26-Week Online Course. Click Here »
In this theory lesson, you will learn how to count and play thirty-second notes. They are likely to be the greatest sub-division you will play on the drums. There are eight 32nd notes for every quarter note pulse.
Take a look at the first example below. Unlike all the other sub-divisions we've discussed in other lessons, these notes are counted in groups of two. In other words, you don't have a verbal count for each individual note, but instead - you just count every second note.
This makes counting 32nd notes identical to how you would count sixteenth notes. The only difference is that you play two notes for every count. Watch Jared Falk demonstrate this in the free video lesson on this page to see exactly how this works.
In the second exercise, there is a measure of sixteenth notes leading into a measure of thirty-second notes. The count here doesn't change through both measures. You simply play two notes for every count in the second measure. This may seem complicated at first, but after you watch the video lesson - it will all make sense.
Example three has a mixture of quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, sixteenth notes, sixteenth note triplets, and thirty-second notes. This is a challenging counting exercise that you can practice with a metronome. If you are able to count through all four measures in perfect time - you have successfully mastered the counting portion of this drum theory and notation section.
Ready to move on? Watch the video lesson on counting drum rests next. It covers rests in all the sub-divisions of time we've covered in these drum theory lessons. Then, after that, you can try the note value exercise.