A four step rudiment challenge that combines orchestrated single stroke fours and fives in one bar.
In this lesson you will be learning an exercise that involves switching between two different single stroke stickings within one bar, the purpose of which is to improve multiple aspects of your drumming in one exercise but particularly hand speed. There are four steps in building up to the full part, I recommend you learn these individually before putting the whole thing together.
In this exercise multi limb co-ordination will be challenged with the addition of feet and orchestration, you can work on general speed by using the two minute rule to push tempo, stick control and height are challenged with the addition of accents, stamina can be improved by repeating the part over and over, accuracy is focused on in the last step when some notes are moved to different parts of the kit and your focus and concentration will be tested with the switch in sticking.
Each step is shown individually first of all with a quick note on what is going on. At the bottom of the page I discuss how to put these steps together to create the full exercise.
A PDF version is also available. In this the exercise is presented in a similar way but with counting and sticking added to all parts and the final long exercise is notated in full. MP3 files of each exercise are provided at a mixture of tempos and an alternate version of steps 3 and 4 are also given. You purchase this for just $1.50 by clicking the button below.
NOTE: this download is 9.1MB.
When learning the parts, take your time and ensure timing and note placement are perfect before working on combining parts or pushing the tempo. An area of specific focus is discussed for each step and links to any useful lessons are provided also. At the bottom of the page you will find a list of suggested target tempos.
The bar below switches between two different single stroke rhythms on every numbered count, starting with a Single Stroke 4 then a Single Stroke 5. This is a really useful exercise in developing hand speed, particularly when combined with the 'Two Minute Rule'. Note that the '+' count in the single stroke 4 is played on a left and in the single stroke 5 it is with a right. Focus here on playing all notes at an even dynamic level.
Accents are placed on the first and last notes of the single stroke 4 then on the last note of the single stroke 5. The second half of the bar then uses the reverse of this, creating a sort of musical palindrome. In this step focus on making those accented notes stand out, particularly those played on a left hand.
A simple kick placement is applied where the right foot plays under all accented notes. As with the last step, focus here on the placements around the left hand accent.
I have gone for a slightly unconventional orchestration here. All standard notes are played on the snare with the accents moved around the toms. The general idea is that these alternate between the high tom and floor tom no matter which hand is being used creating a cross over on the '+' count of the single stroke 4. Focus here on making sure your hands don't clash at this point.
To create the full exercise you are going to play all four steps from above one after the other. The amount of time you stay on each step is entirely up to you. It could be a set number of bars (eighth or sixteenth work well in that case) or a rough time limit such as a minute per step. Play along with a metronome and when you have reached the end of the last step increase the tempo. However, if you mess up at any point you should start over completely, as you would in the Two Minute Rule. If you consistently mess up at the same point, go back to playing that step on its own. You could easily kill an hour or longer working through the full exercise and your playing would benefit massively.