Double Beat


 

Big Sweaty Guy (2006) is the first drumline composition I ever wrote. It is a double/triple beat warm-up for the high school level with a basic inverted roll grid in the middle. It's a pretty good one, so I decided to dig it up and put it out there.

 

Bread and Butter: Dubs (2007) is a stock-type double beat exercise that would be well-suited to a high school drumline. It comes from the Bread and Butter packet from the original FatMattDrums website, and I think it has aged well enough to deserve new life here.

 

Matt A-B (2010) is a variation on the A/B/C Sanford-type double beat exercise, arranged for full battery. I used this with the 2009-2010 Athens Drive HS Indoor Drumline to cover the demands of a stick control exercise, a paradiddle exercise, and a double-beat exercise, all in one piece that was constructed piecemeal from other parts of their audition packet (e.g., 8-on-a-hand bass splits). It turned out really well for its simplicity.

 

I inflicted Dub/Huk (2010) on the Athens Drive HS Drumline in order to help work on doublestrokes: specifically, second note quality in doublestroke rolls, and sixteenth-note consistency (timing and quality) for paradiddle figures.

The first half of the piece builds the doublestroke roll and inverted roll from their one-handed breakdowns. I like working on inverted rolls because the second note of the doublestroke is placed on the eighth note partials, rather than sixteenth-note upbeat partials; i.e. deficiencies in timing and quality of those notes will be more obvious to the ear and mind, allowing these deficiencies to be corrected.

The second half works on a syncopated hucka-dig (one-handed breakdown of a paradiddle-diddle) pattern and then fills it in to the corresponding paradiddle figure. Ensemble timing is tricky for this part; accents on the fourth sixteenth note partial will tend to be late, while those on the upbeat eighth notes will tend to be early. This warm-up is a huge bag of mess without dedicated practice with a metronome.

The bass drum part is such that all the written notes could be played as a single unison part.

 

I wrote Double Tap (2010) on one fine evening when I got stuck on NC State's campus during a snowstorm. They had a showing of Zombieland for students, so after fleshing out this warm-up in the dorms with a couple buddies, it was pretty obvious what I should call it.

It's styled after the very "stock"-sounding double beat warm-ups that generally centre on some sanford-esque pattern, but I wanted to incorporate different hand speeds, as well as an emphasis on the eighth-note pulse within a triplet roll.

While this piece was never used and would prove difficult for a line of typical skill, it is nonetheless worth taking a look at.

 

Swingerbeat (2008) highlights three different contexts for doublestrokes: the second note rebounding to re-attack at the same height as the first stroke, the second note being downstroked to re-attack at the tap height, and the second note being upstroked to re-attack at the accent height.

While there really isn't any emphasis on paradiddle figures, the hucka-dig motion is employed heavily.

The last bar of the piece is very much like the tap-off. In a line setting, it would probably work to just repeat the warm-up as if the last bar is the tap off (i.e. add the pickup from the last 24th-note of bar 1 to the final bar, and resume at bar 2).