Triplets are a large part of my rhythm vocabulary. There are many ways to perform triplets around the drum kit. 8th and 16th note triplets are first demonstrated on the kick drum. I prefer to begin on my left foot although my drum kit is set up right handed. For me, this feels more even than beginning with my right foot. This may or may not work for you. It does not matter which foot you start on as long as you are doing opposite footing per note. I suggest practicing the single footing method because in the future this will make complex chants easier to perform. The second example is a triplet phrase played on the toms emphasized by the kick and pedaled hi hat. Although the figure itself is simple in theory, the second beat of the kit triplet can be either the rack or floor tom. Both kit triplets are demonstrated along with accents used to create multiple dynamic effects out of the same figure. This kit triplet can also move to the crash cymbals and snare drum.
This lesson is tailored for the Beginner. If you can count to 4 then you are halfway there! The kick drum is on beats 1 and 3. The snare drum is on beats 2 and 4 and the hi hats are on every beat and a half meaning “one and two and three and four and”. So the hi hat lands on every word when counted out loud while playing this exercise. I strongly recommend beginning every lesson at a slow tempo. This is a good habit to develop early on because no matter what level of playing you are on, it’s easiest and most informative to study every beat and space between each note. This allows you to have more understanding of all music you learn which increases your control and flow.
Drummer Tony Williams is probably my biggest influence. He played differently than most drummers of his time and his signature sound and style are unparalleled to this day. This particular lick is something I’ve seen and heard him do during his long career and I always wanted to learn this. So one day, I actually sat down at the drums and figured it out. You can first mentally hear this phrase as a system of triplets spread over the rack, floor and kick supported by hi hats on the “ands”. Written out, you can see the relationships as you can any chart.