Christopher French

students

Beginning Snare Drummer

Block 4


A. Focus:

This session will begin to bring all of the fore-learned concepts together and further develop roll combinations, and put flams/accents/and dynamics into practice.

B. Objectives:

 Build and develop previous concepts

C. Application:

Lesson 11:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 30-31

Lesson 12:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 32-33

Lesson 13:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 34-35

Lesson 14:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 36-37

Lesson 15:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 38-39

E. Advancement Requirement(s):

** In order for the student to advance to the next block, the student must perform all sections of the Graduation Test: 3.

Beginning Snare Drummer

Block 1


A. Focus:

This session introduces the student to the basic grip, posture of the body, path/movement of the sticks, and rebound technique. Developing good habits with respect to posture, feel and movement are essential for the student to learn at the earliest stages of playing. The session begins with a basic overview of the different parts of the drum as well as the stick. The student will learn the proper technique for holding the sticks and how the drum should react when the stick strikes the surface (or drum head).

B. Objectives:

 Learn the different parts/components of the snare drum and be able to identify them using proper nomenclature.

 Learn the different parts/components of the drum stick and be able to identify them using proper nomenclature.

 Understand the proper "matched grip" technique and be able to identify and explain the "fulcrum" and its purpose.

 Identify the rebound effect of the drum by playing "through" the head and staying relaxed.

C. Notes:

When the student approaches the playing technique of the snare drum, ensure that he/she holds the sticks in a loose and relaxed manner. The sticks must remain in a 90° angle, with the beads together over the center of the head. When one stick moves, the other will remain in place approximately 1" above the head. The path of the stick will move straight up, (not sideways) and in line with the forearm. The elbows should remain relaxed and near the body but not touching it. The fleshy (squishy) part of the thumb will remain on the stick while squeezing in conjunction with the first knuckle of the first finger.

The best trick for learning the feel for the proper rebound is to imagine that you are swinging the sticks through the drum head and that your playing surface is actually about 3 feet below the actual drum head. If the student is holding the sticks with a loose grip, the stick should travel return to the up position without having to use any effort to lift re-lift the stick.

D. Application:

Lesson 1:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 2-7

E. Advancement Requirement(s):

** In order for the student to advance to the next block, the student must perform all lines on page 7 of the Wessels book with the metronome set to 140 BPM.

Beginning Snare Drummer

Block 5


A. Focus:

This session constitutes the end of the basic course.

B. Objectives:

 Continue to build and develop previous concepts in an advanced manner and graduate with skills to perform at the high school percussion level.

C. Notes:

This course has introduced many concepts to the beginning drummer. From the basic components of the stick and snare drum, to reading music, as the development of flams, rolls, drags, and natural stickings. As the new percussionist moved through this final block, the student must ensure that he/she remembers ALL of the concepts such as stick heights, standing posture, stick control, and dynamics.

C. Application:

Lesson 16:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 42-43

Lesson 17:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 44-45

Lesson 18:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 46-47

Lesson 19:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 48-49

Lesson 20:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 50-51

E. Advancement Requirement(s):

** In order for the student to complete and graduate the course, the student must perform the solo etude "The Finish Line" located on page 52 of the Wessesls Book in a satisfactory manner as judged by the instructor.

Beginning Snare Drummer

Block 2


A. Focus:

This session introduces the student to the fundamentals of reading music. The student will begin with the basic quarter note and its associated rests. The student will continue through eight notes and begin to utilize time signatures. As a bonus, the student will also begin to learn the "multiple-bounce" or "buzz" roll.

B. Objectives:

 Learn to read quarter notes, eight notes, and their associated rests.

 Learn and begin to utilize time signatures.

 Introduce and begin to develop the multiple bounce roll.

C. Notes:

Learning to read music is the best foundation any musician can develop. It is also one of the easiest things to learn as long as the student drills him/herself constantly. Remember to continue to focus on technique, posture, stick movement, etc.

D. Application:

Lesson 2:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 8-9

- Reed, T. (1996). Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Alfred Publishing Co.

*PP. 4-5

Lesson 3:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 10-11

Lesson 4:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 12-13

- Reed, T. (1996). Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Alfred Publishing Co.

*PP. 10-11

Lesson 5:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 14-17

E. Advancement Requirement(s):

** In order for the student to advance to the next block, the student must perform all lines on page 17 of the Wessels book as well as the 20-bar exercise on page 11 of the Reed book.

Beginning Snare Drummer

Block 3


A. Focus:

This session continues to develop the fundamentals of reading music. The student will begin to learn 16th notes. The students will also receive an introduction to natural sticking and the double-stroke roll.

B. Objectives:

 Learn to read 16th notes and their various groupings.

 Develop an appreciation for natural sticking.

 Introduce and begin to develop the double-stroke roll.

 Introduce the flam.

C. Notes:

As you begin to develop the use of 16th notes, the world of the percussionist broadens significantly. Now the student finds him/herself with complicated patters that contain lots of notes and figures. Learning to develop a sense of "natural sticking" will enable the student to easily interpret and organize the notes in a practical fashion.

D. Application:

Lesson 6:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 18-19

- Reed, T. (1996). Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Alfred Publishing Co.

*PP. 20-21

Lesson 7:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 20-21

- Reed, T. (1996). Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Alfred Publishing Co.

*PP. 22-23

Lesson 8:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 22-23

- Reed, T. (1996). Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Alfred Publishing Co.

*PP. 24-27

Lesson 9:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 24-25

- Reed, T. (1996). Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Alfred Publishing Co.

*PP. 28-29

Lesson 10:

- Wessels, M. (1994). A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum (25th Anniversary ed.). Mark Wessels Publications. *PP. 26-27

E. Advancement Requirement(s):

** In order for the student to advance to the next block, the student must perform all sections of the Graduation Test: 2 of the Wessels book as well as the 48-Bar exercise on page 29 of the Reed book.