THE TENOR DRUMMER Intro to Tenor Drumming Basic Exercise – Double Beat

Basic Exercise – Double Beat

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Download the music here:  Double Beat

DOUBLE BEAT: This is a great exercise to work on bouncing the stick. These “double beats” are basically drags in disguise. You will use the same exact motion when playing drags and rolls in the future.

With this one, it is very important to continue to use the back of your hand. Often, drummers immediately shift their fulcrum to the pointer finger and thumb to get the stick to bounce. That’s not how you want to approach this.

Especially at slow tempos, this is your chance to develop a bounce in your wrist. Keep those back fingers on and try it out.

If you find that you just can’t keep those fingers on, I have a few tips. When I was first learning to play rolls in middle school, I would practice on a pillow. This is great because it provides absolutely no rebound! You are forced to play that second note with your wrist.

I don’t want you to be tense though, and if anything hurts, IMMEDIATELY STOP. If you feel yourself tightening up, take a nice deep breath and relax for a minute. Damaging your wrists is not worth it, but if you force yourself to relax, you should be fine.

Another technique you can use (that doesn’t involve leaving the drums) is take your first finger and thumb off the stick and play the exercise. This actually goes for any exercise where you find that you’re using too much finger.

This way, you are only holding onto the stick with your back three fingers. I know it sounds odd, and I haven’t heard ANYONE else suggest this, but I bet you’ll be surprised at how much you can still play without that front fulcrum.

Play a few reps like this and then add the other fingers back on, but keep your focus on those back fingers and how it felt to play with just them.

Or, you can always just air drum the exercise. Who doesn’t love a good air drumming session?! Play this (and any) exercise in the air and you’ll be forced to use your wrists for every note.

Guess what, every time you’ve ever played drums on your legs, stomach, or steering wheel without drumsticks, you’ve had two play everything from your wrists. It’s really not that tough when you get used to it, so keep those back fingers on!

The around pattern on this one is pretty straight forward. Of course, don’t let the small arm rotations from the elbow affect your hands in any way.

Also, each hand plays on the three drums that have playing positions in a straight line for that hand, so make sure each hand is moving in a straight line! Don’t pull back to get to those outside drums.

Wrapping up, these exercises are pretty basic (hence the title), but they do a great job of locking in the fundamentals: wrist rotation, heights, and playing positions. If you can play these perfectly at a variety of speeds, the more complicated stuff will be that much easier. It is all built off of the basic stuff!

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