The following material is an addendum to legendary drummer and educator Alan Dawson’s rudimental ritual, an exercise for jazz independence that combines the standard rudiments into a single routine that’s played over a foot ostinato. (For Dawson’s original ritual, check out John Ramsay’s book The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary as Taught by Alan Dawson.) Since the inception of Dawson’s work, the standard rudiments have evolved into new combinations of sticking patterns, which are referred to as hybrid rudiments. Modern rudimental and drumset players use these hybrid stickings to expand their vocabulary and refine their control.
A few of the ideas present in Dawson’s ritual are exactly the same as the contemporary hybrid rudiments. For instance, let’s look at the hybrid rudiment known as the cheese (Exercise 1). To perform this combination, double the primary note of a flam. This rudiment seems modern and hip, but Alan’s students were playing cheeses in the ’60s—though they referred to them as flam dadas.
Without a standard list, the etymology of the hybrids is lost, and we find many homophones—rudiments with different names that are essentially the same.
Included in this lesson are hybrids that can stand alone, rather than simply be viewed as variations of standard rudiments. Start practicing this list at a tempo of around 72 bpm, and play either of the following foot ostinatos underneath the hands.
In the following exercise, note that not all flams are accented. The accents dramatically change the type of stroke you use and will reveal new technical challenges.
Inexhaustible variations can be created by inverting the stickings, displacing accents, changing subdivision rates, doubling strokes, adding flams, and so on. Be creative and discover your own hybrid rudiments. And remember, always practice consistently and with focus.
Here’s the ritual.