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  • Hot Licks: 3:2 Polyrhythmic Fill Combinations by Andrew Lindroth

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Dec 22, 2020

    A 3:2 polyrhythm, often referred to as a hemiola, occurs when you play three equal beats in the space normally occupied by two equal beats. These beats can also occur simultaneously, creating a distinct sound on drums.  This simple polyrhythm is shown here:

    Lindroth Example 0

    The 3:2 polyrhythm can be an effective fill in many styles of drumming. This next musical example demonstrates one way to move around the kit while playing the polyrhythm.


    Lindroth Example 1


    Once you master the 3:2 polyrhythm, you can begin to add a variety of rhythm combinations based on the 3:2 structure. The next example demonstrates eighth-note, triplet, and sixteenth-note based polyrhythms. Using the previous example as a model, substitute each measure below as the fill in measure four.

    Lindroth Example 2

    Finally, mixing up the various rhythm combinations provides numerous possibilities for fills. Each measure in the following musical example can be played as a separate fill, or the example can be performed as a whole for an interesting solo. Note that the last two measures lose the steady four beats and the bass drum becomes part of the linear fill for added variety.

    Lindroth Example 3

    Obviously, this is just the start of options regarding use of a simple polyrhythm within a drum set fill context. Hopefully this article sparks an interest for readers to create their own rhythmic ideas, voicings, and applications. Happy drumming!

    Andrew LindrothAndrew Lindroth is a percussionist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He performs regularly as the house drummer for The River City Players in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and drummer for the pop-punk band Goodfella, who are signed to Here Goes Nothing Records. He earned his BA degree at Northeastern State University in Corporate Communications and a minor in Music Performance. He is employed as a sports writer for Black and Gold Sports, and enjoys a healthy drum studio teaching schedule. Andrew is also in his third year of teaching elementary and middle school percussion at Grandview Public Schools.

  • Hot Licks: Docada-chugga by Dr. Gene Fambrough

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Oct 28, 2020

    Experimenting with different sticking combinations can sometimes produce unexpected results, and subsequently working through all possible combinations in a systematic pattern can be a rewarding exercise. I would like to share a recent exploration that resulted in a very exciting and new (to me) set of variations: the “Docada-chugga.”

    The base pattern consists of a five-note grouping, with an unaccented flam on the fourth note, with subsequent variations forming from various diddle and roll combinations. As you’ll notice, a feel similar to the “book report” happens when placing diddles on the first and last partials of the grouping. Many (if not all) of these patterns have undoubtedly been used before (the variation that forms the “chutra-cheese” is a well-known hybrid rudiment), but placing them in a logical order was the goal of this endeavor.

    As with many types of rudimental drumming exercises, I suggest using the base pattern as a “check” pattern to begin with in between variations. As you become more comfortable, try playing multiple groups straight through before returning to the check, eventually playing the entire exercise as written. 

    Docada chuggas 1
    Docada chuggas 2

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    Gene FambroughGene Fambrough is Assistant Director of Bands and Professor of Percussion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. He holds degrees from the University of Georgia, East Carolina University, and the University of Alabama. He directs the UAB Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Electro-Acoustic Percussion Group, and Blazer Band, serves as percussion arranger and instructor for the UAB Marching Blazers, and is assistant conductor for the UAB Wind Symphony and Symphony Band. His compositions are published by C. Alan Publications, Innovative Percussion, Musicon, Rhythmic Expressions, and T.A.P. Publications. He has performed with the Alabama Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, Panama Steel, the Bizarre Arte Ensemble, and the Spirit of Atlanta drum and bugle corps. Dr. Fambrough’s articles have appeared in Percussive Notes and The Instrumentalist, he has presented clinics and concerts at the Alabama Music Educators Conference and the Alabama PAS Day of Percussion, and he appeared at PASIC 2012 as a member of the PAS All-Star Steel Band and as a panelist for the World Percussion Committee discussion. He also serves as Marching/Rudimental Editor for Percussive Notes.

  • Hot Licks: Soft Diddle Regiment by Dr. Brad Meyer

    by Rhythm Scene Staff | Aug 17, 2020

    The “Soft Diddle Regiment” is a series of simple and effective exercises that can be used to help percussionists with their soft volume control, especially in regards to diddles and ornaments. Each day, use a metronome (or phone app) at a soft volume so you continue playing as softly as desired. Then, set a timer for 15 to 20 minutes on your phone and turn it to “Do Not Disturb.” Play through each exercise as indicated for each day. The mindful aspect of this exercise comes from mentally focusing on only your playing without negative judgment or wandering thoughts. If you should have a negative thought about something you did, refocus yourself on simply playing better the next time through the exercise. If you have wandering thoughts that are about anything other than the playing of the exercises, simply refocus your ears and brain on the quality of your playing. 

    You may find that refocusing from negative/wandering thoughts is challenging, but that is the point. The more you do this, the easier it will become. After a short while, you will notice you are able to stay focused for longer periods of time and re-focus quickly after wandering thoughts. This ability to focus/re-focus is one of the cornerstones of mindfulness. If you are interested in other non-musical mindfulness activities, please contact a certified therapist/counselor.

    Soft Diddle Regimen 1

    Soft Diddle Regimen 2
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    Brad-MeyerDr. Brad Meyer
     is a percussion educator, artist, and composer with an extensive and diverse background. Dr. Meyer is the Associate Professor of Percussion at Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Texas), where he is the private lesson teacher and director of the percussion ensemble. He is also the Chair for PAS’s Health & Wellness Committee. Meyer frequently tours to universities and high schools both nationally and internationally to present recitals, workshops, masterclasses, and clinics on various topics, including electro-acoustic percussion, contemporary marimba, concert snare drum, marching percussion, percussion ensemble, steel band, and world music. Meyer is a composer with several compositions for snare drum, multi-percussion, and percussion ensemble published through Bachovich Publications. More information is available at

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