Rock ‘N’ Jazz Clinic

Jojo’s Modified Swiss Triplets

A Slick Sticking for Quick Jungle Grooves

by Terry Branam

Jojo Mayer’s command of the jungle/drum ’n’ bass style took the drumming community by storm. Mayer manages to traverse the blinding tempos and computerized breakbeats effortlessly, thanks to flawless technique and his creative use of rudiments like the Swiss triplet.

Here’s the Swiss triplet in its original form.


Mayer often modifies the rudiment by inserting an extra right-hand stroke, which turns it into a grouping of four.


Check out the opposing rhythms that the individual hands play when the extra note is added.


If you flatten the flams and place the lead hand on a cymbal, you get this:


Mayer uses these figures inside grooves to imitate breakbeats. Here’s an example.


Another way that Jojo uses this figure is to play it consecutively. Note how the left-hand rhythm has a looped effect.


These rhythms can be displaced forward or backward to further randomize the sound.


Finally, experiment with connecting the phrases using single and double strokes to come up with some unique grooves.


The following transcriptions are from Mayer’s appearance at the 2005 Modern Drummer Festival with his band Nerve. Pay attention to the subtle ways he plays inside the accents.

 “Far” (2:06)


“Jabon” (2:46)