You’ve probably noticed by now that I do a lot with Ted Reed’s Syncopation? Here are two more methods which I have developed (along with my Rock beats with Syncopation piece) to introduce my intermediate students to interpretive reading, and to begin teaching them to think like improvisers rather than beat-regurgitators. The resulting patterns have a sort of 60’s bubble gum feel, with a strong quarter note pulse throughout. Some of them will make good, simple grooves on their own, some can be used as fills, some are only good for reading practice.
Once you’re able to play the exercises (including the 16/20 bar exercises) all the way through without stopping, practice improvising with concept, changing patterns every measure. To play the exercises as fills, play one or three measures of a rock beat of your choice, then one measure of the pattern, and repeat.