A litle semi-beginner lesson: Getting a bit more out of your static accents.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
A little semi-beginner lesson: Getting a bit more out of your static accents.

I don't really do much on here except answering threads.

I thought I'd just share a little lesson that's been useful for many.

Some of you know I work as music teacher. I'm an educated guitar player, but in 2009 my job suddenly involved teaching drummers as well and I tried to take that seriously.

Now there are all sorts of materials around. The main methods are well known and advanced players sort of just pick their "poison" and adapt known methods to what they're currently working on.

Main challenges in my own work is to find the right balance and ways to include classic and technical material in a modern teaching environment in a way students find motivating and relevant.

Material that seems to be lacking is often the sort of middle of the road door opening stuff.

So, something that's very simple and might open a door for a few is regarding your basic accent sheet, same as e.g. what Benny Greb covers in his first DVD.

Basically we have 16th notes and the go through all possible accents in that 4 note group as:

- accents
- doubles
- flams
- accents with doubles on the soft notes.
- accents with single stroke doubles on the soft notes.

Though static, some of us like doing the sorts of things. It doesn't really involve much mental power though and it's really very static exercise or a short 4 note phrase.

A very simple way to get a bit more out of it is to simply take these 4 note groupings and play them as triplets. Like this

Rlrl Rlrl etc..


Rlr lRl rlR lrl

The accents create a 3 over 4 rhythm and suddenly you have phrase that fills a whole bar before repeating itself.

With e.g. 2 accents and moving those accents around the toms it becomes a nice little fill.

RLr lRL rlR Lrl

I encourage to try this in all the aforementioned ways and different stickings. You don't have to go through all of Stick Control, but at least try a paradiddle as well.

Here, by really just changing to another very common subdivision we have exercises that become a bit more food for the mind and not just something our hands quickly start doing on autopilot.

It will help smoothening out you machinery with movement vs. rhythm.

The group of accents is not static in the time, which make them more interesting, but as they're static within the groupings they still communicate a very clear idea to the listener.

The next is offcourse to try the groups of 3 as 16th notes. You then have the choice of letting it go on for 3 bars before it repeats, or you can simply play a 4 note sticking on the last beat of the bar (like e.g. singles to start with the same hand or a paradiddle to switch) which will make it a 1 bar phrase.

Happy shedding!
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Senior Member
This is very cool of you to post, Arne.

I've been playing drums for quite a while but have no formal training and can't read music. (Or, I can't read much music - the more basic drum notation is pretty easy to decipher.) I'm just now starting to take drumming seriously, and would like to move to the next level, so beginner lessons like these are very valuable.

However, due to my lack of education, it's difficult for me to truly understand what the rudiments laid out in writing should actually sound like; I know that the pattern should reveal itself if played correctly, but listening to the pattern being played is still the best learning tool. (To me it's like seeing the picture on the box of something you're assembling - using that, I know how the final product SHOULD look.)

Hearing a demonstration would really help; any chance of uploading a video?...

Because, of course, you have nothing better to do with your time than catering to the whims of a drum site forum member that you've never met.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Re: A little semi-beginner lesson: Getting a bit more out of your static accents.

I could, but then I know I'd start getting serious, edit stuff until until I thought it was a decent lesson and it would never end.

In the not to distant future I'll start substituting my standard Saturday morning Facebook rants with little video lessons in Norwegian.

There are some ideas both on drumming and guitar playing that represent some ideas that I have found to either 1) open up doors to the uninitiated, 2) are exercises that give unusually high benefits for the time you put in or 3) just very common issues I see all the time that should be unnecessary with just a little bit of competent instruction. This would be one of those little ideas.

The basic idea is very simple.

What I'm saying just to take your basic 16th note accent permutation sheet, and all the ways we interpret that:





and play these same exact things as triplets instead.

The first line then, which is:

Rlrl Rlrl Rlrl Rrlr

accents hitting straight on the beat

1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a

By taking the exact same motion, accenting the first note in a group of four, but playing it as triplets, we can offcourse only fit 12 notes in there instead of 16 the accents ends up naturally shifting.

Sticking is still Rlrl

but now it sounds like

Rlr lRl rlR lrl

or counting

1&a 2&a 3&a 4&a

It's a healthier more mentally brain massaging exercise.

It's not just a static exercise now, it is a fill that fills a whole bar. We are not just moving our hands, we are practicing something that's a little bit musically and mentally challenging as well.

We offcourse do this leading with either hand.

We can offcourse do anything, but two stickings that will be very rewarding are

4 on each hand: RRRR LLLL RRRR LLLL and so on....... as it works on your ability to accent(backbeat) and ghost

and Paradiddles RLRR LRLL.... as it will give an additional challenge to keep your technique flowing with nice even triplets regardless of pattern and accent.

There are offcourse a number of little ideas, tweaks and ways to practice this too, but that's a subject for that other format.


Senior Member
Wow, thanks Arne - sorry for the delay in responding, very busy the past week!...

I'm going to try out these exercises this weekend. Maybe I'LL post a short video so you can see if I'm doing it right! (No laughing, though - my technique is utter crap. Good enough for garage bands but that's about it.)

Thanks again.


Senior Member
I'll add my thanks! I spend all my practice time learning songs, rather than going over the basics and working on technique. I need to start practicing some rudiments. No excuses.

Thanks for the little push, Arne! I'll start with the exercises you've posted here.


Platinum Member
This is one of the core concepts in Stanoch's Mastering The Tables of Time.

There are very similar procedures laid out in Blackley's Syncopated Rolls.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Many ways to think and many ways to approach groupings and subdivisions.

This is just sort of a way to increase benefits and usability to those basic 4 note groups.