people trying to build their chops on snare drum spend a LOT of time working on two things:
1. buzz rolls, and
2. soft playing.
those two things are important! yes, keep working on them.
but your warm up is probably missing something.
see, passages in excerpts and delécluse are held together by a specific kind of glue. a connective tissue, if you will. it’s something that you probably don’t practice very much, if at all.
what’s hard about the 4-stroke ruffs in lieutenant kije? the double stroke in the middle that has to be timed and shaped perfectly.
what’s hard about about the passage-from-hell in delécluse 9? the double strokes thrown in among the chaos.
if you're great at double strokes, you’ll have a secret weapon.
if you can trust your hands to perfectly time two strokes in a row and shape them in a musical, crescendoing way, then you can make a passage sound inexplicably better.
it makes random doubles SO MUCH EASIER and sound so dramatic!
this thing from scheherazade is a perfect example… the only way to make this sound amazing is to play these doubles crisp, crescendoing, and consistently.
you have GOT to start working on machine gun doubles in your warmup. and you can get great doubles by following a 4-step process. here’s my video about how to practice double strokes on a daily basis.
my 3-step plan to recover from a performance you'd rather forget
there’s no magic exercise to fix a shaky soft roll or uneven 4-stroke ruffs, so stop looking. the solution lies in how you practice.
includes VIDEO LESSONS, sticking, technical exercises, suggested tempo, excerpt recording, and recommended orchestra recording.
i asked legendary philadelphia orchestra percussionist angela zator nelson (angie for short) to come explain how she learns difficult mallet licks.
college auditions decide your life, so choosing your repertoire has to be very carefully considered.
i’ve heard lots of marimba players with huge potential shoot themselves in the foot by missing these basic elements of musicality.
do you want a secret weapon on snare drum?
if you want to be employable, you should practice tambourine religiously.
can you slam together two trash can lids and make a beautiful sound? welcome to crash cymbals. here’s how to practice cymbals to stop getting air pockets and ugly crashes.
stick control and the rudiments have never fixed my snare drum problems. this is the 60 minute(ish) snare drum warm up that actually works.