Here are your practice assignments for this week:
With your snare solo, focus on the dynamics and tempo during your practice time. Try to make the crescendos and diminuendos as gradual as possible, and the sudden dynamic changes as abrupt as possible. Also, make a habit of practicing with a metronome every day. Start with the metronome at a slow speed, around 60bpm, and play through the whole solo. Ensure that each rhythm is evenly subdivided and steady. Then gradually increase the metronome speed until you get up to around 78-80bpms. That should be your target speed with this solo.
Great work on the drum fills in Paradise City! This week, work on the transition from these fills into the “double-time” chorus that follows. Remember that the bass drum notes are always on the beat and the snare notes come in between. This means that the bass drum (right foot) is responsible for staying on time and driving the beat forward.
Keep practicing the intro from “Walkin” by Miles Davis. You’ve almost got it. You just need to focus on the transition into the hi-hat beat from the crash that comes just before. Remember that the crash is on the “&” of 4 and then the hi-hat beat starts on 2. You don’t play anything on the down beat. Also, review all the different sections of your xylophone solo. You’ve learned all the parts now, so next week we will work on putting it all together.
Practice the new beats that we worked on from your new song. Remember to count out loud as you play. Some of the rhythms in this song are tricky, so unless you count, you won’t be able to play them accurately. Listen to the sound of the beats in the context of the song while you count them out loud. Then try playing them on the drums while also counting out loud. If you can do this, then you will have no problem playing the beats with the song.
Great work this week on Arabella! During your practice times this week, review all the parts of the song that we have learned so far up to the fourth bar of the second pre-chorus. Focus especially on the transitions between sections and on the fill in the second verse. Try playing all of this along with a recording of the song. Next week we will finish learning the long fill in the second pre-chorus.
Practice the bossa nova beat that we worked on this week. Try the cross-stick hit on the snare drum that I showed you. Also, try to keep the bass drum and the cymbal fairly quiet while the hi-hat pedal and the cross-stick should be louder. If you forget how the rhythm goes, look at what I wrote down in your book. If you’re feeling comfortable with the beat, then try practicing it with drum fills.
Great work this week on Back in Black! The song is really starting to come together. This week, try to isolate the Bridge and the Outro of the song. These are the parts of the song that are still a bit tricky. Always remember to count through the rests. This will help you to come back in the right spot consistently. Also, listen very carefully to how your part fits in with the rest of the song. If you can hear how everything fits together, then you will be able to play with more accuracy and consistency.