EXERCISE #1: “8-8-16”

This exercise works on full rebound strokes, making it a perfect way to begin each practice session. Here are a few things to look for during your daily rehearsal.

• Work for a full, relaxed stroke (stick height = 12”).

• Practice with the Play-Along videos or audio tracks, starting at the slowest tempo (Level 1: 90bpm) and progress through each level until you reach the maximum speed that you can play with a relaxed stroke.

• There should be no “stopping points” in the path of the stick as it travels up and down. The motion of the stick should be smooth on each stroke. 

• Keep the hand that’s not playing (the free hand) in the proper playing position.

• Also rehearse at a piano dynamic level or “tap height” (3 inches). At this height, the wrist will direct the stroke because of the decrease in the stick’s natural rebound. Strive for a full sound even at a low height, always keeping the wrist relaxed.

Including Full Battery Percussion Score and Part Booklet

Alternate Exercises for Tenors and Bass Drums


• As you move between the drums, always play in the correct zone on each drum. Allow the wrists to relax side-to-side as you move between the drums and eliminate as much forearm motion as  possible (without allowing the hands to turn past the french grip position).

• The 2nd measure of the “16 hand pattern” is written for quints. If you only have quads (with no ‘spock’ drum), repeat the previous measure.

Bass Drums:

• The 8th note split in m3-4 & m7-8 can be played with 3, 4 or 5 drums. At Level 1-3, play the split 8ths on a single hand. As you move to Level 4 & 5, you may wish to alternate the splits.

• If the tempo becomes too fast for more inexperienced players, you may wish to play quarter notes instead of eights on the “8 hand pattern.”


For nearly 60 years, we at the Vic Firth Company have focused on developing and manufacturing what has become the world’s most popular drumsticks, mallets, alternative implements, and accessories… with the best durability, feel, and sound options, across the widest variety of genres and styles.

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