3s as individual phrases or with rest after

Key uses of 2s+3s (afro: 3-2-1-2, 1/2 clave: 3-3-2, tihai: 3-3-3, Nas’s ultimate heartbeat: 1-2-3-1) triple and duple juxtaposition occur in every Musical Idiom.

8th and 2 16th repeated pattern with accents create all upbeats and backbeats and clave and tihai patterns

Half Clave • Bombo&Tumbao • Baião • Tihai = 332 Rhumba Clave and 6/8 Clave
– coming soon

Tabla Syllables
– coming soon…

1st 3 Contain groupings of 1s, 2s , and 3s implying Intricate Rhythmic Conversations!


DRUMMERWORLD: ( A catalog of the world’s drummers with videos and sound, by Bernhard Castiglioni.

Sample Lessons ( from Joe Porcaro – defunct

Music Dispatch ( to buy sheet music! Recommended by Hal Leonard ( .

Drum Lesson Database ( by DrumBum

Lessons from Chester Thompson ( task=view&id=17&Itemid=31)

David Hurlin’s Drum Theory and Revelation ( Sheldon Kreger’s Modern Instinct ( blog Guitar Lessons (

Learn about Music Business at ( , ( , ( and SESAC ( .


1. Wikipedia: John Cage, 79, a Minimalist Enchanted With Sound, Dies ( /1992/08/13/us/john-cage-79-a-minimalist-enchanted-with-sound-dies.html)

2. Wikipedia: Nattiez 1990: 47-8, 55

3. ©1938 M.M. Cole Publishing CO.

Sign up for our newsletter!

Prefer a paper copy? Click here!