Importance of Check Patterns?

Hey guys,

I'm revamping my beginner methods, and am contemplating their structure. The part I'm hung up on is the importance of check patterns. Right now, every exercise I have (timing patterns, diddle patterns, buzz roll patterns, etc.) have a built in check pattern between each. I like them because 1) it offers a familiarity to each exercise that the kids can latch on to, 2) it gives the brain a chance to switch gears between each pattern, and 3) it drives home how the patterns relates to each other.

I keep getting ripped on by a few of my friends, telling me I'm like a Cavalier stuck in the 90's. Am I alone in using check patterns still this way?
No you are not alone in using them. I still use them even with my more advance players. I cannot remember where I heard this but Vince Lombardi, when coaching the Packers, would always start out every training season with ";This is a football";. He would describe ever little thing about it and how it works.

I have done that so many times and laugh at it but it works. It doesn't matter how good you are as a player, everybody needs a refresher course.

Heck I still will break down a section of music to the basics just to understand it better before I teach it.

Just my .02 cents worth.

Well, being that you are a Cavalier from the 90s, that's partially true :-)

Watch any pro musician or sports team... what do they do first?  Warm-ups and drills.  Doesn't mater who it is or what you do, every person with a brain does some sort of preparation before just jumping in the deep end.  I'm sure your friends must enjoy telling their students to just dive right in with the most advanced stuff, played as fast as possible.  Because of course that's the way to build a strong foundation. </sarcasm>
I guess I'm just questioning the amount of time dedicated to check patterns. Should EVERY exercise or study we do have them? Maybe occasionally have one that doesn't?

I think they are completely necessary. Not every exercise probably needs one (I'm thinking about an accent exercise I do with our beginners...), but I find myself adding check patterns to exercises that don't have them for all of the beneficial reasons you stated.

As for ridicule, shouldn't you be used to that by now! :)

Seriously though, anyone who would have the gall to ridicule you over something like that is probably not presenting a strong layer of fundamentals to their students. And that comment about being a Cavalier from the 90's is supposed to be insulting? I know a lot of guys who were on-those-lines/taught-those-lines and all I can say is that they got a pretty dang good education and have turned out to be among the top in our field.

Well. . . Check patterns are a good basis of developing a solid sense of uniform time. As for the use of a check pattern between EVERY exercise. . . as the year moves along. . . Take them out and ask them to internalize or ";hear the check in their head"; before the next attack. :) NO Dutting in concert band. LOL!
Long live check patterns.  However, I agree that the player's internal metronome has to be challenged.  Some of our exercises have a built-in design to work without a check pattern.
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