Part II : The Playing of the Drum – now to the fun stuff

February 6, 2009
Ditulis Oleh: Jeffrey Cramer With Input from James P. Ancona, Bill Bachman, and Michael Windish
 
I. Playing Zones (sweet spot) 

While the surface of each drumhead makes a pretty large target, the actual playing zones are much smaller. The drums put out the strongest sound if struck two inches from the rim and since tenor music tends to move around the drums a lot, the zones are places as close together as possible to limit the distance the mallets have to travel.

Pictured above are the playing zones for each drum. The red dots show where the right hand plays; the yellow dots show where the left hand plays. As you can see, the path is almost a straight line across the drums and if you look at the drumheads of experienced tenor players, these will be the only spots with any marks on them.

II. Stroke Guidelines

The basis for playing a drum starts with gripping the stick properly. The goal is to get each tenor player playing the same. If everyone grips the stick the same way, and looks the same while playing, we should develop a strong, mature sound as a tenorline. The absolute goal is a beautifully balanced, strong sound.

1. Maintain the grip:
The grip is set up to make playing the drum easier. If you follow the guidelines of the grip precisely, you will improve as a drummer faster than you can imagine. The key is to never sacrifice your grip for anything – to play louder, you think it looks cooler to do it differently, to learn music you neglect the technique so you don’t have to think as much – none of these are good reasons to sacrifice grip, which makes sense because there is never any reason to sacrifice grip. To be very simple, put your fingers where they belong and NEVER LET GO OF THE STICK.

2. Play from the wrist:
While maintaining the grip, you must initiate the stroke from your wrist. If your arm is the first thing to move, this is incorrect. Bend your wrist naturally and turn to the desired height, do not use arm. Then, complete the stroke by returning your wrist to where it started. Do not aid your wrist turn by letting go with your fingers, or by raising your arm. Just let your wrist do the work.

3. Use rebound:
Rebound is a hard concept to understand at first, but is very useful once it is understood. The best way to think of it is like dribbling a basketball. When dribbling a basketball you do not throw the ball down and stop your hand as the ball comes back up to it. Your hand remains in constant motion, moving with the ball, instead of stopping it, picking it up, and throwing it back down. This is the same idea you will use with your stick. You have to let the stick bounce off of the head and come back up into your hand without stopping it, without taking any fingers off the stick. Because of the tight drumhead and weight of the mallet, getting rebound is easier on tenors than any other drum. This being said, you should be able to grasp this concept fairly quickly.
4. Play Hard:
In order to achieve a strong, mature sound, we must play hard using rebound all the time. Play the same way at lower heights as you would at higher heights. Accented notes are exactly the same as unaccented notes; accented notes are just played higher. Really give that some thought because it takes a while to completely grasp that concept.

5. Height of rise consistency:
Height of rise is simply the height that the stick reaches by turning your wrist. It must be consistent in two ways. A single player must be able to reach the same height consistently to develop a mature individual sound. Secondly, each player must be consistent with height of rise in regards to everyone else’s height of rise. Each person must turn their wrist to the same height in order to achieve an overall clean, tight sound. The heights will be 3”, 6”, 9”, 12”, 15”, 18”.

6. Control the opposite (resting) stick:
This has two applications – look and sound. While playing longer phrases with only one hand, the other hand must remain under control and in its position. This is so everyone looks the same, which is crucial in this activity. Also, it will improve the attack of the hand that is resting. If everyone starts from the same position, there is a better chance that everyone will hit the drum at the same time. To sum up, just don’t let the hand that isn’t playing, float out of position.

7. Relax:
It is as simple as that. Relax. Relax everything as you play. Relax your body and your mind. If you think too much while you play it will show with choppy, anxious looking strokes. As you play, especially as you get faster, your body will naturally want to tense up. Use your mind to fight that urge because it is the opposite of what you want to do. As you get faster you want to relax more so you can move easier. If you tense up, your hands will slow down. Just relax.
III. Types of Strokes:

There are two types of strokes that we will use to play the drum. These are Legato and Staccato. However, the stroke which will be used the vast majority of the time is Legato.

