Primary Music Theory

Main Techniques
  The basic stroke in the drum technique is a wrist stroke. Holding the stick in the arm, we make the strike not with the whole arm, but only with the hand, and at the same time the most active part is the wrist joint. If you ask any person to strike a snare drum, then it is very likely that he will intuitively play the wrist stroke, because playing the whole arm is not only inconvenient, but also is pretty loud. So the wrist stroke could be called the stroke by default. Although this stroke is very convenient and natural, at speed the forearm starts straining and consequently the arm gets tired pretty quickly. In addition, the stick itself has own weight and rebounds from the stretched plastic. The drummers have mentioned this fact a long ago and came to conclusion that after practicing some particular exercises, they would get a good service from these rebounds.
In the introduction we have already discussed such things as the grip and the fulcrum. Thanks these particular techniques, it is possible to control the rebound of sticks from the plastic surface. Usually, at first class we find the balance point of the stick. Gripping the stick in such point brings the loosest rebound. You should find the balance point and draw the hand 2-3 centimeters back to the thick end. In the balance point that you have found, grip the stick between the thumb and the second phalange of the forefinger (closer to the bend in the direction of the nail). Such kind of the grip is called the fulcrum. Its task is to create conditions for loose stick rotation. The strength of the grip is determined individually on practice. The main condition is to avoid tension in muscles, even if sticks are slipping out of your hands. It is pretty important to understand the "physics" of the process: how to make a stroke, how the stick rebounds, and how to control this rebound. It's necessary to learn how to control the natural forces that influence on the stick during the playing. In other words, ideally, you need to adjust the movement of your hands to the natural movement of the stick, and also to add ergonomic muscular work. These after-stroke rebounds are called rudiments.
Officially, the rudiments history counts almost two hundred years. In 1812 Charles Stewart Ashford published a book "A New, Useful and Complete System of Drumming Beating". It's natural that during such long period of time the rudiments have become the basis of the professional drumming technique. Contemporary international classification includes forty different rudiments. Rudiments are the sort of exercises that allow training muscle memory, achieving freedom and lightness during playing, as well as accuracy in the transmission of the rhythmic structure. Practicing rudiments is the basis of skill drumming development and performing technique development. For practicing you don't need the entire drum set. The only thing you need is the training pad. Training pads are produced by different companies. These pads have "proper" special rubber with "proper" rebound. It is quite possible to make a "homemade" pad, but in such case you should pay much attention to find the rubber with "proper" rebound. It could be a little bit thicker and the rebound will be quite other. The rebound should be the same as on the snare drum. There are also other surfaces for practicing, such as a pillow with sand or other loose material, quenching the rebound. All this is for practicing the wrist stroke. But, of course, techniques that include rebound, as a part of the stroke, are better to practice using the pad. One thing is just practicing some pattern; the other is training your hands, playing rudiments. Thanks pad you will have no problems, your hands will practice on the surface with the same rebound as the real snare drum has, and you will not bother no relatives neither neighbors.

Rudiments Performing
During studying or performing various rudiments, you should start from the slow tempo, with maximum control and precision, then the tempo is brought up to maximum and after that you slow it again to the original. Despite the speed changes, the volume of strokes must remain the same.
Rudiments Classification
I.  Rolls
1. Single Stroke Roll
2. Single Stroke Four
3. Single Stroke Seven
B) Multiple bounce roll rudiments
4. Multiple Bounce Roll
5. Triple Stroke Roll
C) Double stroke open roll Rudiments
These rolls consist of alternating double strokes (diddles). Their number is from 2 to 9.
II. Paradiddles
Paradiddles include lengths of 4 notes. They are mixed double and single rolls in each hand (RLRR LRLL). During successive paradiddles performing the first stroke falls on the left or right hand by turns.
16. Single Paradiddle
A) Single Stroke Roll Rudiments
6. Double Stroke Open Roll
7. Five Stroke Open Roll
8. Six Stroke Roll
9. Seven Storke Roll
10. Nine Stroke Roll
17. Double Paradiddle
18. Triple Paradiddle
19. Paradiddle-Diddle
III. Flam
This technique includes a short, not loud additional stroke before the main one. The other words, it decorates the main sound.
20. Flam
  21. Flam Accent
22. Flam Tap
27. Pataflafla (4 stroke roll with flams on 1st and 4th strokes)
28. Swiss Army Triplet (is a triplet with the flam on 1st stroke)
IV.  Drag
Similar to the ordinary flam, but includes 2 more additional strokes before
11. Ten Stroke Roll
12. Eleven Stroke Roll
13. Thirteen Stroke Roll
14. Fifteen Stroke Roll
15. Seventeen Stroke Roll
23. Flamacue
24. Flam Paradiddle
25. Single Flamed Mill
26. Flam Paradiddle-Diddle
29. Inverted Flam Tap
30. Flam Drag
31. Drag
32. Single Drag Tap
33. Double Drag Tap
34. Lesson 25
35. Single Dragdiddle
36. Drag Paradiddle 1
37. Drag Paradiddle 2
38. Single Ratamacue
39. Double Ratamacue
40. Triple Ratamacue
In 1925, the publishing house "Ludwig Drum Company" published a book by Sanford A. Moeller "The Art of Drumming". It is this book that later engendered a new field of studying drum rudiments. Truly, it is quite difficult to understand the main point of Moeller technique by oneself. The core is to feel physically the result of the proper motion, not only to understand what and how to do. And as this motion is complex (consists of several parts), it is important to analyze thoroughly and understand each part separately and then combine them in one whole motion. This technique is based on whipping motion of the hand.
Dave Weckl shows.

