How do drummers count 16th notes at 200+ bpm


Hey guys sorry im a beginner and ive been practicing rudiments lately and ive seen people on youtube do 16th note single stroke rolls at 200 and 300 bpm

How do they know of they are playing the 16th notes evenly and on time because its very hard to count 1 ee and a 2 ee..... at 200+ bpm

How do they know of they are on time or not ??


I mean i can count 16th notes at 120 bpm but how do pros count it at 200+ bpm and make sure they are on time ??


Platinum Member
There does come a point where you no longer really need to count. You feel the pulse of the subdivisions against the quarter note, if that makes sense.

Pro's would more likely be counting measures etc, if they need to count anything at all.

The days of needing to verbalise 'one-ee-and-ah' are long behind. You'll be surprised how quickly you get to that point yourself. It really doesn't take long before your hands can play faster than you are able to verbailse a count anyway. Counting is really only done to help internalise the feel. Once it's done, the need to count.....especially every subdivision, is diminished.
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Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Agreed. After some time, your body just internalizes the four sixteenths that make up the one quarter note and you're only concerned with where the quarter is. This is why when you run through books like Podemski's Snare Drum Method, or Ted Reed's Syncopation, what's happening is that you're learning how to superimpose all these written rhythms against the steady pulse of the quarter note. Keep working on it and it'll come naturally.

If you really want to freak yourself out, a lot of incredibly fast jazz is based on where "1" is - you're not even trying to count "2,3,4" of the quarter notes flying by. Go listen to the old jazz standard "Cherokee" or "Giant Steps" where the band is going so fast you can't count the quarter notes!


Senior Member
Yep you indeed “feel them”. There’s a point where you get used to with your brain...
If you really want to break it down, slow it down, count them and then memorize the “pattern” (how it sounds) bring it back up to speed. But honestly, that’s like over complicating yourself while not needed


Platinum Member
Same as above. You internalize the quick/straight bits. For odd times, you end up just breaking it down into a rudiment(s)... like having four single-stroke-trip-16th notes being a 4-note-ruff. You're not thinking about individual strokes, you're thinking about the single rudiment.


Platinum Member
as someone who plays 16ths at really fast speeds in death metal (200-240 often) You need to learn to do it at 50, then 80, then 100. 120, 150 etc.. I'm not counting at these speeds.. My hands or feet just know what four hits per beat is. even at lets say 50 bpm starting you count 1,e,and,a,2,e,and,a etc. after a while you don't need to count it and feel it.. It takes a LONG time to get comfortable doing this at 200bpm for extended times.

often when I'm doing a blast I am paying attention to my feet for counting as they are playing half the speed of my hands.

Counting a bigger subdivision helps too