Legato – There are many terms that go along with the legato stroke. These are rebound, upstroke, and relaxed. It is only achieved by rebounding the stick off of the head without stopping the stick. See Number 3 under the “Stroke Guidelines” section to see how to play a legato stroke.

Staccato – When you play a staccato stroke you will hear terms like downstroke and catch the stick. The only time we will use a staccato stroke is for a darker, more abrupt sound out of the drum. To play a staccato stroke, you project the stick downward through the drumhead and catch it without rebounding the stick. But, like it was stated earlier, we will hardly ever use this stroke.

IV. The Axes of Power

The most direct path will always take the least time and take the least amount of energy. In playing passages around the drum, one must realize that there are two separate motions taking place. Your hands are guiding the mallets along two axes: the X axis and the Y axis.

The X Axis – The X axis is the horizontal axis. Upon this axis the forearms will move the hands around the drums from side to side. The Y axis is the vertical axis. Upon this axis the forearms, wrists and fingers move the mallet straight up and down. Most quad drumming errors are caused by the confusion between these two planes and the lack of maintaining accuracy upon each axis. A quad player should be able to focus on the X and Y axes independently while playing through a phrase.

The Y Axis
– The Y axis should be the first priority when playing around the drums. The way to manipulate this axis is by playing a passage on one drum. Some players rely on “around” patterns to get through certain passages. If you can’t play it on one drum, then you certainly won’t be able to play it around the drums with any accuracy. After mastering a passage on one drum, you will be able to play it around the drums with better sound quality, mallet heights and dynamics. A player should be able to focus on the hand’s movement, heights and velocity through the drumheads while playing through any given passage around the quads. The Y axis must not get melded with the X axis in order to play with a consistent quality of sound, good mallet heights and dynamics.

V. Applying the axes to your Stroke

1. One Drum
When playing a passage on one drum, the path of the mallet should be straight up and down. A common mistake is to let the mallet move in an elliptical (oval shaped) motion, especially with the left hand. This can be fixed by watching your hand in the mirror and adjusting your grip to make the mallet move solely along the Y axis (vertically).

2. Around the Drums
When moving from one drum to another, the path of the mallet should be a perfect arc. Below are some guidelines that, if followed, will bring you success in navigating around the drums.

i. Keep height of rise consistent – It is not necessary to change the height of rise to play on two different drums.
ii. Pivot solely from your elbow – do not turn your wrist from side to side to reach other drums, this changes your grip and stroke path and creates an inconsistent sound.
iii. Keep the rest of your body still – you don’t need to throw your shoulders about to play difficult passages. And I promise that it will be easier without the extra movement. Plus you don’t want to look like you are convulsing.
iv. RELAX – this is a common theme throughout the packet because it is so vital to your success as a drummer. It’s pretty simple: if you are tens

Part 1 : The Youngster’s Guide to Multi-Tenor Drum Technique

February 6, 2009

Ditulis Oleh: Jeffrey Cramer, With Input from James P. Ancona, Bill Bachman, and Michael Windish
 
Table of ContentsIntroductionAbout the Drums.

The Complete Setup.
I. The Look.
II. The Grip.
III. The Set Position.
IV. Playing Position.

The Playing of the Drum.
I. Playing Zones.
II. Stroke Guidelines.
III. Types of Strokes.
IV. The Axes of Power.
V. Applying the Axes to your stroke.
Introduction

The fine art of playing multi-tenor drums, or tenors, is a joy that cannot easily be surpassed by anything known to man. This joy comes as the fruition of lots of practice, determination, coordination, a little back pain, and, here is the real key, good technique.

The contents of this packet will help students gain a thorough understanding of the mechanics behind tenor drumming, along with how to apply them to play fun challenging parts aggressively and musically.

