by Bill Bachman
watching students play quads, you will sometimes see mallets going
this way and that way to the point that it makes you dizzy. This
fiasco can actually be made very simple. Think about this - for a
mallet to move at an angle, there are actually two things happening
simultaneously: the mallet moving up and down and side to side.
drumming can thereby be separated into two distinct planes, the "X"
and "Y" axes.
The "X" axis
is the horizontal axis. Upon this axis the forearms will move the
hands around the
side to side.The "Y" axis is the vertical axis. Upon
this axis the forearms, wrists and fingers move the mallet straight
up and down. Most quad
drumming errors are caused by the confusion between these two planes
and the lack of maintaining accuracy upon each axis. A quad player
should be able to focus on the X and Y axes independently while playing
through a phrase.
The "Y" axis should be the first priority
when playing around the drums. The way to manipulate this axis
by playing a passage on one drum. Some players rely on "around" patterns
to get through certain passages. If you can't play it on one
then you certainly won't be able to play it around the drums with
any accuracy. After mastering a passage on one drum, you will
to play it around the drums with better sound quality, mallet heights
and dynamics. A player should be able to focus on the hand's
heights and velocity through the drumheads while playing through
any given passage around the quads. The "Y" axis must
not get melded with the "X" axis in order to play with
a consistent quality of sound, good mallet heights and dynamics.
The "X" axis should be the second priority
when playing around the drums. A lack of accuracy within the "X" axis
results in poor playing areas and the accidental hitting of the
Whenever you hear an ugly bark sound from missing a drum's playing
area or hitting a rim, go back and figure out exactly where you
the playing area or hit the rim. Then adjust where your forearms
are putting your hands along the "X" axis in order to
contact the drum in the proper playing area.
Much practice will be required
to fully understand and be able to mentally manipulate each
of these two planes
independently while playing a passage around the drums. It
is best to work on understanding this concept while playing
a familiar passage so that the mind is free for analysis. Once
this concept is realized, it should be internalized through
repetition and applied to everything played around the quads
for great results.
Bill Bachman, presents Rudimental Beats, a technical guide for
everyone with sticks in their hands. Topics covered include: Matched
Grip, Traditional Grip, Full Stroke, Alley-oop Stroke, Down/Up
Stroke, Moeller Stroke, Perfect Practice/Muscle Memory, Speed,
The Grid, Rhythm & Timing, Bill's "Get Good Quick Plan," as
well as breakdowns of the ten most important rudiments to know.
Rudimental Beats is educational, inspirational and designed to
take all drummers to the highest level, whether you play drumset,
marching drums, concert drums, buckets or the kitchen sink!
out Chapter 13 - "Scrapes" from Bill Bachman's
new book Quad Logic
on the next page! Bill gives
us some insight into controlling the scrape motion
several exercises to work out the technique.
you think you're all that, try your
hand at Beatlicious,
a new tenor solo fresh
out of Bill's book!