An effective way to develop control and strength with two hands is to look at the hands individually, one at a time. This is a good way to identify the problems in each hand and to concentrate on the solution without having to worry about the other hand. The following exercises can be done individually or as a unit.
The wrist-rebound-finger stroke concept is nothing new. In fact, you may have stumbled upon it without knowing it. It is an extremely efficient way to execute multiple strokes with one hand.
The idea behind the wrist-rebound-finger stroke is that the first stroke of the pattern is executed with the wrist. The second stroke is the rebound or “free” stroke. The third and remaining strokes are executed with the fingers. Thus, the first three strokes in a pattern are executed by three distinct mechanisms. Because these mechanisms are distinct, great speed and control can be achieved.
Three-, Four-, and Five-Stroke Rolls
When practicing the roll exercises, crescendo each group slightly. Do not accent the first wrist tap. If the first tap is executed too hard, the stick will bounce the rest of the strokes, which defeats the entire purpose of the exercise. The tempo markings are to be used as a range of optimum tempos. Do not be discouraged if you cannot play the exercises within the range specified. The exercises must be played relaxed and evenly if they are to be effective.
W = wrist R = rebound F = finger
Continuous Stroking Patterns
The exercises appearing in the next group are designed to develop a continuous stroking technique. The first stroke in each series is accented. The following strokes decrease in volume. Try to maintain the wrist-rebound-finger concept while playing these exercises.
The following exercises are variation patterns on the wrist-rebound-finger concept.
The coordination gained in mastering these concepts will greatly enhance your overall playing ability. Remember to practice the exercises slowly at first, and then gradually increase your speed as your individual hand techniques increase.