The Polyrhythm Odyssey

Camille Bigeault

A Journey through Time.

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“Camille has created a wonderfully articulate and intriguing examination of the deep world of polyrhythms and beyond.There is a lifetime of ideas here that will encourage the rhythmically curious to develop in their own way. Camille has developed creative solutions for the creative thinker!”

– Gavin Harrison

In The Polyrhythm Odyssey, Camille Bigeault explores several topic related to polyrhythms, presenting an approachable method for understanding and incorporating these often-confusing ideas into your drumming. Specifically, the books covers:

  1. Polyrhythms
  2. Polymeters
  3. Metric Modulation
  4. Ostinatos
  5. Subdivisions
  6. Note Groupings
  7. Rhythmic Illusions

The 128-page book explains the difference between polyrhythm and polymeter, then presents practice suggestions and tips for absorbing these concepts. Bigeault begins with an 11-note theme that was her first experience with polyrhythm; this is used to introduce her approach to learning odd groupings and playing over ostinatos. Note groupings are fully explored and explained, then used to create advanced grooves. Groupings of 3, 5 and 7 are detailed, and examples are presented in a wide variety of time signatures. Playing note groupings with one hand alongside binary or ternary beats on the other hand is also explored.

Several useful tips are included, which are applicable to material beyond the book. One such tip is the “Recipe to Write and Understand Any Polyrhythm.” Using foot groupings is then presented, followed by two-limb groupings. From there, Bigeault delves into high-level concepts such as playing different groupings with three or four limbs, creating rhythmic illusions within grooves (by applying different groupings) performing metric modulations, and along the way achieving extreme independence by practicing these exercises.

While many of the examples are extremely advanced, the methodology presented is clear and helpful for anyone wanting to put in the necessary work to learn this material. Within the book, dozens of grooves, combinations, ostinato and solo ideas are presented with a myriad of different groupings and within many time signatures. There are also sections on creating drum solos and working with a click in advanced ways to improve your time and understanding of rhythm.

The package comes with audio files (with matching icons in the book) as well as additional examples, alternate notation, and bonus videos available via easy access using a QR code linked to Camille’s personal drive set up for the book. The book includes color coding on the examples for additional clarity. With a foreword from Gavin Harrison, himself a master of these concepts, The Polyrhythm Odyssey is one of the most complete and exciting methods on polyrhythm and meter available today, from a drummer on the cutting edge of performing these concepts in her playing every day: Camille Bigeault.

The eBook edition of The Polyrhythm Odyssey includes text in both English and French, in the same book.


Six years ago, I would have never imagined that the concepts you will find in this book would become the pillars of my exploration in rhythm, or that I would be so excited to share them with you. I was first introduced to the massive realm of polyrhythms in 2009 at the Toulouse Conservatory, thanks to the wonderful book by Gavin Harrison, Rhythmic Illusions. I am absolutely grateful to him for this book, and to my teacher José Fillatreau for having chosen it as one of the must-study drum books for his students. The lessons of Rhythmic Illusions slowly became engrained in my playing and enabled me to make my own discoveries in subsequent years of experimenting on the drums. Thanks to many masterclass opportunities, I have been able to polish my understanding of these concepts and develop means of more effectively transmitting them. Teaching also helped me to compile information, ideas and educational insights, which finally led to the creation of this book. I see it as the final product of a big puzzle, which aims to allow drummers (and all curious musicians, regardless of instrument) to understand this particular way of looking at rhythm and music, hopefully inspiring in them new ways of playing and composing. In my day-to-day practice, I am still amazed by the infinite possibilities which the drums offer us. The path of drumming is for many of us a journey of wonder, dedication and excitement, and I feel very grateful and lucky to be part of it.

The following pages will allow you to see through my eyes and offer you a different perspective about drumming and rhythm. Together we will explore concepts that appear complicated and unusual at first sight, such as polyrhythms, ostinatos, subdivisions, odd number groupings, and the like, so that you can grasp how they function and use them as new creative tools in your playing. This book aims to greatly improve your coordination, interdependence, and consequently, independence. It will make you see outside the box, strengthen your rhythmic and melodic creativity, and enlarge your perception of time and space. It will show you how to master and use the grids of subdivision, allow you to create ear illusions, and help you dive into the vast world of odd numbers in music. In turn, these tools will open the door to an infinite and extraordinary field of possibilities.

People are Talking

“The flow, the attentive, conscientious explanations make it accessible and encouraging even for the novice.”
-Virgil Donati
“Camille put all her heart into it, this method smashes”
– Quentin Duchene
“Great. Fun. Level scaling is very well managed and progressive. I recommend.”
– Jean Antoine Laurent
“A guided tour into the elusive world of polyrhythm and polymeter.”
– Zak Morton
“Excellently researched, written, and presented with a breadth of knowledge.”
– Joe Haze
“Very well made, and playful. We just want to turn the pages to improve ourselves. Bravo!”
– Benjamin Bernard
“Let yourself be enthralled by this rich and innovative odyssey that will guide you towards polyrhythmic excellence”
– Benoit Beaumont
The explanations are very precise and clear. This method makes us grow with the learning process, the playing, and with the other ways we can perceive rhythm!”
– Yohann Parienti
“Very well done! We get aware of other ways leading us to discover new playing paths. Notched wheels start to form, to interlock and adjust, to create new automatisms, patterns and reflexes. I love this new world”
– Frederic Perant
“A very didactic book. It’s like a big polyrhythmic bible, leading us to a big freedom of creation.”
– Joel Decobecq
“A book we enjoy reading and that completely succeeds in demystifying the universe of polyrhythms. The progression throughout is very fluid and logical and allows every novice to easily explore this rhythmic universe.”
– Yoann Duflos
“A book we read with much pleasure – the progression is very clear and coherent from the beginning to the end.”
– Jocelyn Lecuyer


Format: Our eBooks are viewable in our free reader apps, available for iOS, Macintosh or Windows computer devices. We offer books in this format in order to provide enhanced audio and video integration, not available in standard pdf formats. Our eBooks are not delivered as pdf files.

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