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.
last week, duncan patton, my former colleague at the met opera, demonstrated how to build a basic legato stroke on timpani. today he’s back to show you the other 8 stroke types you should learn to build a complete sound pallet.
in high school i found an old PAS article on building a legato timpani stroke that changed my life. i didn’t know it at the time, but the author would turn out to be my colleague in the met orchestra, duncan patton. here’s duncan's guide to building a legato stroke, 22 years later.
your mallet bag should be a collection of the best of the best. you should choose new mallets in a scientific way, without wasting money.
on my first day of freshman year in college, greg zuber handed me a 283-page packet of snare drum exercises, charts, grip diagrams, and articles. thus began my college snare drum journey. in today’s video he explains some of his most important foundational snare drum concepts that you can incorporate into your daily snare warmup.
if you want to be an orchestral percussionist, should you do drum corps or will it ruin your stroke? i asked jake nissly, principal percussionist of the san francisco symphony and former member of the dubuque colts.
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.