In order to get the most benefit out of tenor instruction, it would be wise to read through this packet in its entirety and continually refer back to in when practicing. Doing so will intensify your understanding of the subject material and aid in preventing bad habits from forming.
About the Drums Though marching toms have been around for a long time, they were not seen in their modern form until fairly recently. It is said that modern tenors were first introduced to the marching field in the 1980s by a senior drum corps, called the Caballeros. This group is known for performing Latin and Spanish shows and therefore has members march across the field, along with the snare, field tom, and bass drummers, with timbales, congas, and bongos strapped to them. Over the years, the timbales and bongos were altered in size and design to allow one person to carry them as well as to improve the projection of sound to the audience. Gradually the size of the drums got smaller so more could be carried at one time.

Tenorlines in most colleges and drum corps use tenors with five to six drums, called quints or sexes, with drum sizes of 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, and 14 inches in diameter. For the beginner high school tenorline, it is best to stick with four or five drums so as not to be overwhelming to the student. Most high school marching programs stick with a smaller set of quads (8, 10, 12, 13 inches), but I prefer the sound of a large 14 bottom drum.

When referring to the different drums, the 8 inch drum is called “one”, the 10 inch: “two”, 12 inch: “three” and the 14 inch is, of course, “four”. They are positioned with the one and two drums centered and farther away from the body, with the one drum on the right side. The three drum is closer the right forearm and the four drum close to the left forearm.

Tenors are carried on a padded metal harness, or carrier. When carried correctly, the playing surface of the drums should run perfectly parallel to the ground in all directions. Depending on the high and size of the player, the top of the drums should fall roughly at their hips to allow for a comfortable playing angle. Since the drums fit much lower than snare drums or bass drums and they are also heavier, the tenors will place the most strain on the players’ lower back. It is for this reason that it is important to stretch before using the tenors, at least at first, and to exercise the back to prepare for the long days of band camp.

*IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP* Never lean back when carrying a drum, this only further tightens your tired muscles, and can lead to subsequent back pain in the future. Instead, keep your legs straight and lean forward to let your drums touch the ground.

The Complete Setup

In order for each member of the tenorline to sound the same, they must first look the same. Your posture and overall form is every bit as important as how well you can actually play.


I. The Look – always use this when your drum is on

1. Stand up straight – this will make keep the drums level and ease the strain on your back
2. Feet together – heels and toes should be touching
3. Keep your knees back – support your weight all the way down to your heels without locking your knees
4. Pull your shoulders back slightly – keep from slouching
5. Keep your lower back straight – bending it shifts the weight and will hurt you
6. Project your body upwards – fill the carrier with shoulders and chest, be tall
7. Keep your head up, staring straight ahead
8. Never speak unless asked for your input or you have a question
9. Confidence is key – always present yourself with a professional look of concentration and intensity; look like you’ve been playing all your life and it will show through in the music

*REMEMBER* whenever you are wearing a drum, uniform, or even drumline clothing, you are representing everyone that was a member before you, along with those that teach you. Make each of them proud by presenting yourself well so they will want to come back.
II. The Grip – never let this change… and I mean never

1. Place the mallet into your hands so the end of the rubber part is flush with the back of your palm so the butt is resting at the skin fold near your pinky
2. Fulcrum – Pinch between pad of thumb and first joint of index finger, this is the pivot point
3. Close space between index and thumb
4. Loosely wrap other three fingers around mallet – these are just support
5. Wrist and Forearm form one straight downward angled line
6. Palms are down but slightly angled inwards so thumbnail can be seen – this adjusts for the lower position of the drum
7. Keep your elbows where they fall naturally – not pulled in or out
8. RELAX – everything from your shoulder down to your hand *Please Note* the more difficult a passage is, the more important it is to follow these grip guidelines. If you let your fulcrum go during a roll, you will lose control and it will sound dirty.

