Wow, the time sure is flying by! I can't believe it's been 11 weeks already. I spent some time today looking back at my previous drills and would like to move forward by refining the skills I've introduced already and combining a few of these to attempt more versatility.
Way back in TGIF Part 1, line 2 was:
R R L L R R L L
Jump back there for a second to review my instructions first. I'll be going more in depth with how you can use this drill today.
Focus: Speed, Balance, Strength
1. Each hit should have equal volume.
2. Even though all hits are small for this drill, make them intentional. Relaxing your wrist so your bachi falls on the drum is not the way to accomplish this. Review the video in TGIF Part 9 if you need to practice grip first.
Okay, the pattern is easy, you've done it before. The dynamics are easy to understand, but perhaps not so easy to be consistent with. Set your hands in ready position so your bachi are each 1/3 from the outside edge of the drum. This will be your base position for this drill. Choose a visible spot just underneath each one and do your best to hit the exact spot every time. This will help keep your arms from straying and will make your sound consistent.
Here's the pattern again:
R R L L R R L L
These hits should be small and intentional, as mentioned in point 2, and each equal in volume.
Typically I've been asking for about 15 minutes of your time per day. If you'd really like to get the muscle strengthening benefits of this drill, you should aim for close to 30 minutes without stopping.
Take this extension slowly to make sure that you're doing it correctly before you increase speed on your metronome. All beats should be evenly spaced.
R R L L R R L L R R L L
Bold means emphasize the hits. However, let's take this a bit further. Ideally all of your non-emphasized hits are consistently making contact in the same place each time (remember your spots?). A drum will have a deeper sound in the center than the outer edge. So, really make those emphasized hits stand out by striking them in the middle of the drum!
Make sure that after you strike in the middle that your hand returns immediately back to it's "home" position, 1/3 from the edge, right over your "spot".
Just like the small hits, make sure that the emphasized hits are equal in volume as well.
Lots of technical stuff today that will be tough to get just right if you've not been practicing daily. But, no worries--these drills will always be here. If you're not getting it, back up and practice the others first, or leave a comment and I can give you some tips on how to make improvements.