This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the January 2017 issue, which is available here.

Strictly Technique

Swiss Rudiments

Basil Drumming, Part 3

by Claus Hessler

In the third installment of our series on Swiss drumming, we’ll continue exploring the European roots of rudiments. In the last lesson we introduced Tagwacht pieces—music that’s typically used to awaken soldiers. The piece “Three Camps” could be considered an American military equivalent to a Tagwacht. In this article, we’ll focus entirely on Tagwacht rudiments.

Most of the terminology in this series originates from the methods of respected educator Dr. Fritz Berger. In this lesson we’ll use a style of notation developed by Berger. The second line in the following exercises demonstrates how these figures should be phrased using a quintuplet subdivision, and dynamics apply to both lines. These patterns would traditionally be notated in 6/8, however, the quintuplet interpretations are written in 2/4.

In the previous installment of this series, we introduced the reveille stroke (known as the double drag tap in the U.S.) and the reversed reveille stroke. Our first exercise this month introduces another inverted version of the reveille stroke sometimes referred to as a three-stroke-roll combination. A nine-stroke roll is played at the end of the phrase. Drags should be played somewhat softer than the single strokes.

For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the January 2017 issue, which is available here.

January 2017 issue featuring Chris Dave