Truth and Consequence

10 Weeks To Better Drumming - Part 6

The truth is, everybody wants to be a better player. The consequence is that often small things or adjustments lead to that improvement. This is one such thing.

This exercise will work for everybody. If you play drums, get a pair of timpani mallets to use. If you play Gongs, get a pair of smaller Wind Gong mallets.

For drums, use a larger Tom, like a floor Tom, because you want to hear the resonance, and the way the longer notes blend into each other (You can actually use any stick/brush/mallet on any drum/cymbal/pad, but I like how it works with a soft mallet on a large drum). For Gongs, use a Chau or Wind gong 20" or larger. 

The idea is to play steady 8th notes with one or the other hand. Start with your right - start playing a steady stream of notes -


Don't worry how long or how many, just keep playing them. You want to listen to them, feel them, even see them in the strokes you play. Make sure each note is the same. Get into the feel and get lost in the notes. You need to really feel them. (For Gongs, you may need/want to muffle the Gong slightly with your free hand if the sound builds up too much)  You also want to make sure you are creating a good sound. There's no use in just playing notes and not having a good tone/sound.

After a while, and after you can feel each note, switch hands and do the same thing. 


We want the notes to become a part of us. Let them come, let them flow. Do this multiple times everyday.

Next, do the same thing, but alternate hands - 


Make sure it sounds and feels just like one hand playing!

Next, play 8 of each - 


Again, make it sound just like one hand is playing.  The idea 
here is, through repetition to build up your endurance, your 
touch, and also your sound. Play these at different tempos and different dynamic levels. Also play with different note groupings: 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. Example - 3:  


The important thing to remember is that this is all about repetition to build up stamina, and most importantly, control

The consequence of your actions is the truth of your art. ~ Singal Rinpoche

~ MB


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