Rudimental Ramblings 4: What Really Works?

June 5, 2010 2:37 pm in Drumset by mark wessels

I’ve enjoyed writing this little series of articles on the rudiments.  Not that I have any authority over what is accepted as an “official rudiment” or not — but at least as an exercise in thought on the subject. Is what we’re doing REALLY the best that we can do for kids and teachers, or is there another approach that makes more sense?

I’ve been considering the Rudiment posters that we’ve printed at Vic Firth. Way back when (a little over 10 years ago now), Vic used to print calendars and mail them to every school in the country.  I proposed a poster with rudiments instead…  It’s much more useful, and band directors wouldn’t have to throw them away every year.  Little did I know that we’d wind up printing well over a quarter million of those – and get over 9,000 unique visitors every month to our rudiment feature on the site!

Now the thought plagues me…  Is that really the best we can do?

Would it be better to have a “ESSENTIAL STICK TECHNIQUE” poster which would include:

The essential stroke styles (rebound, down, up, tap, bounce)

7 Essential Rudiments (or 10 -12, whatever)

Essential Exercises (where you cover all the other misc techniques that do not necessarily fit as a ‘rudiment’ – like “8 on a hand”, “Bucks (duple/triple)”, “Chicken & a Roll (duple/triple)”, “Grid” – Accents/Diddles/Drags/Flams (duple/triple) and “Timing” (duple/triple).

It seems that a poster with that info in the hands of a band director, drumset instructor or student would be much more valuable.