With this next installment, I’m beginning a multi step warm-up exercise that will hopefully follow a logical progression with the intent to develop better articulation and speed when playing single and double strokes. As you play these, remember to use proper technique and stay relaxed w/ minimal tension (ideally none at all!) in your hands and arms.
Step 1: Ones (or “Singles”)
- First we begin with alternating our hands in a single stroke pattern - RLRLRLRLRL etc...
- Next we do a double stroke on just the right hand - so that the pattern becomes two 16ths (right hand) followed by an 8th single stroke (left hand).
- The final step is to begin with an 8th single stroke (right hand) followed by two 16ths in the left hand.
Step 2: Twos (or “Doubles”)
- First begin by playing two notes in each hand: RRLLRRLL etc…
- Next, add a single stroke between the doubles so that you end up with two 16th notes followed by an 8th. The sticking will be RLR and then LRL.
- Now let’s double each of the single strokes, so that you end up with four 32nd notes followed by an 8th. The sticking will be RRLLR and then LLRRL.
- Finally, we can use the same rhythm and substitute a different sticking pattern, let’s try: RLRRL and then LRLLR. Variations on this could be made by moving each sticking over by one note w/ the follow possibilities:
- LRRLR and then RLLRL
- RRLRL and then LLRLR
- RLRLR and then LRLRL
- LRLRR and then RLRLL
Of course further variations could be made by substituting a kick drum or hi-hat foot for one of the notes. But for the purposes of this exercise, let’s not worry about the variations for now, and just focus on the initial 3 steps outlined above. Below are some videos explaining the exercises above: