Here are your practice assignments for this week:
Practice the first four lines of Hungarian Dance this week. Try to smooth out the rolls as much as possible and maintain a steady rhythm throughout each phrase. Focus on stickings and make sure that your are doing them the same way each time. This will help with accuracy and consistency. Also, remember to keep doing sight-reading and scales every day. Next week I want to work on the next section of Hungarian Dance and also hear you play your snare drum solo.
This week, practice drum beat #9 from the sheet that I gave you. Remember to count the beats while you play. Also, review all the previous beats that we have worked on (#s 1-8). Try playing each of them at different speeds (slow, medium, and fast) and see if you can keep them going for at least 8 repetitions.
Keep working on the jazz rhythms that we have been doing. Count each rhythm out loud before you play it so that you’re not just guessing how it goes. Then, play it together with the beat at a slow speed. Once you feel comfortable playing it at that speed, try it a little faster. Keep doing that until you feel like you can play each rhythm at a fast speed, but never play anything faster than you can play it accurately.
Great work on the song “Freedom.” It’s really starting to come together. This week, practice the middle section with the lyrics “No more shackles, no more chains…” Be sure to listen very carefully while you are playing so that you don’t get ahead of or behind the song. It is very important that you can hear where the beat is within the song. Also, work on the change of rhythm that happens in the “Hallelujah” section.
Practice the rock beats that we worked on this week. Focus on keeping the speed really steady and playing the rhythms consistently. It’s easy enough to play a rhythm 2-3 times in a row accurately, but playing it 8-12 times in a row requires much more focus. Whenever you practice a new beat, make sure that you can play it many times in a row without stopping, speeding up, or slowing down.
Review the beats that we worked on this week. Be sure to listen very carefully to yourself when you are practicing. Listen for how the rhythms that each of your hands/feet are playing line up with one another. If you hear something that sounds like it’s not lining up properly, slow it down and isolate those parts that aren’t connecting the way that they should. As we are working on more and more challenging beats, it is important to always pay attention to the details of what you are playing.
Review all 12 beats from the sheet that I gave you. Now that you can play all of them, work on playing them each a little bit faster than you have played them before. In order to increase the speed without getting tired or making mistakes, keep your arms loose and use mostly your wrists to create the motion of the sticks. It is also important to hear the rhythm before you try to play it. Counting each rhythm out loud will help a lot with this.