Decorating Four 16th Notes With An Extra 32nd On Count 1

In this lesson you will be decorating a four sixteenth note block with 32nd notes. The way you will be doing this is by doubling up the first note of the block, giving you two quick notes followed by three slower notes. This common movement is really useful in fill construction but is also a good way of working on hand speed and stamina.

There are multiple stickings you can use for this part and I will explore these below but let's start off with the base five note rhythm though. This is shown below as sixteenth notes first as this notation should be far more familiar to you.

The base rhythm for this part.

Spend some time familiarizing yourself with this simple movement and have a play around with some different sticking ideas.

Sticking 1

This first sticking is my preferred way of playing a part like this. The two 32nd notes are played as a double stroke which allows the single stroke movement to carry on over the renaming three strokes. I prefer this movement as all numbered counts will fall on a right hand in simple time signatures.

A sticking concept for this movement

Sticking 2

Again, a double stroke movement is used but this time over the 'e' and '+' counts. The advantage of this sticking is that the first two 32nds are played as single strokes and each numbered count falls on a right hand but the double stroke placement can be quite uncomfortable and may take some getting used to.

A sticking concept for this movement

Sticking 3

In this version a single stroke sticking is maintained underneath the full bar. This turns the part into a two beat pattern where the second block has the reverse sticking of the first. When playing this version watch the co-ordination around count 2.

A sticking concept for this movement


  • Using the 2 minute rule, aim to get the exercises up to a tempo of around 130bpm.
  • Work out which sticking is most comfortably for you.
  • Construct fills using this rhythmic concept.


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