In this lesson, we’re going to explore a number of different ways we can use displaced double strokes. I’ll show you what happens if we simply change the time signature but also, what happens when we change the note length. In the previous alternating double stroke lessons, we’ve focused on 16th notes, so in this lesson, we’ll deal with 8th notes, 8th note triplets, 16th notes, and 16th note triplets.
Why is this useful? Exercises like this help us to realize new drum fill ideas and new grooves and there’s almost certainly going to be some timing challenges presented within a number of the exercises that will help to develop your flow/fluidity behind the kit, as well as your limb independence.
I recommend working through the exercises in this lesson sequentially. You can download a PDF of all the exercises below as well as a Guitar Pro file.
Exercise 1 – 8th Note Triplets
Playing displaced double strokes as 8th note triplets means that there are four groups of triplets in one bar of 4/4, so twelve total notes in the bar. For every quarter-note metronome count, you’re going to place three beats:
You’ll notice that the pedal hat count (the metronome) does not align with each double stroke – so this will very likely present a timing challenge for you to overcome. If you’re not able to simply ‘play’ this pattern, how I’d recommend learning it is taking it one triplet at a time. Make sure you can play the first triplet into the second one, then add the third. Loop those three until they’re comfortable, then add the fourth triplet and repeat this process with the second bar.
Exercise 2 – 8th Note Triplets in 5/4
In this exercise, we’ll play five sets of triplets in each bar, so fifteen notes in total, before flipping the idea around and leading with the left. After the first single stroke, you’re six double strokes, followed by two more singles before playing the opposite idea in the second bar. Again, to learn this, if it doesn’t make sense at first, I would take it one triplet at a time, adding the next triplet when I’m absolutely comfortable.
Exercise 3 – 16th Note Triplets in 4/4
In this exercise, we’re going to play 16th note triplets which will double up the number of notes in the bar from the first exercise, realizing 24 total notes across eight sets of triplets.
Exercise 4 – Timing Ladder Challenge in 4/4
In this exercise, we’re going to play the displaced double stroke pattern in note lengths from 8th note up to 16th note triplet, to a 4/4 metronome. In total, we’ll play 8 bars. You can either repeat the exercise on loop or alternatively, you could choose to move up and down the ladder, so when you reach 16th note triplets, you’d then go back down to 16th notes, 8th note triplets and finally 8th notes again – either exercise will provide a great challenge.
Exercise 5 – Timing Ladder Challenge in 3/4
In this exercise, we’re going to play the displaced double stroke pattern in note lengths from 8th note up to 16th note triplet, to a 3/4 metronome. It’s the same idea as exercise 4 but obviously, we’re changing the time signature, which creates a completely different feel for the exercise.