Exercise Packets


This page consists of collections of exercises that have each been compiled for a well-defined, overarching purpose.

RUDIMENT CONTROL: CLINIC EDITION

This is a book about the space between notes. While previous editions have been better-suited to individual practice and private lessons, this new “Clinic Edition” aims to deliver a tool that every instructor can use to strengthen students’ rhythmic understanding, stick control, muscular awareness, and mental and physical chops.

This collection is every bit as thorough, cohesive, and organized as the 2015 edition, but it has been ambitiously retooled so that each page may be printed as a self-contained “handout” for private lessons, sectionals, or a rehearsal block. The staves are also larger to assist readability, and the exercises themselves are in a more digestible format.

Rudiment Control is not a high-level curiosity reserved for your most ambitious private students; it is a powerful approach for performers to better understand their minds and their hands and ultimately come to better teach themselves. The best thing that you can teach your students—for your own sake and for theirs—is how they can teach themselves. Awareness reveals the path to improvement, and this is how you build awareness.

This is Rudiment Control.

28-Page Document: pdf (3605 KB)

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MANTRAS FOR RUDIMENTAL SNARE DRUM

A “mantra” is a word or short phrase that is repeated—repeatedly—with the goal of creating transformation within the speaker in order to attain enlightenment. In the spirit of that concept, this volume consists of extremely short exercises that can be repeated over and over again, in order to reinforce the physical, mental, and musical skills that are essential for a truly versatile rudimental drummer.

The sixteen exercises in this volume cover different rudimental applications, and each exercise is accompanied by its title, a loosely-associated word or concept for your consideration, and a recommended tempo range. This packet is light on words because the point point of the “mantras” approach is not for you to listen to me; the point is for you to listen to you. Repetition and self-evaluation are the name of the game. Everything you see in this volume was the result of careful consideration, and I hope that it will help you on your path to enlightenment!

10-Page Document: pdf (2270 KB)

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RUDIMENT CONTROL (SUMMER 2015 EDITION)

This is a collection of exercises based on two main ideas: that certain pairs of rudiments can be thought of as rhythmic corruptions of the same stroke combinations, and that rudiments should be rehearsed with different rhythmic speeds and rhythmic interpretations in order to develop better control of the sticks and a stronger rudimental vocabulary.

In addition to your chops, this packet should really stretch your control of the space between notes and give you a stronger command of your rudimental vocabulary.

44-Page Document: pdf (1276 KB)

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THREÉTUDES: HEALTH FOOD FOR YOUR FULCRUM (2018)

This packet, compiled in part from other material on this site, employs different “threes” applications as a vehicle to better train your fulcrum control, finger dexterity, and overall timing and consistency. The rhythm and rudiment combinations herein will require an astute command over the proportions of wrist turn, forearm assistance, and fulcrum/finger pressure you use to achieve the various physical demands. The benefits of rehearsing this material will extend across a broad range of musical contexts.

5-Page Document: pdf (911 KB)

Check out the free series of video lessons that accompany this packet! On YouTube

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THE STUDY GUIDE: BARE-BONES BASICS FOR BETTER HANDS (2018)

This is a small packet adapted from the 2011 NCSU Drumline exercise packet (below), but I have trimmed off a lot of fat in order to compile a more focused repository of essentials that will benefit anyone who is looking to get better at battery percussion. There is some additional material, adapted from Quality Control, to round out this great starting point for what to work on if you really want to roll with the big dogs.

4-Page Document: pdf (3350 KB)

 

NCSU DRUMLINE 2011 EXERCISES

This comprehensive exercise packet that I compiled with NCSU Drumline instructor John Antonelli covers legatos, accent-tap figures, doublestrokes, paradiddles, rolls, flam rudiments, triplestrokes, timing exercises, and grids. The 72 exercises consist of our original work, as well as "stock" pieces that you will find in almost any audition packet.

19-Page Document: pdf (1093 KB)

 

fatCHOPS #1:  7-Stroke Rolls and Diddle Attacks (10 December 2015)

The first installment of fatCHOPS, a series that explores rudimental vocabulary as a vehicle for strengthening core fundamentals in intermediate to advanced players.

Put away your long rolls... your 8 & 25... your higga-digga-burr... and find out who you really are with some seven-stroke rolls. These exercises will enhance your awareness of diddle rhythms, 2nd-note sound quality, and the attacks of rolls.  

5-Page Document: pdf (208KB)

 

fatCHOPS #2:  Multi-Beat Approaches and Applications (1 May 2016)

The second installment of fatCHOPS, a series that explores rudimental vocabulary as a vehicle for strengthening core fundamentals in intermediate to advanced players.

This edition explores the different approaches you can have to three-note and four-note series on the same hand, like triple-beats and quadruple beats.  It examines rudimental contexts to which the different approaches apply and aims to create awareness of the finesse required to approach these multi-beat figures appropriately.

9-Page Document: pdf (516KB)