Bill Powelson's,



SPECIAL NOTICE: I wrote all this in the 1990s. In the meantime My e-mail has changed to The old DRUMS01@ATT address stopped working long ago. I've tried to eliminate all references to the old address, but there were hundreds. I've probably missed a few. Ignore them if you see them.

This link will return you to the Password site.


You are about to discover more pop-music beats-and-rhythms, in one brief sitting, than you'll ever learn in your life. This is a guarantee!

Some students may devour this little project in under and hour! Those students are the same students who will invariably appreciate this mini-course the most.

  • You won't necessarily need a drumset handy as you study this mini-course, though it is hoped you will to have access to a drumset or drum machine soon. This course will definitely make you want to acquire a drumset, if you don't own a rig already. I have tons of handy tips for simulating and/or acquiring a drumset inexpensively. Just e-mail my (coded) e-mail address below, and ask for 'Make-drums' and/or 'The Drumset Buyer's Guide'. I'll be happy to assist and help you every way I can.

    NOTE: Play around with the drum machine program (offline) that's included with the download version of this course. Look for drummer.exe in the downloaded files.

    For now, simply study, read and/or write the suggested examples, then tap them out on imaginary drums, using the arms of your chair or the computer desk. The point of this mini-course is knowledge. We're going to quickly load your MIND with every possible beat variation in the known rhythmic Universe. This study may also help you find a 'Rhythmic Black Hole' or two, which may have previously gone undiscovered.

  • This mini-course is also great for drum-machine programmers as well. You'll easily discover how to enter beat patterns into any drum machine as if you were a pro-drummer. If you know the functions of your drum machine, I'll show you how to create and make it play almost ANY beat pattern IN EXISTENCE!

    NOTE: This course includes a free (shareware) drum machine program. Play around with it! Look for drummer.exe in the files.

  • Other musicians, will find this mini-course indispensable too. It will be easily comprehensible to anyone who knows what a bass drum, snare drum and a hi-hat are. Guitarists, song writers, bass players, vocalists and keyboardists will all gain immensely from this study. It may even help you communicate with your wacky drummer, if nothing else.
    That is . . . if you can get your wacky drummer to study it too, haha!

Before we can get to the good stuff . . . it is vitally important that certain basics should be well digested. I'm referring to all the BASIC BEAT structures in both 3/4 and 4/4. A solid comprehension of note-values will also be very important as well. We are going for the big picture, but that picture is rooted very deeply in all the 4/4 and 3/4 basic beat structures.
Unless you possess a clear, complete, working-knowledge of those two modified note-value rhythm structures, the big picture may never fully occur. Please remain aware of this fact as you study.

Here's why . . .


  • A. All the various EVEN time-signature patterns and their possible permutations will tend to mimic the 5-BASIC DANCE BEATS (ie; note-value modifications of 4/4.)

  • B. All the ODD time-signature patterns and permutations may often tend to mimic the 5 BASIC WALTZ and the 5 BASIC 4/4 beat structures, SIMULTANEOUSLY. Think about that! It's is the crucial secret that will unravel the entire Universe of rhythm.

So . . . if we totally understand 3/4 and 4/4 COMPLETELY, all the rest will fall easily into place, almost automatically, without much confusion at all. (This is really a lot easier than you've ever imagined. You'll wonder why it hasn't occurred to you before!)

Try to comprehend all the X/4 signatures FIRST. This will make all the other X/X signatures easy as pie, at the end of the study. The X/1, X/2, X/8, X/16 etc., (with all their modifications and permutations), will EACH fall into place almost automatically by proxy!

You are about to discover some very shocking things concerning pop-music rhythm! These secrets are currently hidden deep within our current musical time-signature system. It should EASILY unfold within your mind with one, single, brilliant flash of insight.

If this new knowledge doesn't leave you totally spellbound and awstruck, it will be a solid indication that you do not properly understand it.

As you study, try to keep the above statements in mind, and if at some point you feel as though the 'big picture' just isn't occurring in one brilliant flash as I've promised. Go over the entire (1 to 5 hour) course again, and again until that happens!

YOU'LL KNOW EXACTLY, WHEN THE INSIGHT HAS HAPPENED!. There won't be any doubt about it! You'll visualize billions of new and exciting rhythms as if a (Daisy-cutter) bomb has detonated and exploded within your mind! This is a GUARANTEED promise from me. If we can't make that happen, I don't want or deserve to be paid. I'll blame myself (and I'll try to help, first), But if that doesn't work, I'll quickly refund the purchase price.

STUDY HINT: (OR CLUE.) As you study the following lessons, try to focus on the way all the complex (1/4 to 64/4) time signature patterns connect, reflect, mirror, and mimic the various note-value modifications of 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4.

