Category Archives: Educational

A simple guide to painting drumsticks

First, you will need the paint and a lacquer.
Next, you’ll want to tape the beads and any other part of the stick you do not want painted.
To paint the sticks, I hung them from a hook with twine on my porch. You may have a better method.
I applied 2 coats of paint, then 2 coats of lacquer, allowing each coat to fully dry.
The finished product.
For comparison, the sticks on the left I purchased already painted. The sticks on the right I painted.
I use show sticks with my group. This is after 2 shows. The paint holds up pretty good. Can you tell which sticks belong to my senior?

And that’s it. Pretty simple right? The stick logos were not fully covered by the paint but no one is going to notice that from the stands. Of course, you can always apply additional coats of paint if you like, but I wasn’t trying to spend a lot of money on this. Hope this has helped and good luck!

My iPad Journey – PDF Viewers

After getting my new-to-me iPad set up, I began searching for a solution to view my percussion scores. Since my scores are all saved as PDF’s, it just made sense that I should look for a good PDF viewer. I had a few basic requirements that a viewer would have to meet.

First, a useful PDF viewer for my intended purpose would have to include the option to scroll pages horizontally, like a book. Bonus if the scroll animation mimics an actual page turning. Secondly, the viewer would have to offer the ability to make notes right on the PDF score and save edits. This is commonly called annotating or markup. And finally, it must be able to access cloud storage. That’s it. Nothing fancy. Basic features right?

A search of the most popular/best PDF viewers for iPad yielded a starting point for apps to check out. Among those were Acrobat’s Adobe Reader and PDF Expert. Along the way, I also discovered PDF Viewer and decided to test Apple’s native Files app, as well.

The table below shows the main features I looked for and tested within each app. A few notes about the listed features: Intuitive 1 and 2 page view refers to the app displaying a single page in portrait mode and 2 consecutive pages in landscape mode automatically based on screen orientation; shapes refers to the apps ability to insert shapes, like a circle around a given count of a measure; arrows added to point out something specific in a measure, typically with a note attached to it; text – could a text note be added to the PDF; highlighter – freestyle like an actual highlighter to highlight specific musical notation and the ability to highlight printed text within the PDF.

PDF ViewerPDF ExpertAdobe ReaderFiles
Horizontal scrollingyesyesyesno
Intuitive 1 page view (portrait)yesno, must selectno, must selectno
Intuitive 2 page view (landscape)yesno, must selectno, must selectno
Page turn animationyesnonono
Score annotationyesyespaid upgradeyes
Apple pencil/fingeryesyesnoyes
Highlighter freestyleyesyesnoyes
Highlighter textyesyesnono
Cloud storageyesyesyesyes

As you can see, PDF Viewer checked all the boxes for me. And a bonus feature with this app is the ability to save a signature for signing documents, which most PDF apps charge for, but PDF Viewer includes with its free version. So if you’re looking for a reliable, feature-rich PDF reader that has a great free version, great for viewing and making notes on your sheet music and scores, you can’t go wrong with PDF Viewer.

Print version available!

My self-published book “Rudimental Solos for Snare Drum for the Advanced Drummer” is once again available for purchase. The book contains eight original solos for snare drum and has been expanded to include five traditional rudimental solos every snare player should know. Print version is $9.95 and the e-book is just $5.00.

Useful Apps to Aid in Teaching and Learning

Technology can be an unwanted distraction in the learning environment (ex. – teenagers with cell phones during rehearsal). But it can also be a great tool to enhance the learning experience. I want to highlight two of my favorite (and most useful aps) for percussionists.

The first is an absolute must, not only for percussionists, but for all musicians. This indispensable app is, of course, a metronome. I’ve tried numerous metronome apps, but the one that I keep coming back to is The Metronome by Soundbrenner. Some of the many features included are: set any time signature up to 16/8, a full range of preset subdivisions, a wide and varied selection of sounds, the ability to tap the tempo on screen, and the option to save settings for songs and setlists. One con of this particular app is it’s availability only for Android devices. There are tons of other options and best of all, it’s completely free! To find out more, visit the site or download at the Google Play Store and see for yourself why this metronome is superior to others.

The second app is specific to rudimental percussionists. It’s called Drumate and is available (unfortunately) only for Android devices. This great little app aids in the learning of 39 rudiments. It does not include the buzz roll, nor any hybrids. For any rudiment, you can choose a constant tempo, progressive tempo in set steps, or an open-close-open progression. The audio quality is very clear and sounds like an actual snare drum. You can mark your favorites and also sort by type (rolls, flams, etc). It’s available in both free and paid versions, but both versions are the full version. The paid version is $2.99 and goes to support the developer and future updates. It’s available on the Google Play Store so check it out and start learning/improving those rudiments today.

Both apps can aid in the teaching/learning process and can be particularly helpful to band directors with weaker percussion skills and only a basic knowledge of the percussion family. Of course, nothing can replace the human element needed for a successful Teacher/Student environment, but these apps and others can be a great way to supplement the teaching/learning process.

