I've been messing around with this snare drum exercise lately and thought I would share it with you all today.
This exercise, known as "Denny's Combos", was written by Tom Float and taught to me by Jody Mario and Chris Worthington (who both played snare with the Blue Devils) during my drumline days back in the early 1990s. I guess Tom really dug his bacon and eggs...
It's a great exercise because it emphasizes transitions between a progression of several different rudiments, something every rudimental drummer should be able to do effortlessly.
I also really dig this one because it has a subtle Wilcoxin vibe to it (probably because of the hand-to-hand flams, I suppose).
Here are the four variations:
(Please forgive the change in size of these examples. I just recently switched over to a newer version of Sibelius and haven't quite mastered creating .jpeg files from it quite yet!)
- Take it slow at first
- Play it with a metronome and strive for rhythmic accuracy
- Try leading with both the Right and Left hands
- Play it with brushes!
- Attempt replacing the double stroke rolls with 32nd note single strokes rolls!
- Add some kind of bass drum/hi-hat pattern underneath