Tag Archives: grids

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!


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!

Friday: Write Something

Warm-up: Spend 5 minutes playing flam taps and swiss flams to the tempo of “Butterfly” by Jason Mraz.

Skill work: Figure out at least one new grid. Do not write anything out, but rather use the rudiments, rhythms, and grid patterns you know to do all the ‘mental math.’ Some choices include:

  • Triplet Grid with a diddle on the third partial
  • Triplet Grid with a flam on the second partial
  • 16th Note Grid with a herta
  • Fivelet Grid with two diddles, so on and so forth

Challenge: Write an 8-bar lick this weekend. Spend at least 30 minutes on this challenge, and do not have any sticks with you while you write. Afterwards, drum it, and if you feel comfortable please share it with us in the comments.

Post the new grid and a video of your 8-bar lick to the comments.

Monday: Hand-to-Hand Grids

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: Spend 4 minutes playing three’s (RRR LLL) and tap five’s (R llrr L rrll). Use “Earth” by Imogen Heap for tempo.

Skill work: Introducing a new pattern today: ABAA BABB. This means play pattern A, then pattern B, then pattern A twice. Then repeat off the “B” pattern. Check it out below, using 16th’s (A) and 32nd’s (B) as the two patterns:

Spend some time working these patterns out, always with a metronome, and also feel free to experiment with other stickings (paradiddle the 32nd’s, double the 16th’s, etc.).

Challenge: Read “Reflecting on The Red Plane” by Lydia Ness, an article explaining the deeper meaning behind RCC’s show this season. What is your red plane, your dream, your passion?

Post tempos, heights, and red planes to comments.

Wednesday: Paradiddle Fun

Warm-up: Watch Arcadia HS 2011’s opening snare feature for a bit of pre-drumming inspiration (starts 1:32 in):

Then spend 5 minutes working on backsticking with this pattern:

Skill work: We will approach the paradiddle grid from a different angle today, where we keep the accent constant and grid the rudiment:

Work through these sticking patterns slowly and with very strong accents. Use the metronome to imprint even rhythms, and be sure to play the entire grid left hand lead as well.

Challenge: Can you put a flam on the first note of every double stroke? This is a hybrid rudiment called a “choo-choo,” and it is a progression towards book reports. Can you backstick every accent? This will build fluidity with slower and faster backstick passages.

Post tempos, heights, and WGI experiences to comments.

Thursday: Cheese Grid

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.