Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Weight Room: Single Stroke Mayhem

We all know the "Eight On A Hand" exercise. It's a staple of drumming life. So, let's take it to the next level, shall we?

Much of the music we play on the drum kit (and really all percussion, for that matter) requires a fair amount of endurance. To meet that need, use a simple, "Sixteen On A Hand" exercise. Just take "Eight On A Hand," and extend the form to two measures (sixteen consecutive notes) on each hand, and change the time signature to cut time or 2/2.

Even simpler, just think of the exercise as one measure of sixteenth notes for each hand.

As always, remember to start slow, stay relaxed, and gradually increase the tempo. It should take weeks, if not months, to work up to obscene tempos (tempi?), so just work it up one or two clicks per day.

As an added bonus, this will increase your single stroke speed (I know - duh! Didn't I just say that?). Think about this: alternating sixteenths are really just Eight On A Hand. If you start the left hand one sixteenth note after the right hand, then both hands are playing eighth notes, but the result is single stroke sixteenths.

When you start with Sixteen On A Hand, the same idea (left starts one 32nd note after the right) applies, and you get alternating 32nds. Sweet, no?!

Hopefully that all makes sense. Try it. You'll like it. And you'll be faster in no time.

Happy drumming!

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