Sunday Session #22: Buzz Basics

SEASON 3 Episode 2




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DOWNLOAD FREE PDF Lesson #22: Buzz Basics




PAS Rudiment #4 Multiple Bounce Roll

“Buzz rolls are a “must-have” in every percussionist’s toolbox. It can be one of the most challenging techniques to master, and for most, it’s a lifelong process that we continue to develop and refine over time.

In this lesson, we quickly move through the fundamentals of how to play a buzz, and demonstrate how this skill set can be extended into more advanced applications used by the top groups in the worlds.”

By the end of this lesson, you’ll understand the mechanics of how to play a buzz roll, as well as the advanced applications of buzzes you currently see World Class lines using in their training programs.

Part I: Buzz Basics

  1. Basic Buzz Mechanics: back fingers off, arm, same sound and motion in each buzz
  2. Buck Buzz
  3. Buzzes in a grid
  4. Long Rolls
  5. Buzz & Drags

Part 2: Questions/Comments

Jill: Huei do your hands ever get tired or hurt a lot while playing? 

Thanks for the question, Jill! If your hands start hurting, listen to your body and stop. Very rarely do my hands hurt now. At most, they may get a little sore if I’ve taken some time off from playing.

In my earlier years, when my hands would occasionally hurt, it was because of not spending enough time warming up, letting unnecessary tension gradually creep in while practicing or simply playing for too long. I learned over the years that it’s worth taking the time to warm up properly, constantly reminding myself to stay relaxed, and to practice smarter, not longer.

Check to make sure you’re avoiding those issues that may be causing pain, but most importantly, don’t ignore it. Take care of your body so you can continue playing for years to come!

David: Hey, I’m just wondering, what’s the past way to practice chops? I’ve been practicing for at least 2 hours a day, but I’m not seeing much improvement, got any advice?

The only way to build chops is to practice playing beyond your comfort zone, faster and higher than your current threshold.

The first step is to find your threshold, the point at which the quality of your playing starts to suffer due to speed or dynamic. Make yourself a chart to track your progress, and you have to bump against that threshold on days you’re trying to build chops.

Be careful though, because this is when bad habits and tension can creep in. Frequently revisit the tempos where you are playing the skill set perfectly and with ease so your body knows what you are striving for at the more extreme tempo and dynamic ranges.

More info and examples of the chart can be found in Volume 4 of the MPP: That’s How We Roll.

Alex @ga_visionary:  Thanks so much Huei! I was wondering what exercises would you recommend to increase your left hand speed?

4-2-1: works both hands evenly and helps you practice transitioning (forces your left hand to keep up with right hand). The specific exercise should depend on which left hand skill set you’re working on building speed, e.g. 8’s, accent tap, doubles, etc.

Part 3: Lightning Round Q & A

Marching Percussion Playbook

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5 Day Giveaway on Instgram this week!


“I really do appreciate all that you have done with the MPP and Periscope Live lessons. I am the only band director and I don’t have the biggest budget. Your free lessons and teachings are a big reason I am as sharp on my percussion skills as I am, and my kids can see it even though they know I am a brass player.

Keep doing what you are doing.  It is making a difference.” – Cullen M.

Thanks for the note, Cullen! Congrats on the new gig, and let me know what questions I can answer for you as you get going with your kiddos.

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!

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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.


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