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Accents & Subdivisions

In this lesson we're going to use the first 4 chains from the “Accents and Subdivisions 2” Rhythm Pack available in the SYNKD store.

A rhythm without any kind of embellishment is simply a flat series of notes. The most common ways to create a shape within a rhythm (particularly a subdivision) is with both accents and rests.

These exercises are designed to get you both familiar with the rhythmic shape (accents) as well as the space between the notes (subdivisions).

The first 4 exercises deal with single strokes

1. Let’s start off by being able to switch between the subdivision (We'll will refer to this from now on as the “Check Pattern”) and the subdivision with the accents. Pay attention to where the accents fall in relation to the quarter note.

2. Let’s expand on the previous example, this time we will only play the rhythmic subdivisions where the accents fall. This can be tricky. Be sure to subdivide and go slowly.

3. Now let’s try combining both the accents and the subdivisions. We begin with a two bar check pattern of sextuplets as a reference but feel free to omit this once you are comfortable switching between the two.

4. In this final exercise we're going to alternate between the check pattern and either the accents or the subdivision.

The next 4 exercises feature diddles as the sticking. The accents are represented by single strokes but all of the unaccented notes are interpreted as doubles. The check patterns are interpreted as double stroke rolls.

The protocol remains the same as the single stroke exercises.


1. If you're having a hard time feeling the sextuplet subdivision, try thinking about them as two sets of triplets.

2. Try playing these exercises while tapping quarter notes, upbeats, and finally eighth notes with your feet.

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