DRUMMING CONCEPTS & EXERCISES
Crashing a cymbal at the same time as striking the bass drum works great if you want to really emphasize something in a big way. But what if you want to give a scaled down version of the same effect and not disrupt the flow of your “time” on the ride cymbal or stirring of brushes on a snare? One way is to “splash” the hi-hat cymbals together by working the hi hat pedal. The sound is different than if you struck the cymbals using a stick or brush and that is a good thing. It gives you another color to play around with.
So what is “splashing”?
Starting with the hi hat cymbals apart, you depress the hi hat pedal to bring the cymbals together and than back off on the pedal to let the cymbals ring freely. The distance the cymbals are apart can effect volume as can the force with which you depress the pedal.
Controlling these “splashes” involves practice and so I developed this exercise to help you work on that. The written “X” is the “splashing” of the hi hat cymbals. Again, let the cymbals ring once splashed.
The ride cymbal should be played throughout. (I didn't write past the first measure as not clutter the page). You can play this exercise with sticks or brushes.
If you want to practice more exercises related to this, pick up a copy of Ted Reed’s fantastic book called “syncopation”. You can adapt many of the pages from, say, page 29 to 44 (depending on the edition) to work out more exercises.
Have fun with this and experiment with the idea of “splashing” in other circumstances.
You can add such beautiful expressive “color” and shape to your playing using the “splash”. It can be dramatic or really subtle. Combined with brush playing, you’ll love the results!
As my second entry into my drum exercises page, I decided to post an exercise that incorporates the bass drum within often dense snare drum rhythms. For this exercise, I adapted exercises from Ted Reed’s wonderful book “Syncopation” (If you don’t have this book, order it- or better yet, go to a music shop and pick up a copy. You’ll be glad you did!).
Often it takes some time before these exercises feel comfortable - especially if you’re not used to this type of coordination. But as they settle in, you will probably notice that the figures resemble those played by be-bop masters such as Max Roach. In the process, you will likely improve your coordination significantly which of course will benefit any style of music that you enjoy playing. Just be patient and insist on playing with solid time and a good feel.
Some notes about this exercise:
Until next next time-
I plan to post an exercise each month (or more often) that you may find fun, interesting to play, and helpful. They were developed to target specific aspects of drumming and my students seem to enjoy them. I hope that you will too!
As my very first entry into my drum exercises page, I decided to post an exercise that works on using the bass drum in a “melodic” fashion. Here the bass drum functions kind of like a lower pitched floor tom, only that it is played with the foot rather than the hand.
If you’re not used to dealing with the drum set like this, it may take a little while to get used to. But using the bass drum in this way opens up a world of possibilities for drummers. Besides sounding very good, these exercise will likely improve your coordination a great deal making you freer to express yourself on the drums!
Some Notes About This Exercise
Each exercise has sticking above and below it. A left handed player may feel more comfortable with the sticking above, and a right handed player with the sticking below. But feel free to practice both stickings if you like.
If you’re able to do it, playing 2 & 4 on your hi hat is the way to go.
Exercise #5a uses an abbreviated notation on the 2nd and 3rd eighth notes. The diagonal lines mean that 16th notes are to be played, and the two dots indicate two articulate (not buzzed, but rather double) strokes are to played on each of those written 8th notes.
I also should mention that while I did not write a “3” above each grouping, each three note grouping is a triplet.
Aim for a good sound, smooth and flowing execution. These are triplets, they should just roll along!
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