Standard Exercises/Warm-ups for HS Drumline

Hey Guys,

I'm always updating, rewriting and rethinking our warm-up and exercise package (I'm guessing I'm not the only, too). And, I'm always curious to know if I'm leaving a concept out or if I'm kicking a dead horse.

So, in generic terms, would you guys list the basic exercises and skills you believe that a HS drumline should have in their warm-up/exercise package?

I'll start:

An ";8 on a hand exercise"; (that works on legato strokes and general timing, etc.)

[quote author=UNT/BD Tenor link=topic=3075.msg16317#msg16317 date=1242151540]
My 3 cents (inflation)

Good. Made me chuckle
Resisting urge to fill whole page...

Here's how I approach it with beginning lines. My thoughts on pit are included since I usually teach them with the battery. Sure I'd prefer to separate them but I haven't found a way to make my watch go to 36 or duplicate myself in uber Dr. Manhatten style! To my surprise, the pit kids feel like they are a part of the line and thus work harder. This also helps to avoid ";battery hates the pit for practicing in the AC"; syndrome.

[b]8th's - [/b]Keep it simple, however, use dynamics. For beginners I would avoid lots of crechendi and decresendi, but I would work a lot on terracing. It helps them understand sticks heights a lot better and helps relax their hands. I'll commonly lock the met on a tempo, say 110 or something, then have them play the whole thing at 15in, then 3in, 6in, 9in, 12in, 15in again. Then change tempo.

Not only does this train their hands to not play so freaking loud by default, but it also allows them to HEAR each other. It's harder to clean taps than full blown accents (the sound is obviously much shorter)

For the pit, I have them play the 8 on a hand type scale exercise listed in Jim[sup]2[/sup]'s Upfront, but I have them also alternate their hands every other rep. We go through all the major scales, and if they get bored we throw in some blues, whole tone, pentatonic, etc. At super fast tempi, they just alternate for the sake of sanity and relaxation....mostly sanity.

[b]Single attacks[/b] - After their hands are loose, single attacks are great to play. I have an exercise where they all are in a circle or arc and the captain will do a bar tap off and everyone will attack, immediately after that, the guy next to him is tapping off. We go all around the circle and use the left hand on the second time around. This forces everyone to listen and not go into auto pilot. If a kid misses their tap off, everyone attacks anyhow and we skip them. It's always fun to watch the face of a kid who just spaced out and missed their tap off :)

I'ts also important to include the pit in this exercise. For extra fun, you can have them do it on a C# or something so they can practice hitting the edge of the bar and not the node.

[b]Accent tap, bucks, etc. [/b]-  Without guidance, this exercise can go terribly wrong. Many kids tense up their hand whenever they play an accent and don't really understand that an accent is just a higher stick height and the stick should not be treated like bart simpson's head. Bill Bachman's ";Bachcent"; is AWESOME at teaching what an accent should be because it isolates each part of a ";buck";.

Example, A=accent a=tap
AAAAaaaa|AAAAaaaa|  and so on...

So it basically has the kids playing nice legato 8th's then gradually adds in taps. After this cycle is done, it goes in reverse (inverts)

For the pit, I like using simple 4 mallet double vertical strokes at quarter notes. The tempo-technique ratio alligenment with the battery is amazing on this one. They usually do simple interval changes between a 5th and 2nd.

[b]Double beat/triple beat[/b] - Any stock version will do, I like the ones that include playing on one hand for extending time and ones that include playing alternating doubles as well.

For the pit I love having them do a double stop exercise in 8th notes that spreads and opens their hands to absurd intervals so they get a good feel of the key board (gordon stout style). If you have any really advanced kids, they can work on the same thing with but with 4 mallets.

If you're more focused on 4 mallets, this is also a good time to work on single independent strokes at quater notes (or 8th depending on skill)

[u][i][b]Timing[/b][/i][/u]  This is by far the more important and most overlooked exercise in the history of high school (and perhaps college) lines. To hear the Thom Hannum 16th note timing exercise at 9 inches played perfectly is a thing of supreme beauty :) I like to have the basses and tenors do easy splits and unisons (alternating each time). This exercise with the met is AWESOME.

For the pit I like to have them play this exercise with mortal kombat flare! For example ";F-F-F-F  F#-Eb F-F-F-F  F#-Eb F-F-F-F  F-F-F-F  F-F-F-F   F#-Eb";

[b]Rolls[/b] - I love using the ";Murray Gusseck"; approach here. Have them do 2 bars of tripletes or 16th's then a bar of just the right hand rolling. Then same with the left, then both together. This helps them get a consistent technique for their diddle. After they master that we move into things like triplet diddle ";stock grade a";  :)

For the pit, this is a good tempo for either simple 16th notes mobility exercises (think G.H.Green style) or if you're doing 4 mallets, working on Laterals in 16th's or triplets. Usually easy repetitive laterals.

[b]The dread flam roberts[/b] Ahh teaching flams, always a joy. I like using this time to teach my first ";ensemble"; piece. So the pit can work on musicality and the battery can endlessly play flams. Personally I love using an 8th note based mission impossible arrangement I wrote that takes and battery through all the simple basic flam rudiments and lets the pit get into some split parts to work on balance, listening, phrasing, dynamics etc.

For more advanced groups I like playing the Hannum timing exercise but with flams on the variations. (flam-flam-flam -flam 2 & Flam-flam-flam-falm 4&) etc.

[i]That's my bread and butter[/i]
This usually takes up most of the time during the first season. Year two can get more advanced etc.
Login or Signup to post a comment