Sunday Session #23: Hi Mom’s and Grandma’s

SEASON 3 Episode 3




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In this lesson, we go over a fun visual basic, the “Hi Mom” as well as how to break down “Grandma’s.” We highlight the things you should look and listen for when practicing these two pieces of vocabulary. 

Included in this handout is a sample Tap Off where we apply both pieces of vocabulary. Post a video of yourself playing this one or make up your own, and tag me @hueiyuanpan on your favorite social media platform!

Part I: Buzz Basics

  1. Hi Mom: step by step process of how to do it and practice it
  2. Grandma’s: herta skeleton, visual flow, clear height definition

Part 2: Questions/Comments

Jordan: Hey Huei, can you play this for me?


Yes – example in video. Whenever you are struggling with something that looks complicated, just remember, “Break it down, #beatbybeat.”

@imivy: In general, how is a certain marching drum best suited for a certain individual. Like Steven Takeda from BD, said he wanted to do snare in HS, and his tech said he’d be better on quads.. And of course he’s talented on that instrument.

Depends on the person – if you have killer match grip and enjoy playing arounds, tenors might be a better fit.

Maybe your left hand has killer rotation for traditional and you have a super keen ear = snare. Solid timing, enjoy playing a role within a larger part, knack for splits, maybe bass Drum is better

I think it comes down to your interest and what you have a knack for, but I’d say your passion is a good compass – it’s what will drive you to practice the hrs and hrs it will take to become a monster 💪

@stocktenn: I am playing Dream of the Cherry Blossom for my Texas State Solo and Ensemble Competition and I am having trouble with the part where the left hand has constant 16th’s on C but the right hand has runs that start slow but get faster out of time. How do I work through this? My hand-speed independence is embarassing. 🙂

Hey S, so the advice here is the same with learning any difficult or complicated passage of music. First identify the technical skill sets you’ll need to play it. It may be alternating sixteenth notes, polyrhythm coordination, triple laterals. Whatever skill set specific to that piece, you should create an exercises to make sure you have the strength, speed, dexterity, coordination to play the underlying technical skills of the musical passage.

Next, study the music and break the section down into small chunks. I think really there are only 4 runs (trying to recall from memory). Instead of playing the entire section over and over again, target each run one at a time. It will take many, many reps. Say a number (5, 10, 50, etc) and commit to playing that section many times before moving on. “The purpose of repetition is to improve, log correct reps, and build consistency.” Especially once you play it correctly, do more reps to make the correct habit more consistent. Most people make the mistake of moving on once they’ve done it right once.

I once saw Steve Schick give a masterclass where he told he story of his friend writing him a multi-percussion piece. The piece was so hard that when he started learning it, he set the metronome at 60bpm…and each click was the 16th note. I remember hearing that and thinking 😳that is slow! Considering he’s one of the great multi-percs of all time, after that, I never felt like I was wasting time by practicing slow. Instead, I realized practicing slow is a sign of maturity.

You have to be able to play it correctly slow before you can play it fast. You mentioned speed, but focus on getting the coordination down first. Only work 1 beat, then 2 beats…little chunks, and then combine the little chunks into bigger chunks. No sense in going fast until you can play each run correctly 7x in a row at a slow tempo.

Lastly, take note of the musical effect you’re trying to create. The C in the LH is just a pedal tone sustain, like a roll, as the RH plays expanding pitches sets in gestural runs. Learn the section strictly and slowly with a metronome, but once you get the coordination, it will free you up to be more expressive and open with the interpretation.

Hope that helps, send me and update once you get it!

Part 3: Lightning Round Q & A


Marching Percussion Playbook

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”I’m down with MPP!’ 🙂

Fellow Drummers, talk about a GREAT resource for your hands and loads of exercises for your students! Huei-Yuan Pan, percussionist and educator extraordinaire put this out just a few months ago. I bought the full PDF version off of, but you could buy the pieces individually if you wanted. This is excellent material, thoughtfully presented and logically assembled. If you ever wanted to take a lesson or in this case, five, from a world class percussionist, this is your chance! I recommend you check it out!”

– Frank, MPP Supporter

Thanks so much for the kind words and generous testimonial, Frank! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help 🙂 “Yeah, you know me!” -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!

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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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