Quintuplets Lesson Part 1

Here’s the first part of a series of lessons on sixteenth-note quintuplets, a group of five notes in the space of a quarter note.

Before you start, a good warm-up is to play the quintuplets with an alternate sticking (RLRLR – LRLRL) without accents, bass drum on quarter notes, and then play the first section of the exercise adding the accents. Start slowly at 60 bpm and repeat the single line at least two times, remember the bass drum on the quarter notes (Fig. 1). An additional way to practice is to play the accents with flams or drags.

Quintuplets Lesson Part 1
Fig. 1

After you can apply this to the drumset playing the accents on the toms, cymbals, and bass drum or between the hi-hat and snare (right hand on the hi-hat in unison with the bass drum and left hand on snare).

The next section called “rolling in quintuplets” is useful to work on rolls, playing a diddle (32nd note) in different “places” of the quintuplets (Fig. 2). The sticking is the same RLRLR LRLRL but when you play a diddle you must use a double sticking:  RR or LL. Another variation is to play the diddles with an RL or LR sticking.

Quintuplets Exercise - Rolling in Quintuplets
Fig. 2

Here are different stickings to play quintuplets: the first is a double stroke roll and the second is a paradiddle (n°5 of the Stick Control). Another additional sticking can be a five-stroke roll, alternating the hands: RRLLR – LLRRL. When you practice with these stickings is very important to play the quarter notes with the bass drum or hi-hat.

*The white square indicates the right hand and the black square the left hand.


Some songs with a groove that’s based on quintuplets, useful for practice the exercises:

  From 1:48.

Here’s the link to download the PDF of the lesson, keep on drumming!


4 thoughts on “Quintuplets Lesson Part 1

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