Sunday Session #25: Triplet Rolls

SEASON 3 Episode 5


Karl 8 and 25


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DOWNLOAD FREE PDF Lesson #25: Triplet Rolls

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There are few things that are as fun and gratifying to play in a drumline as a pristine triplet roll. The tempos that triplet rolls are usually played are a little brighter, the adrenaline starts pumping, and having your sound disappear into the ensemble texture is simultaneously bizarre and exhilarating.

The triplet roll, one of the most essential pieces of vocabulary, stems from PAS (Percussive Arts Society) International Drum Rudiment #9, the Seven Stroke Roll. Being familiar with the subdivision and feel is important, but perhaps even more important is having a solid foundation in timing and quality doubles.

In this lesson, we will go through a process of how you can systematically teach yourself how to build up your triplet rolls. For additional context and lessons relevant to today’s lesson, be sure to go back and review live lessons #5 (Double Stroke Rolls), #11 (Drag Interp), and #7 (Balance, Blend, and Touch).

Part I: Triplet Rolls

  1. Intro: 7 stroke roll , play in a simple or compound feel
  2. Application: Insert into 1-1, 2-2, and 4-4 format
  3. Chops: 8 & 25

Part 2: Questions/Comments


I think my main problem is that I don’t know how much time or how to practice, since I don’t program what I’m going to practice or anything, I simply practice the first thing that comes to my mind and I think that’s my problem. Besides I would like to know how I do to practice the height of the stick because it’s something that I don’t know how to practice it.

Hi, Carlos! Check out my free Practice Strategy Guide.

For stick heights, check out lesson 13 and lesson 16, and be sure to practice in front of a mirror!


Hey I’m kinda in a predicament for my practicing during the off season. I start practicing the basics and but chops but I also want to expand my drumming vocabulary. I currently practice eights, stick control, and SCV basic strokes

Hi Zachary – so the key is to target the skill sets you want to build, and start working through a system to develop those skills. Is it specifically more drum vocabulary you want to expand?


Hey Huei I have a quick question for you. I have a private student who’s been playing solely marimba in marching band/indoor percussion for the past couple years. She’s been studying with me for a couple weeks now and we’ve been focusing on snare drum and timpani. She’s been able to shift over from mallet percussion to battery percussion fairly easily, but I can’t quite get her to use rebound off the drum the way she should. Do you have any tips on how to get her to understand rebound better?

Great question, Jabari! The analogy that so many of us percussion educators go back to is bouncing a basketball. Try bringing in an actual basketball and having them dribble.

Some students can play legato right out of the gate while others will freeze or inhibit the rebound. Have them isolate just one note, starting in the “up” position and see if they can come right back to the starting point.

Once they can do that, have them repeat the process with 2 notes, then 3, etc.

The last thing is to just remember that it will be a process. It’s not a switch that they’ll flip, so part of being the lesson instructor is reminding and encouraging her throughout the lesson to notice her motion and rebound as you guys move from keyboards, snare, to timpani, etc.

Try that and keep me posted!

Part 3: Lightning Round Q & A


Marching Percussion Playbook

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Hi, Huei. I know you don’t have much free time so I’ll get down to the point. First I want to thank you for the work you do, it is unprecedented and I admire you for it. I’m 21 years old and I’m from Panama. 4 years ago I entered the world of marching percussion but in this country there are few good teachers as far as marching percussion is concerned and I’m writing to help me so that I can become as good as you.

I have seen your videos, I even have the pdf of the first season of your periscope lessons and for me you are the best and I want to become like you, not only in the musical but also I want to be able to transmit my knowledge to the new generations in the best possible way and to make the community of percussionists increase, just as you do. I really need your help. Thank you for reading this message, apologize for the bad English and I will be waiting for your response.

– Carlos

Hola, Carlos – mucho gusto! Thanks so much for your message, and I very much appreciate you taking the time to write me. Your words are so kind, and inspire me to keep growing and sharing my passion for music as a teacher. If you really want to become a great teacher, you have to work hard and spend a lot of time teaching – it’s just like practicing drums. It’s a skill that you can develop, and I have no doubt you can do it!

I’m glad you’re finding the videos and pdfs helpful! If you’re have a specific question I can help you with, let me know and I’ll do my best to give you an answer. No need to apologize for your English – it’s great! 👍 Talk soon! 👋 -Huei

Also special thanks to last week’s Periscope Superfans – the people who watch and engage the most on Periscope:

T.K. @pan1434

Sketchers @sketchers8413

Adam @abrosman

HTHS Drumline @HTHSDrumline


Mark @MarkSheltonPerc

Cullen @cwmcbride62


Kevin @ikevinsabra

Ronnie @RonnieV_music

I really appreciate you and EVERYONE that’s watching, especially the new and returning viewers that have been watching and commenting on Facebook – thank you for your time and support!

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Huei-Yuan Pan is a Los Angeles based musician via Chicago, originally from Houston. His drum corps experience includes performing with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (Snare, 2001) and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (Snare, 2002-2003; Front Ensemble, 2004). From 2008-2011, Huei served as Director and Arranger for Green Thunder Percussion, and in 2012-2013, Percussion Caption Head with Regiment. He is currently the Director of the Jumpstart Young Musicians Program at The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles. For more on Huei, click here.





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