how to practice machine gun doubles

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.

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what’s hard about about the passage-from-hell in delécluse 9? the double strokes thrown in among the chaos.

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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.

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so.

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.

rob knopper

lincoln center plaza, 10023

hailed by @nytimes and james levine as needing 'louder triangle notes'. recorded delécluse: douze études for snare drum, percussionist in @metorchestra.