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6 T E A C H I N G T I P S F O R D R U M S E T

Practicing the drum set is 33% technique,

33% musicianship, 33% research
and 1% a decent pair of shoes.
O ne of my favorite ways
of kicking off a drum set class
Students typically spend time working
on rhythmic independence exercises but
When demonstrating to students the sonic
difference between maple and hickory
at a summer camp is to ask rarely practice dynamic independence. sticks they are always shocked!

students to outline their typical Practicing with a metronome is a must. Read percussion and drum set journals.
practice routine. I am always I also highly recommend Many have very inexpensive
A. Technique
surprised at the overwhelming that students master the on-line memberships. There are
Hands Feet Timing
majority of students who singing techniques also an abundance of books and
describe a mono-dimensional outlined in Gary Chester’s Rhythmic and videos dealing with historical
dynamic independence
practice regimen. book “New Breed.” and stylistic periods of music
I know the word “mono-dimensional” Chester’s concepts have Musicianship that can provide students with
may prompt you to stop reading, but it helped me in all areas Listening Reading Improvisation
an understanding of how the
does best describe how students only of music making. art of drum set playing has
practice one way when they sit at the Musicianship: developed. In conclusion, students

drum set. Developing the necessary skills Developing critical History Current Trends Equipment
should plan out their practice
to perform on any instrument requires listening skills is essential. sessions balancing these three
a multi-dimensional approach. Students should be given regular listening areas of study. Once students understand
assignments with specific instructions the art of practicing they are on their way
on what to listen for. Transcription to achieving their musical goals. As for the
assignments should start out simple shoes… I think it’s safe to let your students
(i.e. one beat or fill) then become more make that critical decision on their own.
I spend a great deal of time helping complex as the student’s ear improves.
students create a multi-dimensional,
or balanced, practice routine that includes
three basic areas: Technique, Musicianship,
There are many play-along books
available today for developing reading skills.
Jazz Band directors can provide charts
☛ F A M O U S Q U O T E
and Research. { Fig.A } and recordings that students can play
Technique: Most young drummers
severely neglect their feet. Students need
along with (they don’t have to necessarily
be the charts the band is rehearsing).
“Know your equipment
clear concepts on how to operate the pedals. Research: Know your equipment! and how it reacts in
Developing pedal technique requires a It amazes me that most students use one
regular routine of practicing patterns for pair of drumsticks for everything. I use
different playing situations.”
the feet much like practicing snare drum a variety of Pro-Mark sticks including — CHRIS HANNING
rudiments for the hands. different woods, weights, and bead sizes.
© 2001 Pro-Mark Corporation. We use only non-endangered wood.

For more information on

H A N N I N G ’ S H I P T I P
the Acid Jazz Sticks,
call 1-800-233-5250, or e-mail
➢ Have your student keep a practice diary that records
their progress and notes antidotes that you and your
us at info@promark-stix.com

student have discovered. Clinic notes, exercises, and

transcriptions can also be included.


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Chris is an Associate Professor of Percussion at West Chester University. He performs and
lesson records with groups throughout the Philadelphia region including NFL Films, Warner Brothers Watch for the next helpful

Publications, and the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. You can see Chris teach and perform at several lesson in the coming months.
summer camps and clinic appearances supported by Pro-Mark.