Accents are an emphasis on one or more particular notes which makes them slightly louder than the others. An accent is a marking that is placed above an individual note and looks like this: >. Accents can create an interesting feel with in a repetitive rhythmic pattern. Accents can be played on any instrument. The following exercises are geared toward percussion instruments in general with a focus on the drum set.
Accents can help us create a groove or rhythmic idea and make it more interesting. For example, we could have a basic run of 1/16 notes on the snare drum.
If we add accents to the group in any place we desire, it changes the feel and spices it up a little.
Playing exercises with accents in them can help one to play with more finesse and have better control and coordination. Following are a few accent exercises to start out with.
After you feel confident with these, come up with some of your own or pick up any book that contains accent exercises. You can take the exercises in this article or any accent exercises and start to move the accents to different surfaces. For drum set, you can take the accents and move them to different toms. Following are a couple examples of the previous accent patterns re-orchestrated around the toms.
Playing accents and moving the accents around on the kit helps you get more familiar with the placement of your drums, opens you up to new ideas for fills or solos, and can help to “spice” things up!
– Meg Thomas
Meg Thomas Bio
Drummer and percussionist Meg Thomas has performed in musical realms that range from rock to calypso, avant-garde to spoken word, Latin-jazz to punk, and dance ensembles to percussion ensembles. Her drum and percussion set-ups range from the traditional ideas to unique set-ups that incorporate a vast range of percussion instruments. She received her degree in Music from Millikin University and she founded and runs the Chicago Women’s Drumming Group. Meg is a Vic Firth Private Drum and Percussion Teacher and teaches lessons out of her studio in Chicago. She plays recording sessions, performs with an array of bands and ensembles, and has toured the U.S. and Europe. Meg won a Drummie in Drum! Magazine’s 2010 Drummie Awards as runner-up “Rising Star Percussionist,” was named “Musician of the Month” for January 2013 by the Chicago Music Guide, and is endorsed by Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Evans Drumheads, LP Percussion, PureSound Percussion, and Humes & Berg Cases.
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