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Alan on drumming and speed bag

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  • Alan on drumming and speed bag

    Originally posted by Zack View Post
    Before I got the DVD, I had been practicing by doing paradiddles with the FCP (only punch I knew how to do). After learning some more punches, it seems to me that the FDP is just like a flam, and a front roll is the same as a 5-stroke roll. You could use the FSP as the accented notes and the FCP as the non-accented ones.

    I was thinking about breaking out an old rudiment book that I used to practice from and make some routines out of it. Anyone try this? Sorry if it's old news/repost.
    HI Zack,

    Actually, my teaching system in the Speed Bag Bible DVD is based on my early experience in studying percussion. Like the basic sticking rudiments, the speed bag "techniques" are small basic movements that fit together smoothly to form natural flowing movements, but there are differences. The drummer uses only two sticks, so each drum stick (hand) often repeat several times in various rudiments, such as a paradiddles and ratamacues. The speed bag (as I use it) has four "sticks" - or striking parts, ie....the fists and elbows. I chose not to have any fist or elbow really repeat itself in any technique. The exception is the the Front and Reverse Fist Rolling. A speed bag technique (rudiment) can have up to 1,2,3 or 4 parts within it, and the natural application of one part (fist or elbow) must easily and naturally flow to the application of another fist of elbow.

    Along with the rudiments (basic movement techniques) I needed a way to write speed bag combinations, just like drummers use musical rhythmic notation. If you can drum it, you can write it, and if you can punch it, you can write it, so I had to develop a method of writing continuous combinations (joining multiple techniques). That is why I wrote the BOOK, for not everyone can learn just by watching a video. Imaging watching a jazz drumming great like Joe Morello ( I was truly amazed when I saw him with the Dave Brubeck Quartet) - than having to try and learn that by just seeing him....? NO WAY. So I listened to his 33rpm records at 16rpm speed, and I bought his sticking technique books and did all the exercises. I spent hours listening also to Sandy Nelson (Let there be Drums) and Gene Krupa. I lived on him and Benny Goodman for years. Practiced like a fiend, hours a day. I eventually learned. [10 years later, my high school pep band won a local pep band jazz contest, (playing sing, sing, sing) and we got to go back stage and meet the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I got to spend 30 minutes privately with Joe Morello. One of the greatest moments of my life]

    When I decided to create a speed bag learning program, I wanted to create a simple to complex path to follow, based on my percussion experiences. The written exercise system looks like this.

    But there are some rules of rhythm on the speed bag that are limited in comparision to drums. Speed bag techniques and combinations mostly have the same accent patterns, and you can't change that. for instance, In a drumming triplet, you can change the accent pattern of the rudiment by stressing which stick hits harder. You have many accent patterns in repetitive sticking triplets, but in speed bag techniques featuring three parts, the accent patterns are pretty much set. For instance, in a three punch Fist Roll (triplet), each punch will usually be of equal force, but you can emphasize the last punch, making it a bit louder. But you Can't really accent the first or second punch in the Roll, for it will also change the speed of the bag and change the timing. ON the drums, you can control stick speed by grip pressure, hitting the drum hard but keeping the stick slow. Not so on the speed bag, Once the bag leaves the surface of your hand the speed cannot be altered. On a speed bag "Outward-Triple Elbow Strike ", you can emphasize the last fist, but not the first two contact points. IN a Double Punch, you cannot accent the lead fist over the second, but in a Flam, you could accent the first stick over the second if you want, making it a reverse flam.

    I encourage you to play with the sounds of the techniques, for that is where you will begin to learn how the bag can actually be used as a drum to music. You can learn to reproduce the rhythmic beats of the techniques and learn to sing the bag beat. I do it all the time. And then you can reproduce these combo's in time to most 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 music. The rhythm counting method is the same.

    good luck with it.
    Speed Bag

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