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Grids in difficulty order?
Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:00 pm
So I've been working through my basics with a lot of attention on my technique and really trying to master each exercise/stroke. I've gotten a lot better, but I'm not quite where I want to be yet...
But! When I've worked my way through MASTERING these and my rudiments, I want to slowly work my way through mastering different grids before I really get into playing the corps music on the website. So my question:
If you were to make a list of the common grids, starting from super basic (single accent forward, triplet and 16ths) to super complicated with cheese/flam drag/flam five hybrids, what would your list look like? What grinding patterns do you think are most essential for an accomplished rudimental player?
Re: Grids in difficulty order?
Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:22 pm
I've got a lot of thoughts about this...but don't feel like writing a tier list of rudiments as that will be my opinion and I guarantee others will have something completely different. With that being said, I think it's helpful to give a few tips and maybe even some...dare I say, RULES. Yes, rules may be limiting, but they help guide and structure your practice to be helpful. Anyways here goes...
1. Make sure you can play a grid at least 3 times perfect before moving on/adding to it. Going above and beyond can be exciting, but can also be very frustrating and lead to a negative experience. Drumming is fun!
2. When adding to a grid, take it one step at a time. For example: I play normal triplet grid, and then start doing cheeses....I might have a hard time. If I make sure I can do flams or diddles by themselves before jumping straight to cheeses, then I've broken down the cheeses and might be better prepared for it. Adding upon one grid can build your chops like you can't believe and help exercise your creativity as well.
3. BE CREATIVE! All those hybrid rudiments are cool but there are lots of things you can do with grids to challenge your brain and chops. Ex: Play triplet grid in 3/4 as sixteenth notes...then swing it! Mess around with that for a while.
4. If you run out of creativity (which is normal...writers block, etc..) then just check out "128 rudiments" on google. There are a bunch of hybrids on there. Start pluggin em in!
5. Show some acknowledgement of time. It usually starts with marking time, then start saying a syllable on each beat. I used to use "Bop" to mark the beats because vocalizing is harder than marking time. Then start saying the names of the beats "1-2-3-4" and eventually building enough vocal independence to say the alphabet, greek alphabet, backwards alphabet, pledge of allegiance, phonetic alphabet, lyrics to your favorite song...etc. But make sure you are still playing with good technique and the correct grid whilst keeping time vocally.
Here are some variables you can change: Accents (obviously), Change the rhythm (play the hand motion of triplet grid while counting fivelets/sixteenth notes/whatever, dynamics, rudiment, vocals, TONE to vocals (I like singing green scales while trying everything I wrote in the "5" column.
If you need me to explain/elaborate on anything above or in general I'd love to. Gridding is one of the best and most underrated languages of drumming.
Biggest thing is have fun. Always!
Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:16 am
Aight, so we have two general types of grids.
The first is the basic 4-2-1 accent-tap grid, your normal triplet grid and sixteenth note grid.
There are literally so many variations it'd be hard to categorize these by difficulty, so, I'll just give you how I'm progressing. Right now I'm focusing on straight, one accent triplet grid, move the accent, rudiment on one. So, when it comes to stickings whatnot rudimentally I'm playing the same thing repeatedly, and the only thing moving or changing is the accent. The way I'm going through them:
Essentially you can put diddles on any partial of the triplet and it will work marvelously. Start with a diddle on the first partial, then the second, then third, first and second, second and third, and then first and third. When you begin a variation, I usually start by buzzing the diddles, just a short press, to really define where in the pattern the diddles lie. Make sure power comes from the wrist with the fingers helping, instead of your arm.
Start each variation at a slow tempo, from 80-100 bpm, and work it up slowly while keeping a good, CONSISTENTLY diddle quality, especially on accented diddles. Work on consistency between taps and defined accents. Anywhere between 120-150 is a perfectly suitable goal.
Once you get it there, do it again. Off the left.
These are pretty tough. As with diddles, consistency is the name of the game. Those low flams need to be identical, and sound pristine. Another issue with flams, at least with me, is spacing between the notes as mueller strokes and downstrokes are prevalent when playing these. There really isn't much need to work much further than a basic, flam-on-one approach, but if you want to hack some stuff hybrid flam rudiments like cheeses, flam drags, fives and even chutachuhs can be a doozy.
I've yet to work on sixteenth note, but the same approach would be fined, id think. There is certainly an expanded range of hybrids out there to grid, but the basics will be more fruitful in the long run. You really can grid just about anything if you set your mind out to do it.
The second kind of grid is, as I've heard it called, the thing grid. Same 4-2-1 layout, except in this situation there is no moving of anything- you simply have two patterns, stickings, or rudiments, thing one, in which you play thing 1 four times, thing two four times, then both two times, twice, then both one time, four times. I hope that makes sense, I could put up a video of a basic one if you're interested. These can be used in all sorts of neat ways... Triplet rolls to sixteenth notes, diddles and singles, flam drags and paradiddles, churukitahs and book reports-really, if you can name two rudiments, you can grid them in succession.
I haven't experimented too much with these as of yet so I don't have too many recommendations. Play around with them, and remember they're meant to make you better, not see how much cool stuff you can hack out in a row.
Have fun. You can play grids for years and still not have played everything possible.
Re: Grids in difficulty order?
Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:23 pm
Thanks for taking the time to write these out, I think I understand for the most part what you guys are saying:
Working out something simple like, having the downbeat be either a diddle or a flam, while moving the accents through the pattern, or vice versa (moving the diddle/flam through the pattern). Making sure I can mark time/vocalize/hold a conversation/drink a cup of tea...
So, this would be the kind of the basic patterns to work through and gain fluency with the the different types of downstroke/upstroke/moeller etc... my hands/brain might encounter?
The other thought I was having was gridding the actual rudiments, which I'm not sure if I understood correctly. So for instance, if i'm to work on my 6stroke rolls, I would begin doing a double accent 16th grid and then throwing in the diddles on the unaccented notes. There by practicing "all" the various patterns I might see that rudiment in? Not including playing it in a triplet feel/5s/7s...etc
If you could give me some other examples I think that would help.
Gridding is one of the best and most underrated languages of drumming.
This is great, I think it's awesome the way you describe it as a language, even saying about writer's block. I want to be able to feel some sense of freedom with my drumming like that. I feel like practicing these sorts of things could really help with writing my own music and being creative on the fly, like with improv and whatnot. I definitely don't feel like that's something i'm able to do yet