Swiss Army Triplet

Learn To Play The Swiss Army Triplet Drum Rudiment!

The Swiss army triplet was taken from the Swiss rudimental system, and, alongside 13 other drum rudiments, was added to the standard 26 American drum rudiments in 1984 by the Percussive Arts Society. This new set of drum rudiments would later be known as the 40 international drum rudiments.

If you take a look at the sheet music below, you'll be able to see that the Swiss army triplet is basically the combination of two offset double strokes. The first double is comprised of the first two triplets, and the second double is made up of the single stroke on the "let" with the grace note on the following count. The Swiss army triplet sounds pretty much like a flam accent but is approached differently. It also allows you to play at much faster tempos than the flam accent does. The Swiss army triplet doesn't alternate within itself so you'll have to learn how to play it with both right and left hand lead. Before you tackle this lesson, make sure you learn how to play the flam and the double stroke roll accurately.

Swiss Army Triplet

Exercise #1 is an 8th note triplet drum beat. The Swiss army triplets are scattered between the snare drum and the hi-hat. Going from the flammed strokes on the snare drum to a lighter hi-hat stroke on the "trip" of counts 2 and 4 is the greatest challenge you'll find here - you'll basically have to break up a double stroke between two different surfaces.

Swiss Army Triplet #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note triplet tom-tom drum beat. The Swiss army triplets are broken up between the floor tom, the hi-tom and the snare drum. The doubles that are scattered between the snare and the floor tom on counts 2 and 4 add the same type of challenge that was described in the previous exercise.

To play the second stroke of the double strokes on the floor tom, you have to use the momentum generated by the rebound of the first stroke on the snare drum. This will let you move your arm with greater ease to the floor tom with the use of a quick sweeping motion. Lionel does this quite clearly in the video.

Swiss Army Triplet #2

Exercise #3 is a 12/8 time signature drum fill. Just like with the previous exercise, the double strokes are scattered between the snare drum and the floor tom. Take the tips we gave you on exercise #2 and apply them here as well.

Swiss Army Triplet #3

Exercise #4 is a drum fill played in 12/8. The Swiss army triplet is broken up between the hi-tom, the floor tom and the snare drum. The doubles are scattered between the hi-tom and the floor tom, which is something even harder to play than what we've been seeing with the previous exercises. Learning how to play the four-note pattern on count 1 is enough to master this drum fill, since it repeats for the subsequent counts.

Swiss Army Triplet #4

Most drum fills featured on this website are one bar long. You can morph them into any other sized drum fills by removing parts from the patterns. You can put together new drum fills by mixing different sections of any drum fill on this website as well.

Once you're able to play the Swiss army triplet and the exercises herein accurately, you can move on to further expand your knowledge on the drum rudiments. We encourage you to check the free drum lessons on the inverted flam tap and the flam drag next.