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Polyrhythmic Triple Strokes

This lessons is designed to be used in conjunction with the “Polyrhythms” SYNKD Rhythm Pack that is available in the SYNKD Store.



This lesson is designed to gain sticking freedom in different note rates, increase polyrhythmic awareness, and also makes for a great hand workout.


We are going to take a simple 3-note sticking pattern, accenting the first stroke, and move it through sixteenth notes, quintuplets, and septuplets.

4 over 3


In exercises 1-3 we are going to be dealing with sixteenth notes.


In exercise 1 we are going to establishing the 4 over 3 polyrhythm. Notice that in this exercise the time signature is in 3/4. Make sure you get this pattern down before moving on to the next 2 exercises.

In exercise 2 we are going to take the same 3/4 pattern but not we are going to play it within 4/4. We wend up having a 3-bar pattern. This creates a very cool over the bar line phrase.

In exercise 3 we are simply going to tag a 4th bar onto the end of exercise 2. In bar 4, notice that the first 3 beats are the beginning of the pattern again with a group of accented double strokes on beat 4 to round out the bar.

5 over 3

In exercises 4-6 we are going to be dealing with quintuplets.


Exercise 4 is similar to exercise 1 in that we are simply going to use the sticking pattern to establish the polyrhythm. Because it is now in quintuplets there will be five groups of three which causes the pattern to switch hands every bar.

Exercise 5 is once again a 3-bar 4/4 application similar to that in exercise 2.

Exercise 6 is a 4-bar pattern, this time we are going to use a 5-note grouping on beat 4 of bar 4 to round it out. You could think of the sticking as a reverse 5-stroke roll if you like, since it starts with the accent.

7 over 3

In exercises 7-9 we are going to be using septuplets.


Exercise 7 is once again a 3/4 pattern but now we are using the sticking pattern in septuplets. Go very slow with this pattern as it is pretty tricky at first.

Exercise 8 is another 3-bar over-the-bar-line phrase.

Finally, in exercise 9 we are going to do another 4-bar phrase. Notice how the hands reverse every cycle.


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