Another Dose of Hybrid Rudiments

Greetings all! I’ve added 4 more sheets to the Hybrid Rudiments page. This round includes:

Hybrid Rudiments – Sheet 6 (a bit of fun with flams)

  • Flama-Singles – a group of four single strokes with a flam on the first note
  • Flam-a-Flam – a group of three single strokes with flams on the first and third notes
  • Flamacue-Diddle – a Flam Paradiddle combined with a Flamacue by accenting the second note of each
  • Flama Chuck – a Pataflafla with an extra flam on the third note
  • Flaflam Drag – a Paradiddle with the first note flammed, the second note diddled and an accented flam on the fourth note

Hybrid Rudiments – Sheet 7

  • Zigiddy Bops – an Alternating Single Stroke Three with an accented drag/double stroke on the first note of each
  • Parafladdle – a Paradiddle with an accented flam on the third note; similar to a Choo Choo; also called a Tapafladdle
  • Flama Chucka Diddle – a Flama Chuck played with Paradiddle sticking
  • Fuzz Taps – a Flam Tap where the primary stroke of the flam is a buzz/crush
  • Churruckitahs – a Flamacue-Diddle with Cheese on the first flam; also called Cheeseacue-Diddle, Cheese Flamacue Diddle

Hybrid Rudiments – Sheet 8

  • Flam Drag-a-poo – Flama-Singles with drags/double strokes on the second and fourth notes
  • Flammed 3-2-1 – a Reverse Shirley Murphy with a flam on the first note of each, sticked following the format 3-2-1
  • Chatachichi – a Paradiddle with flams on the first, second and third notes followed by another flam on the same hand
  • Flam Stutters – a group of three notes, sticked RLL or LRR, with Cheese on the first note
  • Flam Five – a Five Stroke Roll with a flam on the first note; usually played with the Flam Accent sticking

Hybrid Rudiments – Sheet 9 (in this one, the first two build on one another, as do the last three)

  • Eggbeaters – a triple stroke followed by a double stroke; played as quintuplets or in 5/8; also called “Fyvie Five”
  • Chinese Fives – an Eggbeater with the first three notes played as 16th note triplets and the last two played as 16th notes
  • Deviled Eggs – a triple stroke then two double strokes, with the first note accented; played as septuplets or in 7/8
  • Slevens – Deviled Eggs with a flam on the first note; played as septuplets or in 7/8; also called “Flam Deviled Eggs”
  • Flam Devils – Slevens with additional flams on the fourth and sixth notes; played as septuplets or in 7/8

Each sheet is available for free download on the Hybrid Rudiments page. And if you like what you see at Drummin’ Around and think others would too, please remember to share on your favorite social media outlet. Thanks for visiting!

More Hybrid Rudiments

I’ve just added three additional downloads to the Hybrid Rudiments page. These include:

Sheet 3

  • Cupcakes – a Flamacue Drag with accented flams on the first and second notes
  • Opies – a five note pattern, sticked RLLRL or LRRLR, with a flam on the fifth note of each
  • Parabuzzle – a Paradiddle with the fourth note buzzed/crushed
  • Kramer – a Pataflafla with cheese on the fourth note
  • Flyz – two Swiss Army Triplets, with the second note of each buzzed/crushed, followed by a Flam Tap

Sheet 4

  • Didda-let – a single accented stroke followed by a double stroke; a common variation reverses the order
  • Dragateenth – a group of four 16th notes played as alternating strokes with the first note diddled (double stroke/drag)
  • Side Flamadiddle – a four note grouping sticked RLLL or LRRR with a flam on the first note of each
  • Four Note Swiss Army Triplet – a Swiss Army Triplet with an extra note on the same hand after the flam
  • Cheese-Ka – a Four Note Swiss Army Triplet with an accent on the fourth note; also called “Aaron Swiss”

Sheet 5

  • Gallops – a Didda-let with a flam on the second note; when played properly this produces a “galloping” sound
  • Puguda – a Didda-let followed by an accented note
  • Shirley Murphy – a single stroke + double stroke + triple stroke; also called “1-2-3”, “Murphs”, “Murfs” or “Shirley Murphies”
  • Pataflaka – a Cheese-Ka with an extra flam on the fourth note
  • Side Cheeseadiddle – a Side Flamadiddle with cheese on the first flam of each

Remember, if you like what you see please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Thanks for visiting!

More Hybrids!

I’ve added another sheet free to download here.

Hybrid Rudiments – Sheet 2 includes:

  • One Handed Flam Drag
  • Grandpas (you knew it was coming)
  • Chutuddas
  • Diddle Herta
  • Cheese Paradiddle

If you like what you see please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Thanks for visiting!

Introducing Hybrid Rudiments

I’ve added a new page and new downloadable resources covering the vast world of Hybrid Rudiments. Additional resources will be added to this page throughout the year.

Hybrid rudiments are the combining of two or more rudiments to create a new rudiment or rudiment pattern. This is not always the case as there are instances of hybrids containing only one rudiment, but have become universally recognized and adopted as a common rudiment pattern. Since there are an infinite number of combinations and stickings, there is no official list of hybrid rudiments, and new hybrids are no doubt created almost daily. Even the names can vary for the same hybrid. There are currently 500+ more widely accepted hybrid rudiments.

The first resource includes the hybrids Hertas, Grandmas, Choo-Choo, Alternated Pataflafla and Cheese.

My Library

For anyone interested, I’ve added a page listing my percussion library with links to most of the material. A lot of useful studies, solos, method books and more for the new and experienced percussionist.
My Library

“Stick Anatomy” Update

I added a downloadable PDF of the Stick Anatomy page. Band Directors, I have other PDF’s that are specifically for beginning percussionists. If you use them, I would love to hear about it and any success stories, as well.

Rudimental Learning Sequence – breaks the 40 International Drum Rudiments into a suggested order for learning years 1-4

Care and Maintenance – how to replace and tune the batter and snare heads

Snare Drum Anatomy – yes there are actually names for all those different parts, and not many young drummers have a clue what they are called

Stick Anatomy – believe it or not a drumstick has 6 identifiable areas. Check it out!

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