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How to Play "Es" & "As" on the Drums

Learn how to play "Es" and "As" from drum teacher Jason Gianni in this Howcast drum video.


When you're working on counting, you may come across two syllables, e's and a's. And what that refers to is when you're breaking down or subdividing sixteenth notes, those are the syllables that are going to be involved in your count. There are four sixteenth notes in each beat that you play, or each grouping. There are sixteen sixteenth notes in a standard bar of four four. When you take one of those groupings, the very first note of the sixteenth note is the count that you're playing. So beat one, or beat two, or beat three. That's the number you would say.

And the following three notes are the rest of the syllables involved in the sixteenth notes. This third one is the and. Now if you know about eighth notes, you count eighth notes as one and, two and. But now that you're subdividing eighth notes down to four notes, you have a numbered count. You have an and. And then you finally have two other syllables. The second syllable is the e, and the last syllable is an a. But we pronounce ours like uh.

So slowly it's one, e, and, a. And as you go through each beat, the number of the first note changes. One e and a, two e and a, three e and a, four e and a. Now when you play sixteenth notes, you're going to play each one of those counts that I just said. The one e and a. And it would sound something like this. One e and a, two e and a, three e and a. ... And in a full bar you're talking about four of those groupings. One e and a, two e and a, three e and a, four e and a.

So when you do it fast, one e and a, two e and a, three e and a, four e and a, it would sound like this.

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