Polka Fun

Polkas can be fun to play... with a little creativity.

Any dance rhythm, no matter how basic the pattern, can be cool with a little touch of creativity. Take the Polka, for example. The basic pattern is rather uninspiring:

But, with some creativity, you can turn the above in this:

The modified version uses single stroke alternating hand to hand sticking on the snare drum to give the Polka a fuller sound. Take that a step further by adding a splash of chops, and you transform the Polka into the following:

The advanced version has you playing the accented snare drum part with the left stick only (providing you have the chops), which lets you add the right stick ride cymbal on the downbeat to go along with the bass drum. Playing the Advanced Polka might be too much for the entire song but it adds just the right amount of excitement when used on the choruses. For example, in the Polka "Roll Out The Barrel," the part where they sing "roll out the barrel" is the chorus.

Get Creative
Practice creating your own variations on the Polka.You can start by taking my examples and changing the ride cymbal part or varying the bass drum a bit. Although there lots of variations that can make the Polka a "fun" rhythm to play, try not to lose sight of the fact that the basic down- and upbeat of the Polka rhythm must remain solid, regardless of what you add on top. If you lose the basic pattern, you're no longer playing a Polka!

With a little creativity, you can transform any tired old dance rhythm into a beat that's not only fun to play but that really cooks! Try it. You'll be surprised at what cool patterns you can come up with, not to mention all the fun you'll have along the way.

Have fun and stay loose.


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