This exercise works on two height control. Here are a few things to look for during your daily rehearsal:

• Each accent stroke should be played at a full height (12”). While the velocity – or stroke speed – will increase, there should be no extra tension in the hand, wrist or forearm. Avoid trying to “hit the drum harder” on accented strokes.

• After the accent stroke hits the drum, “freeze” the stick in the down position (3”) by using a slight squeeze of the fingers and fulcrum. Only use as much squeeze as necessary to stop the stick from rebounding up.

• Play the unaccented notes at 3” with a wrist directed stroke into the drum. Strive to relax the hand, wrist and fingers on the soft taps. The taps, while soft, should be played with a full sound (play “into the drum” at a 3” height).

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

Including Full Battery Percussion Score and Part Booklet

Alternate Exercise for Tenors and Bass Drums


• Play the same accent patterns as you did in the original exercise, only take the accents “out” to the outside drums. Alternatively, you can play the accents on the inside drum and unaccented notes on drums 1 and 2 (for right and left hands, respectively).


• This exercise works on the timing required to play 8th, 16th, Triplet and 32nd split parts.

• Practice each pattern with a metronome at a very slow tempo and work to line up the rhythms in the hands with the feet.

• As you play the exercise with the rest of the battery, listen to the consistent 8th note in the snare/tenor accent pattern and line up your first right hand on each downbeat or upbeat. Every unison should sound precisely together (no “flams”).

• As you move to 16ths, Triplets and 32nds, it’s important to get the spacing of the hands exactly correct,  Practice singing a composite the 8th note subdivision with the written part as you play each pattern (“1e& 2 & 3e& 4 & ; 1 &a2 & 3 &a4 &” etc).

• Listen for a consistent sound and volume from right to left hands throughout. Avoid playing the first note of each pattern louder than the other notes (especially on downbeat patterns).

• If the speed of the exercise becomes a problem (in Levels 4 & 5 for example), only play 8ths and 16ths instead of Triplets or 32nds.


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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