III. The Set Position – When the drumline captain or an instructor says “set” follow these instructions

1. Start with your arms at your sides with one mallet gripped in each hand
2. Bend at the elbow and move your forearms in towards your stomach so both mallets sit parallel to each other with your right mallet farther forward than the left.
3. While holding the mallets with the other fingers, straighten your left pinky, ring, and middle fingers and your right thumb.
4. Bring the Mallets closer together so your left index finger is all that is between them
5. Close your left pinky, ring, and middle fingers around the right mallet and place your thumb on the back of the left mallet.
6. The mallets should still be parallel
7. Rest your hands 1 inch about the playing level and 3 inches away from your body

IV. The Playing Position

When an exercise, cadence, or musical passage is about to start, tenor players go from the set position to the playing position on beat 3 of the measure prior to the first note to be played. The playing position as follows:
1. Right mallet to drum one, Left hand to drum two
2. Nylon tip of mallets ½ inch above drum head, 2 inches away from rim at the point closest to the bodyOn count four of the measure prior to the first note, both mallets will move to where the first note on each hand will be played. Instead of mallets coming out in one count, like the snares and basses, sticks out is a two count move.

*NOTE* when moving between set and playing positions, the motion should be:
1. Smooth – one fluid motion
2. Quick – think of being there, not getting there
3. Silent – don’t hit the rim, drum, or mallets together

ah salah pilih

February 4, 2009

gawat,salah pilih mata kuliah..mau prs ah

tadinya gw memilih ilustrasi buku anak di dkv sama teknik kertas seni,dan baru menyadari bahwa keduanya sama2 praktek dan bahkan yg di DKV itu kuliahnya 3 jam omigod males bgt..demi menyelamatkan IP gw yg anjlok kmaren dan mencicil sks di seni murni,atas rekomendasi sanasini akhirnya gw memutuskan utk memilih 2 mata kuliah di SM saja..yakni Psikologi Seni dan Kajian Perempuan dalam Seni..hmm teori semua ya, menarik juga.ahahahahahaha

PRS here i come, tapi gw awam nih soal PRS2-an,gimana caranya si?

kenapa ya gw?

February 2, 2009

gw kenapa ya?

kadang tindakan gw gak sejalan sama pikiran..atau kata2 yg keluar tidak sesuai dgn perasaan gw sebenarnya. udah banyak bgt korban berjatuhan (buset, kaya perang aja) tapi tetap saja saya seperti itu..gw mungkin termasuk jenis org yg tidak dpt mengeluarkan isi hati dan pikiran dgn benar (ya ampun emang ada jenis org kaya gini??)

maksud hati A, yg terucap malah B, pas dilakukan malah jadi F..oh ya, satu lagi..kadang ekspresi yg saya keluarkan pun suka gak sesuai dgn maksud saya sebenarnya…ya ampun benar2 tidak terkoordinasi dgn baik semua, sedikit skali org yg mengerti maksud gw sewaktu gw lagi kaya gitu, makanya bnyk bgt terjadi kesalahpahaman yg sebenarnya tidak gw kehendaki..anyone, help!

banyak kata2 yg tidak bisa diucapkan dgn mudahnya, seperti org2 lain yg dgn sgt santai mengucapkannya (apa coba?)

banyak tindakan2 yg ga bisa dilakukan semudah org2 lain melakukannya..(ini jg apa lagi?)

gitu deh..makanya lewat tulisan ini, maafin ya semua yg merasa terganggu dgn keanehan saya ini..maaf bgt saya org yg seperti ini.hehe

MBWG will strike back

January 1, 2009

akhirnya setelah sekian tahun menunggu, gw menyentuh juga lantai kuning istora.. semuanya udah gw korbankan demi menginjakkan kaki disana.keringat darah air mata (buset) selama latihan yg superhectic akhirnya selesai di istora, 27 desember 2008..walaupun kami ga masuk final, banyak banget pelajaran berharga yg bisa diambil buat ke depannya..

