Sunday Session #26: Get Started Here

SEASON 3 Episode 6




Post a photo or tweet that you’re watching!


Periscope Lesson 26 - Get Started Here Thumbnail

DOWNLOAD FREE PDF Lesson #26: Get Started Here




“I’ve received a lot of direct messages on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube this past week asking about where to get started. They’re ready to practice, but they don’t really know what sequence or exercises they should be spending their time practicing. Of course that makes perfect sense. If you haven’t had a teacher or you’re just getting started, you might only know a few exercises, or maybe none. What’s the first thing you should start playing?

Another set of questions I’ve been getting from teachers falls under the category of “I have an upcoming drum camp, what should I be doing and how much time should I spend on each topic?” There’s no one answer to this question because it depends on the group. However, there is a core set of skill sets that can tell you pretty much everything you need about the strengths and deficiences of a player in only a few reps.”

Gain the confidence of the core skill set sets you should be developing!

Part I: Core Skill Sets

  • Legato Strokes
  • 3 Note Duple Timing
  • Accent Tap Stroke Types
  • Double Beat
  • Chicken and a Roll
  • Flams


Part 2: Questions/Comments


Hey Huei, what kind of ear phones are those and do you think those are better than beats?

Bose SoundTrue in-ear headphones


Hi Huei! I’ve watched a couple of your streams so far and am curious how you would recommend practicing the visual aspects of marching percussion at home

Strap on a drum and go for it! Since you probably have limited space (unless you live on a farm somewhere), box drill is a good option. Play your basic warm-up drills as you do forward right, forward left, backwards right, and backwards left box.

The best place to do it is to just go where your marching band practices and practice with a real drum on. There’s nothing wrong with being or there on the field by yourself, in fact that’s when you can really target what you need to work on. Probably the funnest way to do it is to get a buddy and practice together.

There’s no substitute for actually getting out there and marching and playing. Spend more time on your crabbing left to right, that’s where people usually struggle👍👊 hope that helps, keep me posted!


Hey Huei, whenever I play snare drum my left shoulder keeps falling down. Like it is way lower than the right shoulder. Whenever I try to even my shoulders out and drum it just feels weird. I think it’s a combination of the traditional in the left hand and lowering the shoulder to get a better rotation. I also think it’s a bad habit from practicing while sitting down too much. How do I go about fixing this? I try to change it, but my shoulder keeps going to this position.

I’ll give you a tip on the house: left should dropping is common when people compensate for not turning their left hands back far enough. Lowering the left shoulder makes it easier to play higher.

This becomes a problem when you wear a carrier and you can’t afford to lean. To fix this habit, the priority is to get behind a mirror for EVERY practice session. Every time you play with a lean to the left, you’re only reinforcing, making it harder to change.

Start with both arms down, and look in the mirror to check if your shoulders are symmetrical. You have to rely on visual cues from your eyes and the mirror. You can’t rely on feel, because what you feel is “right” is what you’re trying to change. In fact, if it doesn’t feel weird, realize you’re probably reverting back to old habits.

While looking in the mirror, bring your hands to playing position without leaning. If you catch yourself leaning to the left, reset and start over.

Once you can start in a symmetrical setup, play one Rep of something that you don’t have to think too hard about, like 8’s. Focus the entire time on your setup and posture. At the end of each rep, check yourself. If you’ve reverted back to leaning, hands down, reset, and try again.

Video record yourself and see how long you can keep the desired posture. LAST TIP: this won’t happen over night – it will take weeks and weeks of daily correction, awareness, and effort in front of a mirror to correct! 💪 You can do it!


Ive just noticed this and figured id ask someone who is more knowledgeable than I. Is it just me or do newer dci licks and shows have way fewer flams than old school stuff? If so, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to learn newer licks than mkre old school solos. If you are trying to make a corp I mean

Depends on the writer – just saw a clip of cadets “learn the music” and there were a ton of flams! Other groups play rolls and singles for days, just depends on the group.

If you’re trying to make s particular group, I would definitely learn their past drum books, study up on the vocab used frequently, and of course master their warm-up exercise program!

Part 3: Lightning Round Q & A


Marching Percussion Playbook

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 1.04.08 AM.png


Hi, Huei. I know you don’t have much free time so I’ll get down to the point. First I want to thank you for the work you do, it is unprecedented and I admire you for it. I’m 21 years old and I’m from Panama. 4 years ago I entered the world of marching percussion but in this country there are few good teachers as far as marching percussion is concerned and I’m writing to help me so that I can become as good as you.

I have seen your videos, I even have the pdf of the first season of your periscope lessons and for me you are the best and I want to become like you, not only in the musical but also I want to be able to transmit my knowledge to the new generations in the best possible way and to make the community of percussionists increase, just as you do. I really need your help. Thank you for reading this message, apologize for the bad English and I will be waiting for your response.

– Carlos

Hola, Carlos – mucho gusto! Thanks so much for your message, and I very much appreciate you taking the time to write me. Your words are so kind, and inspire me to keep growing and sharing my passion for music as a teacher. If you really want to become a great teacher, you have to work hard and spend a lot of time teaching – it’s just like practicing drums. It’s a skill that you can develop, and I have no doubt you can do it!

I’m glad you’re finding the videos and pdfs helpful! If you’re have a specific question I can help you with, let me know and I’ll do my best to give you an answer. No need to apologize for your English – it’s great! 👍 Talk soon! 👋 -Huei

Also special thanks to last week’s Periscope Superfans – the people who watch and engage the most on Periscope:

T.K. @pan1434

Sketchers @sketchers8413

Adam @abrosman

HTHS Drumline @HTHSDrumline


Mark @MarkSheltonPerc

Cullen @cwmcbride62


Kevin @ikevinsabra

Ronnie @RonnieV_music

I really appreciate you and EVERYONE that’s watching, especially the new and returning viewers that have been watching and commenting on Facebook – thank you for your time and support!


IG Headshot v2

Huei-Yuan Pan is a Los Angeles based musician via Chicago, originally from Houston. His drum corps experience includes performing with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (Snare, 2001) and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps (Snare, 2002-2003; Front Ensemble, 2004). From 2008-2011, Huei served as Director and Arranger for Green Thunder Percussion, and in 2012-2013, Percussion Caption Head with Regiment. He is currently the Director of the Jumpstart Young Musicians Program at The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles. For more on Huei, click here.



Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 3.44.59 PM