The Official “26 Polyrhythm Rudiments” by Peter Magadini

July 10, 2013 1:59 pm in Drumset by Web Team

For the 1st time Peter Magadini is featuring “The Official 26 Polyrhythm Rudiments”on the Vic Firth Website. Not since being introduced in Modern Drummer Magazine (April 2012) have “The Official” 26 rudiments been displayed anywhere else.

“One summer, as a young percussionist playing in the Berkshire Music Festival Orchestra at Tanglewood (Lenox, Mass.),

I had the good fortune to also study with Vic Firth (Tanglewood was the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra).

It just so happened that my book “Polyrhythms The Musicians Guide” had just come out in its first printing.

Vic was one of the very first major percussionists that I was to lucky enough to be able to show it to. It is only fitting, after

all these years, that ‘The Official 26 Polyrhythm Rudiments’ would have their cyberspace inauguration on this website”.

Peter’s website:



The “26 Polyrhythm Rudiments” combines ‘26’ traditional snare drum rudiments with seven basic polyrhythms and re-introduces these same time – honored snare drum basics now as “The 26 Polyrhythm Rudiments”.

Some distinct differences however have transpired in the process. For example: poly-rudiments #25 & #26 (the single stroke roll & the double stroke roll) have been totally re-constructed as polyrhythm rudiments. These two now require more knowledge and mental dexterity to play than they did before. And because they both run the entire rhy

thmic spectrum of the seven aforementioned polyrhythms, their running order has been switched from first (traditional rudiments) to last (polyrhythm rudiments).

Another important consideration has been the metronome markings: all metronome markings have been thoroughly tested to ensure that each polyrhythm rudiment is play-able at many levels of technique. However these tempos are suggestions only.

Finally it is always a temptation, though not always necessary, to figure out all“ the math” that is implied with every polyrhythm rudiment, as it relates to 4/4 – or any other time signature used as the bottom pulse. However, you may want to just try your ear first and experiment by trial and error to learn each basic polyrhythm as it applies to each new rudiment. (Remembering that both rhythms, top and bottom, begin on the same 1st beat).

Either method – or – both of course is a valid when learning patterns in polyrhythms. The idea is that eventually it all becomes a part of your rhythmic and technical vocabulary and easier to play and hear as you progress.


*NOTE: There is a digital recording with an audio explanation of each polyrhythm selected for each individual rudiment followed by an audio demonstration of each traditional rudiment and the corresponding polyrhythm rudiment. To purchase, go to:

© Copyright Peter Magadini 2011

Check out Peter’s book, “Polyrhythms The Musicians Guide”

(Hal Leonard Publishing) Voted by Modern Drummer Magazine #6 “The 25 Greatest Drum Books”

Peter Magadini’s Polyrhythms is acclaimed the world over and has been hailed by Modern Drummer magazine as “by far the best book on the subject.” Written for instrumentalists and vocalists alike, this book/CD pack contains excellent solos and exercises that feature polyrhythmic concepts. Topics covered include: 6 over 4, 5 over 4, 7 over 4, 3 over 4, 11 over 4, and other rhythmic ratios; combining various polyrhythms; polyrhythmic time signatures; and much more. The CD includes demos of the exercises. To see Peter in action demonstrating various polyrhythms,click here.


Check out Peter’s book, “Polyrhythms for the Drumset”

(Alfred Publishing)

An extensive step-by-step method on the application of polyrhythms for the drumset. Expands drum solos and fills by incorporating polyrhythms to basic time. This book also lends itself as a source for extending rhythmic comprehension while the drummer is improvising.