The Heart Beats in Six

The heart beats in six. That’s the general consensus… if you are counting. The six beat groove is very powerful, persuasive, momentum building, sweet, loving, swinging, deeply entrancing. Also six beat patterns can be aggressive. Its all in the way that you play it. The way that you feel it. The heartbeat would drop on the ONE beat then the THREE beat and the FOUR beat, then on the SIX beat then the ONE beat again. It is a loping kind of swing. Harmonic resonance creates a sympathetic and persuasive energy field in the Six Beat time signature that is very influential on our bodies and minds. We entrain to this groove differently.  Old School Jazz improvised a lot in the Six time signature, implying ragas, and long nights in the jungle. Max Roach always inspired me in his visual style of playing the drums. His rhythms were vivid. He could chew up a Six beat groove in ways that are still incomprehensible. But the heart can also beat in four. That is when it is working hard. Or feeling intensely. Al Green had those love grooves. They were played by the master drummer Al Jackson. His grooves are still magical. They are still loving. That is an eternal part of rhythm. Love is a groove that lives forever.

excerpt: “History of the Groove, Book Three” Russell Buddy Helm ©2014 all rights reserved

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