STRICTLY TECHNIQUE

Nine Over Two

Part 1: Accenting the Quarter-Note Triplet

by Bill Bachman

The simplest way to think about a nine-over-two polyrhythm is by dividing each partial of a quarter-note triplet into another triplet. In this lesson, we’re adding accent patterns to this polyrhythm. Every accent, or group of accents, will fall within the underlying quarter-note triplet pulse. The goal is to become comfortable with the polyrhythm so that accent patterns sound smooth, natural, and musical. 

Avoid blurring the transitions from one subdivision to the next, and play the patterns as precisely as possible with a metronome. The first example outlines the quarter-note triplet within each nine-note grouping.

Nine Over Two 1

The next three variations accent one partial of each quarter-note triplet within the nine-note groupings.

Nine Over Two 2

Nine Over Two 3

Nine Over Two 4The next three variations accent two partials of each quarter-note triplet within the nine-note groupings.

Nine Over Two 5

Nine Over Two 6Nine Over Two 7 Now we’re going to accent all three partials of each quarter-note triplet within the nine-note groupings. In addition, we’ll accent one entire triplet within each quarter-note triplet.

Nine Over Two 8

Nine Over Two 9

Nine Over Two 10

Finally, we’ll accent two out of three triplets within the quarter-note triplet of each nine-note grouping.

Nine Over Two 11

Nine Over Two 12

Nine Over Two 13

Bill Bachman is an international drum clinician, the author of Stick Technique (Modern Drummer Publications), and the founder of drumworkout.com. For more information, including how to sign up for online lessons, visit billbachman.net.