Time for another rudimental drumline exercise used to help get you in shape for the marching season in a couple weeks. Click here to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our lesson. Also, you can download the PDS Stickline Technical Manual that we are using.
Today’s exercise is as familiar to every drumline student as snares and sticks: our good friend the Double Beat Exercise (#7 in our book). This is the basis for our open rolls that we use everyday in rudimental drumming. Time spent with this exercise will pay dividends in the quality of your rolls later on.
Here’s our rules for this exercise:
- Use a metronome! (Have I said this before?) This time, in addition to keeping us rhythmically honest, we’re going to use our ‘nomes as record keepers – to pace us as we work this exercise. Unlike Roaming Accents from last week, this exercise is all about speed. Start slow, but push yourself as fast as you can while maintaining a good quality of sound from each tap.
- NO ACCENTS!!! This is an exercise in monotone sound – one stick height all the way! Utilize the rebound of your initial down stroke to help your second tap sound just like your first!
- Vary your heights. Not during the exercise, but as you repeat it. At slow tempos play as high as you can (so long as you obey rule #2). Higher tempos will necessitate lower heights, but still work to play as high as possible. This will build your chops!
There is a reason every drumline has a version of this exercise – because it is essential to building good quality rolls. Spend A LOT of time with this one!