sebagai koordinator divisi konsumsi di kepanitiaan, pemain quint tom di fraksi battery, section leader di quint tom..semua mengganjar gw dgn berbagai pengalaman yg jauh lebih berharga dr sekedar piala. bagaimana gw berusaha bersabar ngadepin teman2 gw yg karakternya beda2, bagaimana mengurus makan segitu banyak orang (ahahaha…), bagaimana membagi waktu antara tugas kuliah, perkonsumsian, dan latihan yg mahadahsyat.. semuanya worth it.

gw gatau seandainya tahun ini gw kembali hanya menonton, gw mungkin bakal ketinggalan hal-hal berharga dan waktu bersama tim yg walaupun melelahkan tapi juga menyenangkan..

kalau gw ga ikut gpmb taun ini,mungkin gw ga bakal ngeliat sasha dikejar-kejar jaka(the dog) pas latian display, gak bakal bisa liat goyangan alvin di lagu 2 yg eye-catchy bgt, ga bisa liat kecacatan yudhi dan jaka (orang), ga bisa ekspresi imam yg ga kontrol (aryo apalagi), ga bisa nangis karna saking kesel sama keadaan, ga bisa ngerasain gimana ngurus makan 100 orang lebih..seriously guys, i was really happy to be in the team..

ga masalah kita ga masuk final. secara individu kita udah meningkat satu level menjadi pribadi yg lebih kokoh dan dapat menguatkan satu sama lain. of course to compete again next year..MBWG will definitely strike back Istora!

a little of my MB history

December 13, 2008

Grand Prix Marching Band 2008 udah di depan mata,selangkah lagi gw bakal merasakan untuk pertama kalinya lantai kuning Istora yang udah lama gw idam-idamkan, jadi inget masa-masa SMA yang juga dihiasi dengan kegiatan yg cukup menyita banyak waktu dan tenaga ini..hehe

pertama kali gw masuk MB, kelas 1 SMA.. dulu itu sistem pembagian alat ga kayak di MBWG, langsung ke alat yg dipengenin ato dilempar ke fraksi lain..dulu gw sangat amat tertarik bermain tenor (Quad Toms),nah gw harus masuk Bass Drum dulu baru di taun ke dua dapet Tenor.ini karna keterbatasan alat yg kami miliki,kalo mau masuk Snare harus maen Cymbals dulu,haha..kalo di Wind Instrument (Brass) ato Guard sih bisa langsung.. thank God teman2 gw di Bass Drum sangat menyenangkan, bareng mulu udah kayak geng eksklusif sendiri,kemana-mana bertiga..tadinya berlima,yg 2 gugur.jadi deket bgt deh kita (mungkin sama-sama merasa ditinggalkan,hehe). but I had really good times with them.

taon kedua akhirnya dpet Quad dgn segala daya dan upaya, soalnya temen se bass drum gw yg satu lagi juga ga kalah jago. trus temen gw yg satunya lagi pindah ke Tuba (mengikuti jejak kakaknya). tp kita tetep dket. dulu maen Quad lama-lama kerasa berat bgt..setelah terbiasa bermain Quint,pas gw balik lagi kesana dan mencoba kembali my beloved Quad..ooo serasa surga sekali sodara-sodara. gw bisa lari-lari display pake itu

di taon terakhir SMA , gw sempet maen Quad beberapa bulan, abis itu gw serahkan ke generasi berikutnya.ah sedih,waktu itu ada perasaan ga rela harus menyerahkan alat kesayangan gw ke org lain (berasa milik sendiri gitu,haha)..tapi krna UAS sudah dekat,yah jadilah harus gw ikhlaskan.

rasa kekeluargaan yg gw dapet di MB Sma gw waktu itu ngena bgt, udah berasa rumah kedua. mungkin waktu itu juga gw mulai agak freak sama MB..gw rela menyita waktu main hari minggu, bersaing keras sama temen sendiri demi alat yg gw pengen sampe kena hepatitis akibat latian mulu..asal gw berada di dalemnya gw udah hepi bgt. knp ya?? gw jg suka bingung kalo ditanya begitu. padahal latiannya hectic bgt, tapi gw suka.

