Practicing Packets

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Snare Playa Offline
flam dragger
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Practicing Packets

Posted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:45 am



To those of you that have successfully made a drum corps, how did you go about practicing the audition/technique/exercise packet so that you could become very familiar with the exercises and thus, nail your audition? Practice way under tempo? Over tempo? Run through it and then go back and fix ticks? Stop immediately at ticks and break it down? In case it matters this is for snare for Cadets^2.
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HS
'14: Bass 3
'15: Snare

'18 Carolina Crown Hopeful


FatMatt Offline
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Re: Practicing Packets

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:00 am



All of the above. You should practise everything below tempo, and even try to get it above tempo if you can. You should practise everything across the range of heights. With two-height exercises, especially be able to play them at a single, low height (both 3" and 6", or p & mp), as well as with different accent heights; at the low height, make sure everything sounds monotone, instead of just really low with slight accents. In exercises with paradiddles, you should be able to play everything with the various paradiddle skeletons... so Rlrrllrr Lrllrrll becomes R r l r L l r l, R rrllrr L llrrll, and Rl r l r Lr l r l, and the same variations without accents (one height... no "slight" emphasis where the accents were... completely monotone).

With roll exercises, be able to play them really slow with completely accurate rhythms across all heights. For example, with triplet diddles, isolate just one pattern (e.g. [check] + RR L R LL R L) and listen for complete accuracy with rhythms, as well as making sure that the second note of each doublestroke rebounds. Zero in on this one pattern, and just repeat it in isolation to really hear all the ways it can be wrong... it'll mess with your head, but better now than in auditions; and there will be weird tendencies on every variation of the diddle exercise, so it's a pretty painstaking process. In check patterns, make sure that even though you're working the larger muscle groups to establish timing, you are also allowing the stick to rebound... check is the first note of a diddle, and if the first note doesn't rebound, where is the second note going to come from? You probably don't need to be great at fast single-stroke patterns, but at the slower tempi, learn each roll pattern as singlestrokes so you can compare it to the doublestrokes and check your rhythmic accuracy.

With roll exercises, be able to play the diddles as doublestrokes, as simply check, as long crushes (buzz roll), and as tight crushes. Note how they feel in your hands, and it will create an awareness of how your fulcrum engages to achieve quality doublestrokes, especially as tempo increases.

Where possible, try different patterns with different interpretations of the rudiments, especially if there's like a spree or musical excerpt. If there's a tricky lick somewhere that has a six-stroke roll, for example, practise it with a slurred six-stroke roll... and rehearse the different interpretations back-to-back to separate them in your head. When rhythmic perfection is necessary, as on a snare line, you have to be able to recall the correct interpretation of rudiments, and learning to play something "wrong" can train your brain and ear to separate different tendencies so that you can play the correct interpretation on demand.

With flam exercises, KEEP YOUR GRACE NOTE DOWN. Practise the exercise with no accents, and focus on keeping the grace-note as low or lower than the taps you're playing. A good rule of thumb is that you don't prep for grace-notes... they just drop from the tacet height. In something like flam-accents, the sticks are already moving at the tap height, so you drop them from tap height... but if the flam is isolated, avoid adding extra height by prepping it. Striving for extremely low grace-notes helps keep the flam from getting wide, as well... it focuses your mind on sneaking the grace-note "under" the tap, which usually keeps it rhythmically right up against the primary note. Rehearse the flam exercises slowly with every note at 6" and strive for 3" grace-notes... this can seem overly cerebral, and you're not going to actually achieve this type of grace-note/tap contrast in your normal playing, but opening your brain up to the difference between taps and grace-notes can really help you keep everything down and keep your grace-note length consistent... this means in something like flam accents, where the left hand plays l l - L - l [repeat], it'll end up being l (lift to 6") l (lift to 12") - L - (stop at 6") l (stop at 3") [repeat]. This might seem crazy, but just do it slow enough to pull it off, and you'll start really getting the hang of what it takes to have great flams. An example of this idea can be seen in this old SCV video; watch how he plays the flam accents at the slow tempo: https://youtu.be/8aZPHXyGP3Y?t=6m14s
NC State Drumline (2007–2010)
Instructor: Athens Drive HS (2009–2011), Weber State Indoor Percussion (2013–2015)

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Snare Playa Offline
flam dragger
flam dragger
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:49 am
Location: In the band room

Re: Practicing Packets

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:14 pm



Thank you
Hey you, reading this; if you currently don't have a Snarescience account, please feel free to make one and join the conversation. It's free and only takes a minute!

HS
'14: Bass 3
'15: Snare

'18 Carolina Crown Hopeful


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