Periscope Lesson Session #8: Odd Subdivisions

Odd Subdivisions. There’s no “easy” or “hard” – just “familiar” and “unfamiliar.”  For most percussionists quarter notes, 8th notes, triplets, and 16ths are common subdivisions we play regularly.  They’re not easier than say a quintuplet (5-let) or septuplet (7-let) – they’re just more familiar because we play them more often.

In this lesson, we talk about some exercises you can use to start familiarizing yourself with these odd subdivisions.  I tell you about my “light switch” analogy that helps me when switching between different subdivisions.


Part I
Subdivision Pyramid: Quarter Notes -> 9-lets
Quarter Notes
Quarter Note Triplets
8th notes
64th Notes

Part 2
Light Switch A-B Subdivisions: Triplets/16ths, 16ths/Quintuplets, 16ths/Sextuplets etc.
Use the Space and Flow

Part 3
How to practice with Music
Throwback: Cavalier Singles

Try referencing Devon’s comments from Lesson #7 in for this lesson as well:

  • Focus on the most basic exercises and rudiments, i.e. bucks, sixteenth-notes with accents + taps, etc.
  • Think about having very soft hands, avoid squeezing on your taps and slamming your accents.
  • Try to slowly work your way up to more advanced rhythms/tempos so that you can apply the same touch as you progress and not go back to your old (harsh) ways. Whenever it feels different, drop back down to slow + easy mode


Catch the next LIVE broadcast!

I’ve seen a few other GoPro broadcasts, and I’m continuing to work on my technology chops to provide Multi-camera Video Lesson on Periscope. Until I hear otherwise, I’m claiming the First GoPro drum lesson on Periscope 🙂

The idea is to give you an up-close perspective that you might have in a lesson, as well as a view from my perspective. As my friend Alan points out, this is something I wouldn’t be able to achieve even in a masterclass setting, considering students sitting in the last row.

Watch the live lesson on April 17, 2016 at 7pm cst or catch the video replay on the YouTube link at the bottom.  For future lessons on Periscope, follow @hueiyuanpan or view on your browser at  

More replays available at

Thanks for sharing!

HP 2015.jpg

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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