THE TENOR DRUMMER Advanced 2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature – Learn This Lick

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature – Learn This Lick

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Hey, Tenor Drummers!

For the 7th installment of my Learn This Lick series, we are learning the 2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature. Pulse Percussion won WGI Independent World this year, and it’s easy to see why. These guys and gals were incredible! Congratulations to them and everyone who participated in WGI.

If you haven’t seen my Fivelet Prep lesson for this lick, be sure to check it out. We have a couple tricky fivelets that I want to make sure you have locked in.

Okay, now to the lick. Grab Alex Burlison’s transcription here, and let’s get drumming.

Buzz then Herta

First, let’s note that we are in a 3/4 time signature, so three quarter notes for each measure. Show tempo is 196bpm, but we’re going to take it nice and slow at 110bpm.

There are a lot of dynamics in this lick, but don’t worry about them right now. We can add them in once we get the notes in our hands.

We start off with two counts of triplet buzzes and a count of eighth notes on Drum 4. Try to get your buzzes to seamlessly connect together, without any empty space in between them.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measures 1-2

Measure 2 moves over to Drum 3 with the Right eighth note and a Left rim shot on the low shot drum.

We then cross our right hand over for a Herta going up the drums, starting on the “+” of count 2, releasing on Drum 1. Be sure to not crush the sixteenth notes on “+ a” of count 2 (don’t play them too close together)

Try these two measures together.

Sixteenths with Sweeps

Measure 3 is all sixteenth notes, sweeping the Right from Drum 1 to 2, bringing the Left over to Drum 1, then reversing it back. Count 3 is just singles down the drums.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measure 3

As always, approach the sweeps with a downward motion so you don’t hit those pesky rims.

Rep that Chunk

Once you get comfortable with those 3 measures, try putting them all together with the metronome. Isolate any trouble spots and work on them until you are locked in with the met, then add counts before and after.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measures 1-3

Fivelet Roll

After the sixteenth notes, we go into a half-note fivelet roll, which is five notes over two counts (all drags though).

Since there are only five wrist strokes in those two counts, compared to eight with the sixteenths, you have to slow your wrists down quite a bit.

This transition is covered in detail in the Fivelet Prep video.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measure 4

For the voicing, we just start on the shot drums and work our way down, releasing with the Left on Drum 4. Make sure all of the notes are evenly spaced and the release lines up perfectly with the metronome. If not, adjust accordingly.

Back to Drum 4

Measure 5 isn’t too bad. Our Right hand joins our Left on Drum 4, and we play some (decrescendo-ing) sixteenth notes into eighths. Release on Drum 1.


Measure 6 has a type-o in the sheet music, but Mr. Burlison called it out for us.

Count 1 is sixteenth notes with a R-L-L-R sticking, with the Left sliding under from Drum 2 to 1, making the “a” a Right cross.

Then we have a paradiddle-diddle going from the shot drums out to Drum 3 and 4, releasing on the high shot drum.

Stay Loose

If any section might make you tense up, it’s Measure 7. We start on the shot drums but then play a Right flam tap going from Drum 2 to 1. Don’t let that double Left (“e +” of count 1) get you, stay loose!

We finish off the measure with two counts of triplets, with R-L-L for the second one, releasing on the high shot drum.

Run that 2nd Line

Let’s put that 2nd line all together now. When you have it in your hands, crescendo the fivelet roll and decrescendo the sixteenths in Measure 5.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measures 4-7


Here’s our 2nd fivelet roll, but this one is a paradiddle-diddle-diddle-diddle, also covered in the Fivelet Prep lesson.

The nice thing about this is that it releases with the Right. Again, make sure it lines up perfectly with the metronome and all notes are evenly spaced.

Triplet Roll on the Up Beat

Measure 9 might also be a little tough at first. We start off with a sixteenth note paradiddle going from Drum 3 to 1 with a Left cross on “e”, releasing on Drum 2.

The tricky part is starting the triplet roll on the “+” of Count 2. Like we did with the 2000 Cavaliers and 2014 Bluecoats licks, feel free to add the eighth note clicks on your metronome. This will give you clear starting and ending spots for your roll down the drums.

Roll Up High

We continue our triplet roll on the shot drums, going from low to high, then “+ a 3” on Drum 3.

Let’s put those two measures together.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measures 9-10

Now, Rep that Line

We have a few different subdivisions on this line, so make sure you stay locked in with that met! Of course, isolate any trouble spots.

2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature measures 8-10

Finish with the Splits

Who doesn’t love a good split part?! Well, maybe someone playing by themself :(.

We finish up the lick with some splits. Let’s look at each part separately.

In Measure 11, two people play “1 e” on the high shot drums, a triplet roll down the drums on Count 2, and then “+ a” of count 3.

In Measure 12, those two people split the sixteenths on Count 2, either “2 e” or “+ a”. Release is a shot on Drum 4, but Not A Skank, even though I mute it over and over in the video.

The other two people play “+ a” of Count 1 and “3 e” on the low shot drum in Measure 11. A Left-lead triplet roll up the drums begins Measure 12, and then some more split shots. Someone takes red, the other takes blue.

Depending on how many people you are playing with (if any), feel free to get creative with this part, playing as many or few notes as you want.

Full Rep Time

You made it through, great job! Now’s the time to tidy up any loose ends, work any transitions that give you trouble, and prepare mentally for a bunch of full reps.

Like in the video, start slow. I like 110bpm. When you are comfortably getting through the lick (as close to perfectly in time as possible), gradually increase the tempo.

Be Your Worst Critic

As always, be your own worst critic. For me, I was having trouble keeping up with the met at 196bpm. My paradiddle-diddle-diddle-diddle is terribly slow, did you hear that in the video? Go listen back for it. Unfortunately, that was my best overall rep.

Nothing will ever be perfect, but we can always try. Thanks for reading my post on how to play the 2022 Pulse Opener Tenor Feature, have fun with it!

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