Decorating Four 16th Notes With An Extra 32nd On The '+' Count

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 third note of the block, giving you two slow notes followed by a quick note followed by another 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 two stickings you can use for this part and I will explore those 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 bar is played as single strokes with the right hand that falls on the '+' count played as a double stroke. This allows the stronger quarter note counts to be played on the leading hand.

A sticking concept for this movement

Sticking 2

In this version a standard single stroke movement is applied through the full bar. This causes the second block of sixteenths to be the reverse of the first.

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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