Episode 027: The Secret Behind Great 4 Stroke Ruffs

As a young percussionist, we all learn the rudiments. For us, the rudiments are our scales and it is how we learn about technique on a single surface (aka a snare drum). In the concert snare drum repertoire, the 4 stroke ruff doesn’t usually occur until somewhere in the Advanced Snare Drum Studies book by Mitchell Peters, Delécluse’s 12 Etudes or later in Anthony Cirone’s Portrait in Rhythm. It also shows up in the orchestral excerpts (Lieutenant Kijé). Because it is not officially part of the 40 Standard American Rudiments, it is not something we practice at a young age. (more…)

Episode 026: Composing using the Rudiments

I am a strong believer that we can and should all try to compose music. Composing is a skill that can be learned. Over time you continue to develop this skill with regular practice. (Sound familiar?) There are a lot of great resources on the internet, including The Art of Composing which includes articles, blog posts and a podcast about composing.

So how can you get started? The first place I recommend is to start with the snare drum rudiments. I have used this process with my middle school students as well as my college students in my percussion methods course. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you compose a new piece for snare drum. (more…)

Episode 022: Roll Exercises

The snare drum roll is one of the most difficult rudiments on the snare drum. The concept of the roll is easy. The difficulty comes with the execution. Over the past several videos, I have illustrated different strategies for improving the roll. I have found that over the years, I like to vary the exercises that I use to strengthen and improve my rolls. Here are two exercises that are guaranteed to help you develop your rolls. Download the PDF, get out your drum and roll.

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Episode 019: Triple Bounce Rolls

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLrWEfsircY

In the previous episodes, I have talked about how to develop the double stroke roll. (Double Stroke Rolls and 5,7,9 Stroke Rolls.) Please make sure to review those videos for more information. In today’s episode, I introduce the “concert style roll,” aka the Triple Bounce Roll. Let me know if you have any questions and comments.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Episode 015: Double Stroke Rolls

In the previous videos, I have been talking about the bounced stroke and in today’s episode, I introduce the double stroke roll. When executing bounced strokes, make sure you are letting the stick do all of the work. If you have a good fulcrum, a relaxed grip and you allow the stick to bounce, over time you will develop a good sounding roll. Be patient and work hard. Remember, in this episode you need to make sure you use “one arm stroke and two bounces.” Please feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

Level: Beginning/Intermediate

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