A four step rudiment challenge based on four bars of sixteenth note singles moving through three different time signatures.
In this lesson pack will be learning a four bar exercise that is built from single stroke roll switching between different time signatures, the purpose of which is to improve multiple aspects of your drumming in one exercise. There are four steps in building up to the full part, which I recommend you learn individually before putting the whole thing together. The main construction idea with this exercise is that the part gradually moves back and forth between different bar lengths, creating some interesting rhythms when accents are added.
In this exercise multi limb co-ordination will be pushed 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 and accuracy is focused on in the last step when some notes are moved to different parts of the kit.
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 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 10MB.
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 starting point for the exercise is four bars of sixteenth note Single Stroke Roll. The first of these is played in 2/4, the second in 5/8, the third in 2/4 again and the fourth in 7/8. This gives an 'ABAC' Phrasing where the B and C sections are slightly longer. At this point all notes will sound the same so your focus here is on familiarizing yourself with the unusual timing. Note that a '1 e + a' style counting is used through all bars.
Accents are added on any numbered count that isn't a '1'. Each bar has a similar feel, with the 5/8 and 7/8 bars being extended versions of the 2/4 bars. In this step, focus on making those accents really stand out from the other notes.
The left foot will play an eighth note count on the hi hat pedal whilst the right re enforces the accented notes by playing a kick under them. Ensure all feet line up with the appropriate hand to prevent the part from becoming sloppy.
Standard notes stay on the snare whilst accents move around the toms. Through the course of the four bars you gradually build up to moving around all three toms.
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 a long with a metronome and when you have reached the end of the last step up 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.