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Combination Execrices

   In past lessons we worked on Single-Strokes, Double-Strokes, Triple-Strokes, and Four-Stokes. We did these separately. Now we're going to begin to put them together into Combination Exercises.

The Concept

   Rarely will you be playing a single type of stroke in your attempt to make music. More realistically you will be using combinations of different rudiments and sticking patterns. The most interesting things you do will often be something that sounds difficult, but is really just a simple combination pattern.

   That's our little secret: what sounds difficult very often is something quite simple! Let the listener keep thinking it's hard; all to your benefit!


    Combinations #1

   Let's start by combining singles, doubles, and triples. We've split these up into to exercises here. Do each separately. Remember our discipline? Reps? Repeat?

Combination Exercise #1a

   Now to jazz things up a bit, combine the two lines into one. Is it harder or easier?

Combination Exercise #1b

    Combinations #2

   Let's put some four-strokes with the singles and doubles. After doing these for a while, combine the two lines like I did in the first exercise to get a one-line exercise.

   What's happened? You now have a five-stroke. Is that too hard? It shouldn't be.

Combination Exercise #2

    Combinations #3

   In order to make this exercise I had to write it in 5/4. The feel should be very different, but it shouldn't be that hard.

Combination Exercise #3

    Combinations #4

   Again, we're combining singles, doubles, and triples, but this time in 6/8.

Combinations Exercise #4

    Combinations #5

   Back to 4/4, this one feels somewhat like a paradiddle, doesn't it? How many variations on this one can you come up with?

Combinations Exercise #5

    Combinations #6

    This one should be an interesting challenge. Does it feel like paradiddles, too?

Combination Exercise #6

    Combinations #7

   I had to split this up between two lines so it would fit, but it's all one exercise. We're alternating between 6/8 and 5/8 for a challenging feel.

Combination Exercise #7

    Combinations #8

   Another 5/4 exercise combining singles, doubles, and fours.

Combination Exercise #8

    Combinations #9

   One last 5/4 combo. How fast can you play this?

Combination Exercise #9


   We're starting to build onto our past lessons. Things will only get more interesting as we go. So far we've been keeping things to straight quarter- or eighth-notes. Soon we will be combining these as well; and adding some thirds, sixteenths, accents, rests....

   As always, let me know how you've done!

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