Category Archives: Timing

Friday: New Grid

Warm-up: Spend some time reminding yourself how to play The Triplet Grid. “My Moon My Man” by Feist can supply a good tempo if desired.

Skill work: Today we are going to try a new kind of grid, specifically where you keep the accent constant and shift the rudiment. Here it is, in classic 4-2-1 format, keeping a single accent on the first partial while moving the diddle from the first to second to third partial:

Spend 15 minutes working on this isolated diddle grid with a metronome, from 80 bpm up to 180 bpm.

Challenge: This one grid should open up a whole new plethora of possibilities: simply substitute a different rudiment, change the accent to a different partial, go backwards, etc. Here are some more options to stimulate your experimentation:

Happy gridding! Please share with friends and family as well. Anyone on Rudimental Hands auditioning for a drum corps or indoor drumline this season? Post to comments!

Monday: Threes and Fours

Warm-up: Spend a few minutes playing paradiddle-diddles and threes in time with “I’ve Changed Too” by Justin Kalk Orchestra.

Skill work: The focus of today is mastering three- and four-strokes:

Emphasize even rhythm and sound, and let the heights flow naturally (do not concern yourself with super low taps). This exercise should make you aware of your fulcrum pressure as well.

Challenge: Can you add diddles? See below:

Go slowly (1/4 note = 80 bpm to start), and strive for perfect diddles. This is a fun one!

Post tempos to comments.

Friday: Hand Speed Rolls

Warm-up: Spend 4 minutes playing triple beats and flam taps in time with “Tenderoni” by Chromeo.

Skill work: The name of the game is Hand Speed Rolls:

The priorities here are perfect rhythmic interpretation and immaculate tempo maintenance. Notice too that this roughly follows a 4-2-1 pattern, so spend more time on the 4’s and 2’s before tackling the 1’s, especially with the last variation. Tempo range is 100 – 160 bpm.

Challenge: Can you play variations 3 and 4 with singles on the triplets? What about playing variation 4 with accents on the 1/16th notes? Off the left? The possibilities are endless; be creative.

Post tempos, heights, and variations to comments.

Tuesday: Double Beat Shuffle

Warm-up: Spend a few minutes playing some accent-to-tap variations to the tune of “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Pomplamoose.

Skill work: Today we will focus on a classic exercise called Double Beat Shuffle:

Begin slowly (dotted 1/4 note = 120 bpm), and notice how each variation builds upon the last. If you are a marching percussionist, strive to play the accents more with your wrist; if you primarily play drumset, use some Moeller technique to help.

Challenge: How fast (and smooth, with perfect technique) can you play variation 4? If this becomes too easy, then try adding a diddle on the middle partial of every triplet (R ll R R ll R…).

Post experiences, techniques, and tempos to comments.

Tuesday: Legatos Pyramid

Warm-up: Play 5 minutes of hand-to-hand flams at a variety of heights and rhythms.

Skill work: Learn and master this stroke progression, the Legatos Pyramid:

The dynamic markings are there to give you a sense of how high and loud to play each rhythm: the quarter-note triplets should be loud and full strokes, whereas the 8th-note triplets should be medium half strokes. Work this exercise with a metronome from 100 to 130 bpm at 5 bpm increments.

Challenge: Can you play this Legatos Pyramid as all single strokes (making each rhythm twice as fast)? Keep the same structure with the dynamics and measures.

Post tempos and single-stroke variations to comments.

Friday: Fivelet Grid Variation

Warm-up: Spend 5 minutes playing three’s (RRR LLL) and inverted three’s (RLL LRR) to the tune of “Saturday Morning” by The Anatomy of Frank:

Skill work: Work on this Fivelet Grid Variation:

Use a metronome and strive for a true fivelet rhythm (not triplets). I have written two different sticking patterns (the top line is natural, the bottom line is alternating), but feel free to experiment with others.

Challenge: Can you add diddles or flams to the above grid? Try a seven-stroke roll (diddle the first three partials), then try a flam on the downbeat. Lots of combinations to be discovered here.

Post tempos and grid variations to comments. Also, feel free to spread the above video from The Anatomy of Frank to your friends. Check if we’re coming near you this summer, and donate to the cause if you’re interested!

Thursday: Double-Stroke Roll

Warm-up: Pick a rudiment and grid it at least 4 different ways. Your options could include (but are not limited to): RH lead, LH lead, forwards, backwards, 4-2-1, 1-2-4, triplets, 16th’s, etc.

Skill work: Today we will revisit Murray Gusseck’s MasterClick article and play a double-stroke roll. Sticking options include:

  • R R L L R R L L
  • L L R R L L R R
  • R L L R R L L R
  • L R R L L R R L

Be creative and vary the dynamics over the course of the 31 minutes as well. Here is the mp3: MasterClick.

Also, here is an interesting podcast about technology and modern society to listen to while drumming.

Post experiences and thoughts to comments.