Doing exercises off the left

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ohmycheese Offline
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Doing exercises off the left

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:32 pm



Next season, I will be taking the battery instructor position at my high school. I've put together an exercise packet for the line that will challenge both vets and new members, deriving ideas and concepts from my high school and corps experience. One new idea I've been playing with was doing the exercises off the left. I saw the packet for the University of Hawaii drumline and saw that most of their exercises were left hand lead. I asked my percussion director about it and he said we could implement that if I wanted to. But I wanna know the pros and cons to doing this. I heard that old vanguard used to do this, but I'm not certain.

And the big question mark for me is if I should implement it with the bassline. I'm leaning towards no. My bass experience is minimal but I'm gonna study the crap out of it once I get my hands on bass logic.

If I do implement the left hand lead concept, I'd do it for legatos, double/triple beat, and accent tap exercises.
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Matt_1423 Offline
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Re: Doing exercises off the left

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:28 pm



From my experience we always played those exercises off the right and left hands.
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joe356 Offline
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Re: Doing exercises off the left

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:36 pm



ohmycheese wrote:Next season, I will be taking the battery instructor position at my high school. I've put together an exercise packet for the line that will challenge both vets and new members, deriving ideas and concepts from my high school and corps experience. One new idea I've been playing with was doing the exercises off the left. I saw the packet for the University of Hawaii drumline and saw that most of their exercises were left hand lead. I asked my percussion director about it and he said we could implement that if I wanted to. But I wanna know the pros and cons to doing this. I heard that old vanguard used to do this, but I'm not certain.

And the big question mark for me is if I should implement it with the bassline. I'm leaning towards no. My bass experience is minimal but I'm gonna study the crap out of it once I get my hands on bass logic.

If I do implement the left hand lead concept, I'd do it for legatos, double/triple beat, and accent tap exercises.

I don't know that doing EVERYTHING off the left hand is the right approach. Most music is written with the right hand in the lead, so while there is a ton of merit to developing the left hand, never addressing the right hand is setting yourself up for failure. That being said, my packet isn't written for left or right hand lead. I make the kids do a little of both, particularly with the more stock exercises. I don't know that I'd make them learn book or lot etudes off the left, but triplet grid, absolutely.


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Doing exercises off the left

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:38 am



Doing exercises exclusively off the left is probably only margainally less desireable then doing them exclusively off the right. My personal preferences are for short, sweet, and skill specific exercises (8s, double triple, chicken and a roll). A good approach is to insert a paradiddle on four (for 4/4 exercises) or a swiss-army triplet on four (for 12/8 exercises) before a repeat... that will change the lead. Two permutations of the same exercise, using alternating leads allows you to get a basis for comparison, is suprisingly challenging, and also gives the students less to memorize.
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SteelSampson Offline
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Re: Doing exercises off the left

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:39 am



I'd agree with the general consensus, playing exercises both left and right lead is probably best. Maybe you could do a couple that are written with the intent of left hand lead, but the rest just tell the students to be able to play them both left and right hand lead.


ConsistencyIsKey Offline
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Re: Doing exercises off the left

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:26 am



If you can play timing exercises off the left and right while marking time, then chances are you're playing it pretty dang well. So i'd definitely recommend left hand lead when it comes to anything that will strength your sense of space. sixteen and triplet grids are also beneficial off the left. If you're looking for a good timing exercise, you can just do
a 4-2-1 exercise i.e. check then the rhythm (1-e-and, 1-and-a, 1-e-a) check before every rhythm. then only 2 counts of check and 2 counts of rhythm, then 1 count each. You can do this with triplets and sixteenths. playing exercises like these off both hands with really strengthen the whole line's space. Just play the whole thing unison, even basses. You could add tenor arounds if you want, but try to keep it simple.


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