Vic Firth Beginner Lesson Series with

Whether you're a first day beginner or have been playing the drums for several years, learning the fundamentals of technique, rudiments and music reading is very important. From gripping the sticks properly to learning the essential rudiments, Mark Wessels uses excerpts from his popular method, A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum to provide a solid foundation for successful drumming skills.

Even if you're a skilled percussionist, we recommend that you take the time to view the lessons from the beginning and put into practice the concepts that Mark establishes from the beginning. Building upon the very basic skills, each new lesson will logically progress to higher levels of technical and reading abilities, introducing new exercises and rudiments along the way. Test your mastery along the way using the prescribed exercises, rudiments at the tempos required for each lesson.

NEW!  You can now download the lessons from iTunes for playing on your ipod or computer!    
Band Directors: Now you can use the videos in your percussion class!
It's a great way to justify the purchase of a new video ipod or appleTV to your administration!



Lesson Topics Covered
Introduction Setting up and tuning the snare drum, Gripping the sticks (using the matched grip), Rebound Stroke
Lesson 1 8 on a Hand, Single Stroke Roll. Double Stroke Roll, Stick Control Exercises, Essential Musical Terms
Lesson 2 Quarter Notes and Quarter Rests, Bounce Stroke, Multiple Bounce Roll, Downstroke
Lesson 3

Double Stroke Exercise, 8th notes in quarter time signatures, Upstroke, 5 Stroke Roll

Lesson 4 Isolated Double Stroke exercise, Single Stroke 4, Half Notes and Rests, Single Paradiddle (Step 1), 8th Notes and 8th Rests in eight time signatures
Lesson 5 Tap stroke, “Mr Freeze” exercise, Single Paradiddle (Step 2), 9 Stroke Roll, 8th Rests in quarter time
Graduation Test:1 Recap of all essential skills learned in Lessons 1 - 5
Lesson 6 Rudiment Breakdown, "Bucks in Three" and "Extended Doubles" exercises, 16th notes in quarter time signatures, 13 Stroke Roll
Lesson 7 The Flam, Two Drum Etude, Dotted Half Notes in quarter time, 16th notes in eight time signatures
Lesson 8 Whole Note, Flam Tap, New rhythm: "1e&" (two 16ths/8th), Round for Two Players
Lesson 9 "Alternating Accents" exercise, Single Stroke 7, Flam Paradiddle (step 1), Duet, New rhythm: "1 - &a" (8th/2 16ths), Two Drum Etude
Lesson 10 "16th Note Timing" exercise, Flam Paradiddle (step 2), Duet, New note value: Dotted Quarter, Rudimental Etude
Graduation Test:2 Recap of all essential skills learned in Lessons 6 - 10
Lesson 11 Double Bounces, Counting Quarter Note Rolls, Double & Triple Paradiddle, Rudimental Etude
Lesson 12 "Grid Diddles" exercise, Counting Half Note Rolls, Review Quarter Rolls in 8 time, Flamacue-Step1
Lesson 13 "Flam Control" exercise, Duet using Dynamic Markings, 8th Note Rolls in Quarter Time, 2 Drum Etude, Flamacue-Step2

Teachers: We welcome your comments and suggestions. Click here to send an email to Mark Wessels.


Here are some of the products Mr. Wessels recommends in order for you to have the best chance of success possible:

SD1 General
Round tip. Ideal for orchestral work‚ rock and band. A legendary practice stick.
L = 16 3/8" | Dia. = .635"
  click here to download a larger image of the SD1
SD1 Jr.
A scaled down version of our SD1 General. Perfect for a young student's hands.
L = 15 9/16" | Dia. = .615"
  click here to download a larger image of the SD1JR