How Much Velocity Should I Put Into My Accents?


"Hey Mark! Had a question about velocity, what determines how much emphasis/velocity an accent gets? I’ve heard different opinions, one being the accents need to be light, vs the accents being heavy weighted?"


The emphasis/velocity of an accent can be interpreted in many different ways, and is determined by user preference. Some ensembles play with a lot of velocity behind their stroke, others play with a little less velocity but use the balance of a large number of drummers to create a big sound. The tuning will also determine the sound production. So you can lighten the touch, but tune low to get a deeper sound. There is a wide spectrum of possibilities, all of which are valid in their own way.


My rule is for Accent Velocity is this:

Use Legatos to determine how the accents should feel. When you play block height legatos at 12 inches, (8 On A Hand, 8-8-16, etc) that feels a certain way and have a specific velocity and feel. Then when you start playing accents, use that same feeling in the hands. If your Legatos are FULL of velocity, then your Accents will follow, if your Legatos are light, so are your accents. Allow the approach to be holistic.


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