How to Play Accents while Drumming

Learn how to play accents from drum teacher Jason Gianni in this Howcast drum video.


A term that you'll find in drumming and music that goes along with dynamics is accents, and the term accent can refer to anything that you're playing, or even just a matter of speech when you accentuate a word that you're saying, or accentuate a note or pattern that you're playing. And basically accents deal with playing a note louder than you would play other notes, or playing alternate notes softer than you would play a certain note.

For instance, this note is an accent to this note. Now that's really soft, and normally we reserve accents for louder notes, but basically that refers to the notes that fall out or any other notes surrounding it. A standard accent and pattern say on the high hat, would be accents on the counts of the measure, one, two, three, four, followed by notes that are unaccented on the end, one, and two, and three, and four, and . . . and the way that would sound and look will be something like this. Now besides just raising in volume, what that also does is the regularity of the accents puts a little bit of a groove into your playing. So rather than just playing a standard pattern that would be repetitive, and have no life to it, it allows you to have a little bit of life, it puts dimension into your playing, and it puts dynamics into your playing that you may not have had before.

So this is just the beginning of accents and their understanding, but you'll see the more you play your drums, and the more you read rhythms, the more accents will really define how you play.

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