10 Exercises to Improve Drumset Facility

by Steve Fidyk

This month’s lesson focuses on the crossover, a technique that legendary drummers such as Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Louie Bellson, Jo Jones, and Sonny Payne popularized in their extended solos. Employing crossovers can help maintain the continuity and flow of single-stroke phrases you play around the kit without altering the sticking.With a crossover, one hand will pass over the other while moving to a different part of the drumset. Here’s what a left-hand crossover looks like as it passes over the right to the floor tom.Crossovers 1Here’s a right-hand crossover as it passes over the left to the snare.
Crossovers 2
Here are ten one-measure crossover examples to practice. As with any exercise, focus on keeping the rhythm consistent as you coordinate the hands to make each move.
Crossovers 3
Crossovers 4
Crossovers 5
Once you have control of the one-measure crossovers, try combining them into longer phrases. This four-measure example mixes Exercises 3, 4, 7, and 10.
Crossovers 6
In addition to the examples in this piece, come up with your own rhythmic moves as you improvise around the drums. Have fun!
Crossovers 7
Steve Fidyk has performed with Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Dick Oatts, Doc Severinsen, Wayne Bergeron, Phil Wilson, and Maureen McGovern, and he’s a member of the jazz studies faculty at Temple University in Philadelphia. For more info, including how to sign up for lessons via Skype, visit stevefidyk.com.