Just to recap what we did in our first lesson:

Snare Drum

Practice the three types of rolls that we went over: single stroke roll, double stroke roll, and multiple bounce roll. For the single stroke roll, practice playing slow to fast to slow, and focus on using more wrist and less elbow. Listen carefully while you play to ensure that your right hand isn’t louder than your left (or vice versa) and look at your hands/arms while you play to make sure the motion looks the same on both sides.

For the double stroke roll, first practice bouncing your sticks. See how high you can get the first bounce to be. Also try to get your fingers to move along with the stick as it bounces. Then practice the bounce-pull technique. Remember that it should all be one continuous wrist motion, not two separate motions.

For the multiple bounce roll, practice playing soft to loud to soft. Increase the speed of your hands as you get louder and then slow down as you get softer. Aim for a gradual and smooth arc in the sound. Slowing down smoothly will likely be more difficult than speeding up, so it’s a good idea to do extra practice on just going from loud to soft.

Also practice paradiddles: RLRR LRLL. The beginning of each group of four notes should be accented. Focus on preparing the accent by raising each stick while the other hand is playing a double stroke. Keep the rhythm strictly even… use a metronome if you have one.


Practice the 7 major scales that we worked on: C, G, D, A, F, Bb, and Eb. Practice each one going up two octaves and then down two octaves. Go slow and try to visualize all the notes of the scale before you start playing. Make note of which hand plays each of the accidentals in each scale. Remembering these details will help you to play the scale with more consistency. If you have a metronome, use it when practicing scales. Find a slow speed at which you can play the scales accurately and consistently. Then, challenge yourself to see if you can play the scales a few beats per minute faster than that. However, don’t continuously play the scales at a speed that causes you to make many mistakes. This won’t help you to learn the scales and will only ingrain the mistakes.

Here is a reminder of which accidentals are in each scale (although you should try to figure this out for yourself each time you practice using the methods I showed you):

C (none)

G (F#)

D (F#, C#)

A (F#, C#, G#)

F (Bb)

Bb (Bb, Eb)

Eb (Bb, Eb, Ab)

Great work in your first lesson this week! Happy practicing!