The Finger Technique
The finger technique is pretty much common as well. The stick is also held in the fulcrum, and the pinkie and the ring finger hit the thick end of the stick (it goes up) so that the thin end goes down. After touching the plastic the stick rebounds back to its original position. Finger technique allows you performing rudiments quickly, but the force of the stroke is limited by absence of the wrist motion. That is why the stroke volume becomes limited as well.
Jo Jo Mayer shows.

The Moeller Technique
From the first frame to the ninth we can see whipping motion (downstroke). After the stick touches the plastic, the wrist remains relaxed. And as the hand is holding the stick, the rebound from the plastic draws the wrist with the stick up (10). After that we can observe the next whipping motion (11). The forearm starts moving upward while the wrist remains relaxed, and the stick stroke the plastic for the second time (upstroke) (12). Thus, one motion of the forearm produces two strokes on the snare drum.
The most complicated moment of the Moeller technique is to leave the wrist relaxed while holding the stick in the fulcrum. Just that very obstacle is insuperable. Fortunately the situation can be changed with the help of some particular exercises. For better learning the Moeller technique, there were developed special symbols and names that describe separate parts of one complex Moeller stroke.
If you add a short tap between the downstroke and the upstroke, you'll get three strokes at one forearm motion. This stroke is called the Moeller triplet. It is this stroke that is shown on the single- frame picture below. Jim Chapin performs it.
Hold the stick in the "strong" hand (if you're right handed, then it's a right hand and if you're left-handed then it's a left one) in the fulcrum and hit the snare drum. Hold the stick only with the help of two fingers, the other fingers should not be involved. The wrist is solid continuation of the forearm, the wrist joint is fixed. During such stroke the stick makes a number of rebounds. More or less number of rebounds depends on speed of the forearm rising and the force of the stroke. Now try to make a stroke so that you get only two sounds, one stroke and one rebound - that is the "double stroke roll". At first practice this exercise by "strong" hand and later copy it by "weak" one. The motion of the "strong" hand is a model for the "weak" one. This principle applies to every drum technique, on conditions that you play using matched grip. Rudiments are also performed by this technique. Using rebound technique you can produce three, four or even more rebounds in one hand at a time. But in such case the volume is limited by motion range of the forearm.
Dom Famularo shows.

The Moeller Foot Technique
To perform the Moeller foot double stroke you should use downhill and uphill alternation. Notice the pattern. It looks like the foot pushes off for jump, rolling from the heel to the toe. The thigh is relaxed, so the leg, pushing from the pedal and at the same time performing the stroke, seems like flying above the pedal. This allows the mallet to bounce back from the plastic (downhill with transition). The relaxed leg falls back on the pedal and produces the uphill stroke. After the uphill stroke, the leg drops on the heel, the toe rises up, so the mallet can bounce (uphill with transition). And all the process repeats itself.  
The Moeller Triplet
During proper performing the Moeller stroke, strength supplement is necessary only for the first whipping motion. These are the first two frames (rising up). The other stages of this complex stroke use the rebound energy.
In fact, the stick rebounds by itself, and the complex trajectory of the arm doesn't break the natural stick motion. In order to produce the proper hand motion, masters advise practicing the Moeller stroke stage by stage. First stage is the downstroke (1-7). Second one is the tap (9-11). Third one is the upstroke (13-15).

The Moeller triplet is started with the stroke (uphill with transition). The stroke starts and the stroke ends the motion. For better mastering this complex motion, it is recommended to work through this stroke for each leg in slow tempo.
   The Moeller Doublet

    © 2010-2012 GennadiyKlyuevskiy
Music Library
School playing percussion instruments
School playing keyboards
School playing bass guitar
School playing six-string guitar
School playing percussion instruments
School playing keyboards
School playing six-string guitar
School playing bass guitar
  Elementary school drumming
Above presented exercises are taken from the school of the famous Russian musician and tutor Tigran Panteleyev.