Hello! I’m a snare player in my marching band I’m trying out for a dci group for the first time and I’m sort really nervous. I was wondering if you had any practice tips you wouldn’t sharing, especially on how to build singles and multiple strokes (triple and double beat).
What’s up, Allen!
When developing and building skills, there are so very simple strategies that would give you so much return on your practice time. The hurdle is most people don’t have the discipline to use the tools regularly.
Lame excuses for poor practicing
“I don’t have time.”
“My metronome ran out of batteries.”
These strategies below are very simple. Before you read about them, ask yourself, “Am I dedicated enough to my goal to incorporate them into my daily practice routine?”
These practice habits are the first that come to mind when building double and triple strokes, but they’re the same practice tips I’d offer across almost every practice scenario.
I’ve also included some links at the bottom to some free video lessons and pdf handouts specific to double strokes and multiple strokes.
Thanks for your question – good luck, and keep me posted!
TIPS FOR BUILDING UP DOUBLE AND MULTIPLE STROKES
Slow practices gives you more time to observe what’s happening and allows you to build correct habits. Pay attention to things like your sound quality, rebound, playing zones, rhythm, etc. These characteristics tend to degrade in quality as you go faster, so don’t be afraid to invest more time up front with slow practice.
Practice with a Metronome
Start at a tempo, most likely slower than you think, where the goal is to be able to play the desired skill set perfectly. It may feel like it’s taking longer, but rest assured if you invest more time up front, you’ll build the proper foundation needed to avoid your potential future output.
“You’re practicing too slow,” said the music teacher, never.
From there, gradually bump the tempo in 8 beat increments. The metronome not only prevents you from going faster with each subsequent rep. It’s also you’re personal trainer that helps you scaffold your practice in quantifiable increments.
Your goal becomes maintaining the desired quality across faster tempos. Be patient, and log more correct reps than you think before moving on to the next tempo.
Practice in Front of a Mirror
I use to practice in the bathroom all through middle school. The height of the counter was perfect, and the mirror was invaluable.
The mirror is your friend. It won’t lie to you to soothe your ego. It will tell you the truth about whether or not your sticks are at the correct height, rebound smoothly, and if you’re sticks are going straight up and down.
Trust the mirror. Don’t just think about the mirror. You have to actually use it.
Set Up a Dedicated Practice Zone
If you haven’t already, I’d also suggest setting up a dedicated practice zone, where all your materials (mirror, metronome, drum, pad, sticks, etc.) are all set up. The more convenient you can make your practice, the less likely you’ll let excuses get in your way of having
The next tip I’d give is a previous post, so if you’d like to read on, visit: 5 Things to Do If Auditioning for WGI or DCI Soon.
LAST CALL FOR INTRO PRICING!
For Double Stroke and Multiple Stroke Specific lessons, try these free video lessons and handouts:
Thanks for reading
What’s one of the best pieces of advice you’ve heard or given to develop your double and triple strokes? Leave it with a comment below!
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Huei-Yuan Pan is a Los Angeles based professional musician and content creator.
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