A s the weather gets warmer, I like to practice outside. It’s nice to stand out in the warm breeze and just play drums.
This week I started a new practice schedule. I’ve been spending so much time sitting and composing, my chops are slowing down. So I’m back in to a rigorous routine. I’ve been really focusing on my roll. The classical roll has always come easily to me, the marching “diddle” roll has always been a bit harder. In order to strengthen my timing and my muscles I’ve been spending time on some warm-ups.
This version of 8ths, is what we at Loyola call 8-8-16. It’s simply 8 on each hand, then 16 on a hand then alternate. I find that 16 on a hand, especially at high tempos, is a really good chop builder.
Alternator is a short rhythm I started using a lot when I lived in Connecticut. This has been great to loosen up my hands during a warm up and really even out my left and right hand. I’m always interested in having balance between my left and right hand. Again, it’s great for the hands at high tempos. Put in at least an hour a day on these chop building exercises and you’re sure to see a difference.
Both of these warm-ups requires focus to stay with the metronome and avoiding tension in the arms/wrists.
The last warm-up I’ve been spending a lot of time on is Paradiddle 1.0.
Paradiddle exercises are great for your roll. Paradiddles help you gain control with switching between single notes and doubles. Paradiddles at a high tempo should cost only 2 strokes. 1 in the left and 1 in the right. The left stroke should bounce to achieve the last 2 notes.
There are a lot of great exercises out there, these are just a few that I’ve written and enjoy working on. All of this work is to see a difference. I’m working on seeing a difference in my comfort and stability in playing.