Photo by Dave Hodgkinson

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Using 'Stick Control' in 5/4

Here's an exercise inspired by Andrew Hare from the The Melodic Drummer blog (or perhaps Todd Bishop). By adapting the Alan Dawson esq. Single Stroke Roll Exercise from last week into 5/4 we can simultaneously develop our odd time playing whilst building the speed of our singles. Hare/Bishop's concept was to add an extra beat (played RL or LR) onto bar 1, page 5 of Stick Control. Play this new 5/4 bar twice followed by fast 16th note singles as in last week's exercise. Repeat with each exercise of page 5. Just to make things a little more complicated (and co-ordinated) i've added an ostinato with the feet. This is a highly portable exercise as the tricky co-ordination required can be practiced with hands on thighs (a method that's been particularly useful on my current 5 week tour).


  1. Hi Sam, what time sig is Alan using in measure 13, double drag (3/4, 6/8)? I'm confused on where the bossa nova foot ostinato should line up?
    Great vid on the ritual!!

    1. Hi Ron. It's just 4/4 actually. As far as I remember its counted 1,+, 2, 3, +, 4, with drags on 1, +, 3, + and single notes on 2 and 4. Sorry doesnt seem that clear written down!

    2. Sam thankx. I'm new at drumming, so always pushing myself to learn how to read notation and apply what is intended. almost like a black art with some of this stuff. I'm always thinking maybe just set the metronome, play the foot ostinato and then start the rudiment and everything lines up within thinking about it.
      Keep up the great work on instructional vids. Very informative stuff you are posting.

    3. Thanks for reading Ron! Rather than hoping things will 'line-up', I think it's important to try and 'unweave the rainbow' as Richard Dawkins would put it. Try and approach difficult phrases in as practical and analytical a way as possible, it will help give your playing and musical understanding a stronger foundation.

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  3. Thanks for reading and glad it's helping!