This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the February 2017 issue, which is available here.
Basel Drumming, Part 4
by Claus Hessler
In this lesson we’ll take a look at a song from Camp Duty Update, my most recent book about the history of rudiments and their European roots. The melody of the tune “The Slow Scotch” was used in nineteenth-century military duty calls in the U.S. It was part of the routine to wake up troops and was typically the second song played, after “Three Camps.” I arranged a new drum part for the traditional “Slow Scotch” melody while still referring to the theme of the original song. I use Swiss and French rudimental ideas, as well as some phrases inspired by those styles.
The “Slow Scotch” doesn’t typically have an intro as shown here. However, Swiss compositions known as “Retraites,” or retreats, usually have opening sections and additional endings that feature a complex construction of rolls. Similar to a “Tagwacht,” a “Retraite” employs a logical and strict way of arranging rudimental combinations. Usually the piece starts with simple ideas before progressing into more advanced structures. In this month’s piece, I applied the “Slow Scotch” theme within a modified “Retraite” drum arrangement.