Timetable Warm-Up

Modulating Swing Patterns

by Steve Fidyk

As drummers, we’re often taught the importance of warm-up exercises. These drills are typically designed to help loosen the muscle groups of your wrists, forearms, and fingers. A good warm-up routine develops your reflexes and helps you produce an articulate drum and cymbal sound.

This month’s lesson features a challenging exercise for the ride cymbal that helps develop consistency, timing, concentration, and tone. It’s important to practice this exercise with a metronome to ensure that the tempo remains consistent as you transition from one subdivision to another. A good starting tempo is 40 bpm. This exercise is also fun to work on with a bass player.

As you gain confidence with the different subdivisions, try repeating each for longer periods of time. Once you’re comfortable with them, add the remaining limbs and improvise comping patterns or play the rhythms of the melodies of standard tunes within each subdivision. Have fun, and stay patient as you work through each rhythm and transition.

Timetable Warm-Up Modulating Swing Patterns 1

Timetable Warm-Up Modulating Swing Patterns 2

Timetable Warm-Up Modulating Swing Patterns 3

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.