Hi everyone,

Here are your practice assignments for this week:

Will

Recommended minutes to practice: 15-20 minutes per day

What to practice: Playing the drum roll soft to loud to soft, and the fill from the second verse of  “Arabella” by the Arctic Monkeys.

How to practice it most effectively: With the snare drum roll, focus on keeping the volume of your left hand the same as the right hand. Also, remember to change the speed of your roll when moving from soft to loud to soft (soft=slow, loud=fast). With the drum fill, be sure to count it properly and hear how it fits in with the rest of the verse beat. Don’t rush to play the open hi-hat too soon.

Alexy

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The bridge from “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.

How to practice it most effectively: Focus on the three fills that I wrote down in your book. It’s important that you can play them consistently the same way every time. Also, practice getting from the accent pattern into the fill and then back into the accent pattern without losing time. Listening to the recording of the song will help you to get the sound of the rhythms in your head.

Oscar

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: Xylophone technique.

How to practice it most effectively: Remember the things that we talked about in your lesson: 1) Keep the heads of the mallets low – no more than a few inches above the keyboard is necessary. This will improve your accuracy. 2) Avoid hitting the nodes of the keys – this is the part where the string goes through the bar. The sound of the xylophone is the worst when struck on the nodes. Whenever possible, aim for the centre of the bar. Alternatively, on the accidentals, you can play on the very edge so you don’t have to reach as far as to play in the centre. 3) Think about the stickings you will use for each passage that you play and always keep the sticking consistent each time you play it.

Nate M.

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: “Tom Sawyer” and “Spirit of Radio” by Rush.

How to practice it most effectively: After this week, we will leave these songs for a little a while and come back to them closer to the recital. I think they’re in good shape now and I don’t want you to get tired of playing them. For now, just work on conserving your energy when you play them – practice the wrist/elbow technique that I showed you so that your right arm doesn’t get as tired. Also, try to economize your movements when you play around the drums. This means keeping the stick relatively low and not playing too loudly. This will help with your endurance.

Aidan

Recommended minutes to practice: 20-30 minutes per day

What to practice: The variations of the beat from “Watermelon Man” that I wrote down for you.

How to practice it most effectively: The thing about this song is that the drummer rarely does the same thing twice in a row. He is always making slight alterations to the beat – shifting a note over by a 16th, or adding/subtracting notes – while keeping the main structure of the beat the same. Practicing these variations and thinking about their similarities and differences will help you to learn how to do this yourself with other beats rather than always playing the same thing over and over.

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