Swiss Army Triplet - Drum Rudiment

The Swiss army triplet is one of the 40 International Drum Rudiments since 1984. The Percussive Arts Society (P.A.S.) was responsible for its inclusion, after settling on the expansion of the 26 drum rudiments with orchestral, drum corps, European, and contemporary drum rudiments. The Swiss army triplet was taken from the Swiss rudimental system.

The Swiss army triplet is basically the combination of two double strokes. The first double consists of the first two triplets on each count. The second double encompasses the single stroke on the "let" and the grace note on the following count. The Swiss army triplet sounds exactly like the flam accent but allows you to play at much faster tempos than the flam accent does. The Swiss army triplet doesn't alternate within itself. So before you start learning how to play the Swiss army triplet with both right and left hand lead, make sure you learn how to play the flam and the double stroke roll accurately.

Swiss Army Triplet

Once you're able to play the Swiss army triplet with confidence on a single surface, you can start working on the following drum beats and drum fills.

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

Swiss Army Triplet #1

Exercise #2 is an 8th note triplet tom-tom drum beat. There are four Swiss army triplets that are scattered between the floor tom, the hi-tom and the snare drum. 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 in the video. Refer back to it to see exactly what we mean by a sweeping motion.

Swiss Army Triplet #2

Exercise #3 is a 12/8 time signature drum fill. With this pattern the flammed double strokes are scattered between the snare drum and the floor tom once again. If you applied the tips we gave you with exercise #2, you'll have no problems in mastering this drum fill.

Swiss Army Triplet #3

Exercise #4 is a drum fill played in 12/8. 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. This time around, the flammed double strokes are scattered between the hi-tom and the floor tom. This is even harder to play than breaking the flammed doubles between the snare drum and the floor tom. Lionel keeps using a sweeping motion to get to the floor tom in time to play the second stroke of the doubles. The motion is a little bit understated due to the lack of bounce of the hi-tom, which prevents the stick from acquiring more velocity.

Swiss Army Triplet #4

Once you're done studying yet another pattern from the 40 drum rudiments, you can move on to learn how to play the inverted flam tap and the flam drag.