In this article, we’ll apply 16th-note triplets to two bass drums, and form various rhythm and hand-foot combination patterns. First of all, consider how much space is taken up by a 16thnote triplet. In one bar of 4/4, a 16th-note triplet takes up one-half of a beat, which is the same amount of space as one 8th note or two 16th notes. This is shown in the following three patterns. These patterns are identical, except the bass drum(s) changes on the & of 3. In the first pattern, the bass drum plays an 8th note on the & of 3.

16th Note Triplets 1

In the next pattern, the bass drum plays two 16th notes starting on the & of 3.

16th Note Triplets 2

By playing a 16th-note triplet beginning on the & of 3 with two bass drums, the following pattern is formed:

16th Note Triplets 3

This is one way of applying the 16th-note triplet to double bass drums. The triplet forms a four-stroke ruff with the snare beat that follows it. Here are some other patterns that use this concept.

16th Note Triplets 4

Since each triplet takes up one-half of a beat, two triplets can be played in one beat of a measure, as in the following patterns. Play these slowly at first. Keep in mind that, when playing continuous 16th-note triplets with an 8th-note ride, a triplet is played for each note of the ride.

16th Note Triplets 5

16th Note Triplets 6

The following patterns break up continuous 16th-note triplets between both hands and both feet. Practice them with both hands on the snare, and then try breaking up the hands on the different sound sources on your kit.

16th Note Triplets 8

Try applying these patterns as one-bar fills. Practice playing these together with the beats from patterns 1 through 8. Once you’re familiar with the fills, try combining them to form eight-bar solos.

Experiment with 16th-note triplets to form your own patterns. Keep in mind that the three notes of the triplet are three evenly spaced notes that take up one-half of a beat in a measure of 4/4.