Here are your practice assignments for this week:
Practice the new rhythm that we worked on this week: “1 e +.” Play it several times in a row on the snare drum while counting the rhythm out loud. Then try moving it around the drums. Also practice the rhythm combinations that I wrote down in your book: #1 and #2. Finally, keep working on “We Will Rock You” by Queen. We will work some more on this next week.
Keep working on the triplet accent patterns from your book. Try to make them sound smooth without any hesitations or bumps in the rhythm. Also, practice them at different speeds. See how fast you can push the speed before the rhythm starts to get off. Be very aware of how your hands are moving throughout each pattern: whether they’re lifting the stick to prepare an accent or keeping the stick down low to the drum.
Practice the new triplet rhythms that we worked on this week. Count them out loud while you play. This will help you to remember how each rhythm goes and to get the feeling of the rhythmic phrase. Start slowly. You should always play at a speed where you can get from the beginning to the end of the rhythm without stopping. Also review the two drum beats from last week. We will do more work on them next week.
Keep working on “Good Times Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin. It is starting to sound really good, but there are a couple of things that need to be tightened up. The off-beat bass drums sometimes sound uneven. Even though they are syncopated, they still need to be in the pocket. Practice playing the bass drum off-beat from the hi-hat and keeping it all nicely even. Also, when practicing along with the song, be careful not to push the tempo. You don’t want to get ahead of the music. Lay back on the beat and listen carefully to how your part fits in with the rest.
Practice your accent patterns some more this week. I know that it is difficult, but you need to work more on playing the non-accented notes softly. This means only lifting your sticks a little bit above the drum when you play. Resist the urge to play loudly all the time. Also, work on playing each accent pattern several times in a row without stopping. This is the only way to develop consistency in your play. Aim to play each one 8 times in a row without stopping.