STRICTLY TECHNIQUE

One-Sided Hairtas, Grandmas, and Grandpas

3 Hybrid Rudiments to Expand Your Vocabulary

by Bill Bachman

This month we’re going to look at three unusual rudiments: one-sided hairtas, grandmas, and grandpas. These three closely related rudiments are especially useful for drumset fills when playing the accents on toms or cymbals and the unaccented notes on the snare. The unusual accent patterns can easily throw you off, so use a metronome, tap your foot, and count quarter notes out loud so that your pulse is grounded.

Here are the three rudiments.Hairta, Grandma, Grandpa

One-sided hairtas are hairtas with the lead hand played as low taps while the secondary hand is accented. The resulting accent pattern is a syncopated rhythm that resembles a polyrhythm, however, each hand’s role is simple. The lead hand plays low double beats using finger control while the secondary hand plays accented free strokes. The accents played by the secondary hand take up the space of an 8th note and should be played perfectly evenly. But focus more on the leading hand’s rhythm in order to not lose track of the downbeats.

First we’ll build the hairta, and then we’ll add the accent pattern.

Hairta

Next we’ll look at the grandma. This rudiment consists of a paradiddle with an 8th-note release. The lead hand plays low taps, and the secondary hand plays accents. Again, focus on the rhythm of the lead hand, and try not to get thrown off by the evenly spaced accents played by the secondary hand.

grandma

The grandpa is my answer to the grandma and has a slightly varied accent pattern that creates a shuffle. Both accents are played as downstrokes, and the fingers will be in charge of executing the inner beats.

grandpa

Now we’ll combine all three rudiments into one exercise and switch to a duple feel using 8th notes and 16ths. Take this exercise slowly at first in order to fully understand the rhythms. Once comfortable, increase the speed and think of the pulse in half time.

hairtas, grandma, grandpa

hairtas, grandmas, grandpas

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.