That's the big secret you'll find within this entire project. I think you'll see it very easily as I walk you through it.

I'm assuming that you are already an intermediate or advanced musician or drummer, but THAT isn't totally necessary either!

The very important, necessary BASIC LESSONS are also included within this package as backup, for those who need them. They're very easy for almost ANYONE to comprehend, EVEN BEGINNERS! This material SHOULD and COULD be taught in the elementary levels of school to music-students age-12 and over, but the sad truth is . . . It is rarely taught, even in college music-theory classes. It's time for this information to exit the dark-ages and enter the mainstream. That may never happen, until YOU and others begin to see the real value of it. So, open your mind and prepare for a few exciting revolutions in rhythm!

The upcoming 'main menu' will coax you to study all the basic lessons too, but it may be ok to skip some of them, if you already fully understand and have the important basic knowledge committed to memory as working-knowledge.


If you are still wondering WHY all this is important to today's musician, I'll word it this way, for now . . .

  • For one thing . . . many of today's leading-edge pop and rock groups are dabbling with odd-time, more and more EVERY day. This knowledge will help put you on the cutting-edge of all those pop music styles. It'll take you above and beyond the things that are occurring already!

  • This little mini-course will take you deeper into rhythm studies than you've ever gone before! Don't think for a second that this is about those same little tid-bits you were taught in music-theory class. This study picks up where they left off! Yet, it is simple enough for the average dedicated 12-year-old to comprehend.

  • I'll put it this way . . .
    If you can't already jam comfortably in '16th-note 7/8', 'Blues 5/4' and all the other very interesting signatures, you will totally devour, and LOVE, this little course, without question. You will learn those, and many, many more.

  • But, aside from that, we all need to be prepared and capable of handling anything rhythmically that may occur onstage throughout our careers. The BEST musician is always prepared to quickly understand and play any type song (rhythm structure) we may be called on to play, and we must play it well. We can't assume we are the best, until we have every morsel of this time-signature/permutation knowledge in our bag of tricks. This is true for all guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, song writers, vocalist, drum-machine programmers, drummers . . . or virtually ANYONE connected with providing music for the masses.


    This study will help anyone communicate with other musicians more intelligently onstage, and in rehearsals. You'll quickly begin using the best, most appropriate, rhythmic-terms as you discuss arrangements with your fellow band members. This in-turn will result in additional respect from the more knowledgeable musicians within your daily associations. This little known 'communication-factor' is often the key to acquiring the most prestigious gigs, working with those who really KNOW what they are doing. Those upper-echelon musicians all WANT to work with musicians like themselves, who speak the SAME intelligent language of rhythm and music. This short course will help you enter a new breed and a new class of job opportunities, once you've digested it all.

Sometimes, we must often wait for just the right band, the right song, and the right time, to actually use the best 5% of our knowledge, but that doesn't make the knowledge less important! The objective is to achieve 110% status, 110% of the time. This material will help add that extra percentage to your knowledge base.

A WORD OF CAUTION: We can't always play everything we know, in every song we play! In most cases onstage, 'simplicity' is the best formula of all.  Simplicity contains it's own very special and classic beauty! However, if we're called on to play extremely complex patterns, we certainly need to BE PREPARED to do it well. You are about to gain that advantage here.


As you study this short course, you may become confused, possibly due to some unknown error in my thought processes. If that happens, I definitely want to hear about it. We're talking about a HUGE rhythmic Universe here. I'm not certain I've viewed EVERY corner of it either! It's entirely possible this course may help you see things I haven't seen as yet. I want to know about that! Please write and explain all your discoveries to me. Point out any flaws too. This is a work in progress. I'll fix and change anything that does not add up. Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated and I'll respect you totally for your contributions and help.

E-mail me anytime, with any questions, discussions or any arguments you may have. Just keep it friendly . . . that's all I ask. I'm here to help you every way I can! This is what I do for my living and I absolutely love doing it. (Please don't take that away from me.) I have little time for pompous arrogance. E-mail flames will get you totally ignored. By the way, my e-mail address below is coded 'to fool the spam-robots and malicious-viruses' that are continually spreading. Remove the 'Xs' and it should work fine. I always try to respond to all e-mail on the same day it arrives. Your e-mail messages are my FAVORITE part of all this. I live for e-mail! :>)


Maybe together, we can take all this a few steps further, making it much easier, and much better for everyone. That's the soul-reason, the complete motivation, and the total objective of this entire project.

Enjoy the course and let's become great friends! Some of my BEST friends are those who have enlightened me the most, and I thank them all for their continued support and help with this humble offering. (Bill Powelson)

Click here to begin . . .

Copyright Bill Powelson 1985-2xxx all rights reserved.
Failure to acknowledge this copyright will result in serious, costly, legal action!