This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the February 2016 issue, which is available here.
Part 4: Hand-to-Hand Groupings
This month we’re going to play hand-to-hand flams consecutively and in groups of two, three, and four. These exercises look simple on paper, and they are simple when played slowly. But when sped up they become challenging and test each hand’s technique. To play the exercises quickly, each hand needs to negotiate accents and taps using modified Moeller techniques. In addition to the main exercise, we’ve included some exercises for the individual hands.
Start these exercises slowly, using the four basic strokes: full (or free), down, tap, and up. Make sure that the stick heights are clearly separated between the accents and taps. The accents should return to about a vertical stick height, and the grace notes and taps should be played around 4″ off the drum.
After mastering the exercises at slow tempos, take the tempo up and apply the modified Moeller techniques. The faster you go, the more challenging it is to differentiate between the height and volume of accents and taps. But the more contrast you employ, the more musical you’ll sound. Make sure to use a metronome, tap your foot, and get comfortable counting quarter notes out loud.
Check out a video demonstration of the exercises below.
For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the February 2016 issue, which is available here.