dari sana jg gw mulai kenal ada GPMB, DCI dsb dsb..gw & tmen2 gw waktu itu bener2 pengen ikut GPMB.tapi dgn kekuatan yg kita punya saat itu tentu ga cukup. alat yg kurang memadai, anggotanya yg SMP dan SMA  dengan jumlah yg ga memenuhi kuota, pihak sekolah yg agak kurang mendukung..waktu itu banyak dari kami yg bercitacita someday pengen maen di GPMB, dan itu betul2 terjadi pada 2 dr kami.termasuk gw.

saking masih punya passion untuk bermain lagi di MB, gw bener2 nyari uni yg ada MBnya di bandung..ternyata ada 2 ITB ama Unpad, aneh jg si nyari tempat kuliah syarat utama harus ada MBnya.abis brasa ada yg kurang si kalo ga ada latian2 yg hectic itu..trus melihat kampusnya.eh kayanya ITB lebih adem trus ada jurusan yg menarik hati..Senirupa. jadilah gw berencana masuk ITB. sbg cadangan gw jg ikut tes di M*ranath*. tapi gw menilai tesnya gitu doang,ga ada tes gambar malah ada tes fisika kimia dasar..udah gitu lebih mahal dan kampusnya terlihat panas ga berpohon..langsung ga suka dan megikuti tesnya dgn agak ngasal..anehnya keterima.tapi di ITB jg keterima,so goodbye M.

bener2 daftar dan skarang udah terdaftar jadi anggota MBWG (marching band waditra ganesha) ITB and right now we’re preparing our show at GPMB this year. finally my dream comes true.

theme : The City

our playlist : August’s Rhapsody, Park and Blow, New World, Chicago Blues

di Grafis 07

December 10, 2008

gw menemukan fun fact di jurusan gw angkatan gw..cuma buat share aja,haha

10 dari 12 anak grafis 07 …lelaki (cewe cuma 2 org termasuk gw)

8 dari 12 anak grafis 07…perokok (bayangkan betapa ngebulnya studio gw pas smua merokok)

10 dari 12 anak grafis 07…berkacamata

2 dari 2 cewe grafis 07…berkacamata (haha ga penting) 

mungkin stelah ini gw akan menemukan fakta2 lainnya, jadi 2 be continued dulu dah..

responsibility asked

November 20, 2008

[postingan pertama di blog baru..yes]

blakangan gw baru sadar kalo slama ini gw sering melepaskan tanggung jawab,lumayan banyak juga..

sebagai seorang anak dan bagian dari suatu keluarga, gw lebih sering spend waktu gw di luar ketimbang di rumah, even hari libur

sebagai seorang mahasiswa, gw banyak nitip absen, bolos kuliah karena ga bisa bangun pagi (ataw males), menunda tugas dan tidur di kelas

sebagai anak Tuhan, gw sering bolos pergi ke gereja, jarang doa harian pula

sebagai seorang teman, gw ga lagi punya waktu buat main-main like the old times, gw susah diajak pergi,menolak dengan alasan yg hampir selalu sama

sebagai seorang yang pengen jadi seniman, gw jarang liat2 pameran, ga banyak berkarya kaya temen2 yg lain..

sebagai seorang individu, gw pengen lebih bisa bertanggung jawab dengan peran-peran gw itu, apadaya kadang ga semudah itu ngejalaninnya…kalo dilihat-lihat alasan gw bisa kaya gini mungkin karna satu ketertarikan dan ambisi gw pada sesuatu yg kalo diliat orang..’ih, apaan sih?ga usah segitunya kali..’ pengennya gw skarang sih, gw mau mencoba ngubah kebiasaan diatas sedikit demi sedikit…dari yang udah gw jalanin..hehe susah jg ya, bagi waktu dgn benar.mungkin kalo semua ‘ambisi’ ini udah kesampean ato gw udah bosen semua bakal lebih mudah. pertanyaannya..kapan???