Welcome back for another year of drum lessons! It was great to see each of you again this week. Just like last year, I will be sending out weekly homework e-mails with notes on what you should be practicing. Here are your assignments for this week:
Practice the new rhythm exercises that we worked on this week. For each one, count the rhythm out loud before you try to play it. Make sure that you can identify where the beat is and how each rhythm relates to the beat. Play each exercise slowly and then count it out loud again to make sure that you played it correctly. As the exercises become more familiar and comfortable, try playing them a little bit faster.
Work on the accent patterns that we looked at this week. Focus mostly on #1 and #2. Make sure that the rhythm is always steady and even. Practice each one slowly at first and then speed up as they become more comfortable. These accent patterns will help you to develop independence between your hands and your bass drum foot.
Focus this week on the accent patterns, particularly #2, 3, and 4. Practice them slowly and feel the rhythmic relationship between your hands and your foot. Remember that the motion of your wrist is what controls the volume of the accent, so be conscious of how your wrist is moving. Also take a look at the 16th note beats that we worked on. Accent the hi-hat notes that line up with the bass drum.
This week we worked on two essential drum rudiments: the drum roll and the paradiddle. Each time you practice this week, spend some time working on both of these rudiments. They take a very long time to develop, but if you work on them a little each day, you will definitely see gradual improvements. We’ll work on them again next week and then move on to other things.
Practice the two accent patterns that we worked on this week. Make sure that you’re always alternating your hands (right left right left…) and not playing “doubles” (two rights or lefts in a row). Work on hearing the rhythm of the accents and then try moving the accents around on the toms in creative ways. Also, practice paradiddles using this method: First start at a slow comfortable speed. Then gradually speeding up until you reach your maximum speed. Maintain your maximum speed for 10-20 seconds. Then gradually slow down until you reach the speed you started at. Try to always make the rhythm sound even, especially as you are speeding up and slowing down.