Warm-up / Skill work: Play flam accents, flam drags, cheeses, and flam fives open-close-open (slow-fast-slow). Take your time increasing in tempo, but be sure to both start slowly and get very fast. Aim for 15 minutes total here.
Challenge: Learn “Mayan Sacrifice”:
I wrote this after being inspired on a trip to Tikal, a site of Mayan Ruins in Guatemala. Start slowly, use a metronome, and tackle each micro-phrase by itself.
Ask questions, work it out, and then post a video of yourself playing the lick!
Warm-up: What are your goals for drumming? Write down your top 3:
- Short-term: Achievable within a month
- Mid-range: 6 months to a year away
- Long-term: Where will you be in 5 to 10 years drumming?
Skill work: Spend some quality time perfecting your flam drags, cheeses, and flam fives using this “Mini Three” exercise from SnareScience.com. Start with the metronome at 80 bpm, and work these patterns both RH and LH lead. If you are having difficulty with the cheeses, put an ‘intellectual accent’ on the 2nd partial of the triplet.
Challenge: How fast can you play “Mini Three”? Focus on quality rhythms and consistent flams, but let’s also take the speed up as you feel comfortable.
Post tempos, heights, and goals to comments.
Warm-up: Spend 6 minutes playing a mixture of rolls (buzz, single, double, triple). Play along with “Llego la Banda” by Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
Skill work: We’re taking an old dog (single accent grid) and teaching ourselves new tricks by changing the sticking:
Check out this video of Redline playing a similar exercise; pay particular attention to the flow and ease with which they play. Start slowly, making each accent sound strong and every tap stay low.
Challenge: Can you put a diddle on the accents on the Inverted variation above? What about a flam, or a cheese?
Post tempos, heights, and variations to comments.
Warm-up: Progress through stick control patterns including 1, 2, 3, and 4 strokes per hand (singles, doubles, three’s, four’s, puh-duh-duh’s, etc.). Use “Earth Intruders” by Bjork for tempo.
Skill work: Today we will practice cheeses inside of a triplet grid. Use this reference sheet. Be sure to spend some time first playing the grid the following ways before trying the cheeses as written:
- With neither flams nor diddles
- With diddles but no flams
- With flams but no diddles
Begin slowly (at 80 bpm), and increase the tempo very gradually only when you feel a sense of masterful control and comfort. Take your time here and focus on consistent, open flams and diddles.
Challenge: Can you play this cheese grid off the left? Tempo is not a concern today–rather let’s play perfect quality rhythms with a metronome and sound good doing it.
Post tempos and cheese variations to comments.
Warm-up: Spend 5 minutes playing your favorite accent-to-tap exercise. Use “Where Do We Go From Here” by Jamiroquai for tempo.
Skill work: Spend 15 minutes working on this chut-chutta exercise. A ‘chut-chutta’ is a flam accent with an extra flam on the third partial. Start slowly (dotted 1/4-note at 80 bpm), and increase the tempo by 10 bpm every 2 minutes (working towards 140 bpm). Another variation is to play the exercise without any repeat measures.
Challenge: Can you put a diddle on the downbeat? These become ‘cheese chut-chuttas.’ Work on them slowly with solid diddles and clear heights. Can you play them in the triplet grid?
Post tempos, heights, and chut-chutta variations to comments.