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Rudiments Around the Drums: Part 4
Not For Marching Only!
In my prior articles on Rudiments Around the Drums (See the Related Links sidebar), I covered Single Stroke Roll, Double Stroke Roll, Single and Double Paradiddle, Flam and Flam Tap, and Five- through Fifteen-Stroke Rolls. This week, I get creative with Ratamacues.
Open or Closed
Above is the standard notation for the Single Ratamacue but there are actually two ways to play the grace notes. Grace notes are the 2 small notes preceding the eighth-note triplet. If you're not familiar with grace notes or need a refresher, see Tiger Reading 102.
In the Drum Corps style of playing, the grace notes are played as written, two distinct notes. In Orchestra or Jazz drumming, however, the grace notes are usually played closed, as a short buzz sound. Either way you interpret the grace notes, you can spread the Single Ratamacue around the drums in a variety of ways: play it as is on a Snare or Tom, break it up and play the grace notes on the snare and the remaining notes on a Tom or vice versa. You can also get some good sounds by playing the Single Ratamacue with one stick on the Ride Cymbal and the other on a Snare or Tom.
If you don't understand the term "4 bars of time" in number 5 above, what I mean is that you should pick a cymbal pattern and play it for 4 bars before playing the written exercise, then go back to the cymbal pattern and then back to the exercise again. This simulates what's called trading fours. Note: You can play straight Rock "time" for the first eighth-note Ratamacue example above, and Jazz "time" for the eighth-note triplet exercise.
Like with the Single Ratamacue on the previous page, there are two ways to play the grace notes. In the Drum Corps style of playing, the grace notes are played as two distinct notes. In Orchestra or Jazz drumming, however, the grace notes are usually played as a short buzz. Either way you interpret the grace notes, you can play the Double Ratamacue around the drums in many ways: As is on a snare or tom, break it up and play the grace notes on the snare and the remaining notes on a tom or vice versa. You can also try playing the Double Ratamacue with one stick on the Ride Cymbal and the other on a Snare or Tom.
That's it for now. In the fifth and final lesson in Rudiments Around the drums, we'll complete the Ratamacues and give you some ideas for combining the various Rudiments.
Until then: Stay loose.
Click the link for Rudiments Around the Drums: Part 5
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