The following exercise was written by Kim Plainfield, and appears in his book titled Advanced Concepts. This is a great exercise that combines single, double, and triple paradiddles into a phrase that reverses itself every four measures (right hand leads four measures, then left hand leads four measures, etc...). The pattern consists of four singles, three doubles, three triples, and finally one double that flips the sequence.
Let's face it, most students scowl at the mere mention of a rudiment. And what about o-ring muffles? Oh, you mean that thing that came with my snare drum. I thought that was part of the packaging! While o-rings are easily replaced with some gaff tape or a cut out piece of an old drum head, the rudiments are an essential element of our craft that deserve a lot of attention. Fortunately, Rhythm Tech provides a product that incorporates both elements into one extremely convenient package. As an o-ring, the Drum Circle performs as expected. The ring is constructed of a noticeably thicker mil film than most other offerings, and can withstand direct blows without dimpling, cracking, or smearing. Obviously the main advantage of this product is the inclusion of 28 of the standard rudiments (see list below), and while there are some glaring omissions, the list covers everything necessary for beginner to intermediate students.
The Drum Circle retails for between 8 and 12 dollars, and while the price may seem excessive for such a basic accessory, the real value is found in the product's convenience factor. Even though I keep copies of the rudiments all over my studio, I found that after purchasing the Drum Circle I was referencing the rudiments more during my impromptu practice sessions. Also, as a teaching tool it saves time by no longer having to shuffle through pages for different students. Everything I need is right in plain sight on the snare drum. In my opinion, Rhythm Tech has done all drummers a favor by combining two seemingly mundane, yet necessary elements of our craft into one extremely practical product. While some may find the Drum Circle an unnecessary accessory, for others (especially teachers) it may be just what you're looking for to keep your rudiments fresh.
Dan Kinsinger is a versatile, freelance musician, audio engineer, and educator based in Canton Ohio. He has over 25 years of performance, recording, and teaching experience, is proficient in a broad range of musical styles, and productive in any performance environment.
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