The following material is similar to the Rock Perspectives column regarding Swiss Army Triplets (July 1981). It’s different enough to present additional technical challenges. These particular exercises can be of special benefit to the right foot (bass drum) because of the combining of accented and unaccented notes. Let’s begin with a triplet figure involving the H.H..S.D. and B.D.Playing Rock Music 1Now convert this to sixteenth notes which will produce a three-bar cycle.Playing Rock Music 2As you play this, count aloud: le&a, 2e&a, 3e&a, 4e&a…count aloud until you can comfortably “watch” the bars of 4/4 go by.

The three-bar cycle can be done in the following ways. Write out the complete three-bar cycle yourself.

1. Accent each quarter note:

Rock Music 3


2. Accent the “and” of each beat:

Rock Music 4

3. Accent the “e” of each beat:Rock Music 54. Accent the “a” of each beat:

Rock Music 6

5. Accent the eighth notes of each beat:

Rock Music 7

6. Accent the “e” and the “a” of each beat:

Rock Music 8

Now go through Louie Bellson’s Modern Reading Text in 4/4 pp. 26-46 and also Louie Bellson’s Odd Time Reading Text pp. 16-28 while playing this three-bar cycle. The written notes are played as accents and any sixteenth note rhythm will work.

Here’s what it would look like:

Rock Music 9

Try these two variations: First, substitute L.F./H.H. for R.F./B.D. Then R.F./B.D. plays quarter notes. Then move R.H. to bell of cymbal. Keeping the R.H. on the H.H. is interesting also because it gives you three distinct H.H. sounds: Secondly, substitute L.F./H.H. for R.F./B.D. on unaccented notes only.

Helpful Hint Dept.

Count aloud while playing the exercises. This will coordinate your hands, feet and head. As the written notes go by—accent them.

Exaggerate all accented and unaccented notes. Play accented notes loudly. Play unaccented notes very softly. This will improve touch and dynamic contrast within the hand/foot patterns. To do this smoothly you must relax your legs.

Begin slowly. This is a must! Once the concept is mastered, try faster tempos.