Quintuplets Bass Drum Control

Looking for some cool new ways to upgrade your bass drum control and speed? Then this will be a video for you. 

We’ll be playing a pattern of five and count them in Quintuplets, either as 3+2 or as 2+3.

The transcription is down below. First things first, the Preliminary Exercises.

Counting Quintuplets


First let’s look at how to count Quintuplets. We won’t be using a seemingly neutral five syllable word like Hippopotamus or something similar. Instead you’ll learn the two distinctly different ways of counting (feeling) the 3-2 and 2-3 Quintuplets. 

3-2 => 1jtnt2jtnt3jtnt4jtnt (pronounced as wah - yuh - tuh - nuh - tuh)

2-3 => 1tnjt2tnjt3tnjt3tnjt (pronounced as wah-tuh-nuh-yuh-tuh)

I’ll explain why you want to use this way of counting and make a very clear distinction between the two in a video coming in the following weeks or months, along with many other videos on Quintuplet playing. 

If you don’t want to wait then just become a member and get the Sub 5 book and access to the accompanying Online Lessons, MIDI and Rudiments in Quintuplets.

The Sticking Pattern


For the purpose of developing our bass drum control we can use a combination of a Single and a Double stroke with one rest in between each of those. The perfect combination to gain flexibility and ultimately control REALLY quickly.

These are the two Stickings we use:

3: UBB

2: UB



U = Unison (in this case a horizontal unison, where both hands play at the same time)

B = Bass Drum



Here is the transcription for the YouTube Lesson about Quintuplet Bass Drum Control. This is the very brief explanation. If you want a more detailed explanation simply look beneath the transcription.


In a nutshell, this lesson consists of mainly 6 things:


1. Exercise - The pattern in 3-2 Quintuplets - UBBUB - 1jtnt

2. Groove it - Adding the backbeat on 2 and 4

3. Half Time Groove - Backbeat on beat 3


4. Exercise - The pattern in 2-3 Quintuplets - UBUBB - 1tnjt

5. Groove it - Adding the backbeat on 2 and 4

6. Half Time Groove - Backbeat on beat 3



Here's a more detailed description of the lesson in the video.


1. The pattern in 3-2 Quints

First we play the pattern in 3-2 Quintuplets - UBBUB which I strongly suggest you count as 1jtnt.

2. Adding the backbeat on snare

In order to get a lot more motivated when practicing these kinds of patterns we can make it groove by adding a backbeat on 2 and 4 on the snare drum.

3. Half time feel

We can also play the snare on beat 3 instead of beats 2 and 4 to give it a half time feel. This will make us perceive the tempo as twice as slow, hence the term half time feel. This is excellent for wanting to add a few bpms to the metronome.

4. The pattern in 2-3 Quints

Now we play the pattern in 2-3 Quintuplets - UBUBB which I strongly suggest you count as 1tnjt.

5. Adding the backbeat on snare

Again, we can make it groove by adding a backbeat on 2 and 4 on the snare drum.

6. Half time feel

And again we can play the 2-3 version with a half time feel by playing the snare on beat 3.



Now we can also orchestrate the hand which is playing the floor tom and the snare. Play any tom melody you can think of.

If you want to keep it grooving, remember to keep the 2 and 4 (or the 3) on the snare so you won’t disrupt the groove.



The reason why a melody starts to become more musical is because we add another factor to the equation: Form.

Pay attention to which melody you're playing and believe in the power of repetition. You'll sound very musical and coherent right away.

Try to play a melody in a simple form such as a 2-bar phrase or a 4-bar phrase. This will make your playing sound much more musical.

Quintuplets Bass Drum Control for the Weaker Side


Now also try reversing the pattern to develop your weaker side.

RH - X-hat (any cymbal or rim of tom #2 will do)

LH - Toms and snare backbeat

LF - Bass Drum

Also work a lot on orchestrating with your weak hand. This will seriously improve your weaker side because it's getting way more responsibility over the melodic outcome.

Remember, coordination is not merely a physical thing, it's first and foremost a mental thing. 



I suggest you try playing these along to MIDI as well. If you become a Skillz Free Member you’ll get access to the free MIDI samples. IF the YouTube video gets enough shares and likes, that is, so please share it as often as you can. 

The free MIDI samples will include Fireflies both in 3-2 Quintuplets and in 2-3 Quintuplets. But if you don’t like to wait….

Become a Skillz Sub 5 Member


If you want to learn many more cool applications of Quintuplets, I suggest you become a Skillz Sub 5 Member. Sure you’ll spend $47, but you’ll gain an enormous amount of Quintuplet info. Grooves, Fills, Rudiments, more MIDI, it’s all there. 

And if you don’t like it, just cancel within 30 days and you’ll get a 100% refund, no questions asked. Plus, you ge to keep the book. That’s how confident I am that you will like it as much as my other students do.

As a Sub 5 Member you also get an option to upgrade to a Lifetime account at a ridiculously low price, both for the  Sub 5 Membership and the Premium Membership.

Have some Quintuplet Fun!


Thanks for watching, I hope you get a lot out of this. Fun and progress! If you liked the video and the blog post, I’d like you to take the time to like it and share it among your drummer friends. 

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Share your views

So what do you think? 

Are quintuplets cool? 

Which one do you like better, 3-2 or 2-3 Quints? And try explaining why you like that feel better. That might be quite difficult to put into words..

Will these help your bass drum control? Or do you think they are they complete and utter ....

Let's exchange shall we?

About the Author

Bob Schillemans

Music and drumming have pretty much dominated my life for the last twenty five years. I enjoy every facet of it, and I intend to keep doing so for many more years to come.

Fan of music since 1981

Drummer since 1989

Teacher since 1993

Professional musician since 1996

Composer since 2002

Owner of Skillz Drum Academy since 2011

Author since 2014

Blogger since 2018