Value of Pasic?

donv

Silver Member
I sent this to Ken, DeltaDrummer a while back, but I see Pasic in Indy is on the event schedule so I though I'd post this to see what others think:

http://jpp.percussionpedagogy.com/01-1-rudiments.html

For the record, my opinion is it's BS. Seems to me to be typical "publish or perish" nonsense. Often times the value of the content in these things is less important to the writer then the recognition that comes from the controversy that's created. But this one is coming from PASIC? Normally I stick to, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything," but since this is coming from Pasic, I can't imagine she's much of a drummer.

Just my opinion.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
Where is the list of clinicians for PASIC 2009? I couldn't find them.

While many wouldn't agree with the content of the article, some teachers stress rudiments more than others. I often tell my students to play a paradiddle on a mallet percussion instrument when I feel it is the best sticking. Of course we all know how rudiments have been used on drumset by everyone from Philly Jo Jones to Steve Gadd.

I went to a clinic at the VMEA convention (Virginia Music Educators Association). There was a clinician recommending his book which taught rhythms based on the whole note being assigned different values. For example, whole notes that are worth 10 beats would have half notes that are worth five beats. Well, some people walked out. But even the people that stayed could realize that it was not a very good method for teaching rhythms to children.

Sometimes you need to have the audience decide - especially when the audience is made up of educated musicians. I don't think youncan devalue PASIC because you disagree with one clinician.

P.S. I guess the journal was not too successful since there was only one issue from last year.

Jeff
 

what the funk of it

Senior Member
Play a single stroke with your right hand. Piece of cake.
Play a double stoke with your left. No problem.
Play another double stroke with your right. Yawn...

Now play a 5 stroke roll. Come one now, what's the problem?

Practicing rudiments isn't as easy as throwing together singles, doubles and flams. Developing the muscle memory to execute these rhythms is the tricky part.

I understand where she's coming from. 40 isn't enough. True, but 4 is? No chance.

For one thing it's nice to have them all written out at your disposal. Especially for a guy like me who doesn't currently have a teacher. I can simply glance at a poster and begin working on a new pattern I may not have otherwise thought up on my own.

I guess the idea of throwing them out and starting from scratch seems like a step backwards to me.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I have always advocated knowing the inversions of paradiddles as well.

R L L R L R R L

R R L R L L R L

R L R L L R L R

I get a lot of students (with previous experience) who can play the paradiddle, but cannot phrase it other ways. These inversions open up many new possibilities.

Jeff
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Rudiments are a part of the tradition of drumming. If you love drumming, then the study of rudiments is not a a chore; it is a part of what you do and enjoy as a drummer. In mallet percussion, this is somewhat different because the concentration is on timbre and resonance. Yet, sticking ideas are applicable top mallet percussion as well because you do use them, esp double sticking, grace notes and ruff rudiments.

The more complex the drumming you do is, the more one can see how the rudiments and ideas of sticking play an integral part in the development of dexterity and coordination around the drum kit. Some of that may not be useful to a specific drummer; but I think that a teacher would be remiss is he or she did not integrate rudiments into the lesson plan. Certainly learning a flam, the long roll, a paradiddle and a drag is fundamental to a basic understanding of the drummer's language.

Many young students find themselves intrigued by the drumming of the big double bass drummers, which is everybody today. If you look at quads, they are really just four stroke ruffs, esp when used into a downbeat. Many of the great groove drummers: Gadd, Garibaldi, in particular, integrated the rudiments into the groove in unique ways. Rudiments find there way into the drumming. They are basic to the drumming sound and they came about not because some sadist was thinking of ways to torture young players. They came about as a universal language because they sounded way cool.
 
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Personally, I always thought 13 was too many. I'm not knocking rudiments as a development/practice tool -- I learned most of what I know from marching snare drum -- but I could never see a reason to standardize so many overlapping and non-unique rudiments just to try to anticipate common playing patterns.

I can't believe there's 40 now..... but why stop there? Why not make the 23-stroke roll its own rudiment? Or a quintuple ratamacue? Or a single stroke nine? They're all patterns that I bet we've all played, why shouldn't they be included too? :)
 

donv

Silver Member
I haven't seen a list of who will be attending the conference either jeff. I'm not even sure if the event will have a "clinic" format. I don't even know if Franklin is still the chair of the Scholarly Research Committee? I would hope not. The way she writes about drumming, in my opinion seems devoid of the love for or joy in drumming Ken refers to. I wonder what her motivation for playing is. Her perspective seems sterile which as Bookma says is one side of the coin I guess. But then again, maybe that's just how she writes?

Your last point is really interesting Ken. Take away the rudiments and what language or references do you use to discuss what's going on inside the chops? Grace a quarter note, follow it with an alternate quarter note and then follow this with an alternate double. Flamadiddle is much easier to say and understand.

As for the number of rudiments, does it matter? Anything beyond the original 13 or the standard 26 are just standardized combinations of the originals or standards. But learning the rudiments is a more organized way to learn sticking combinations\variations then by picking up sticking combinations\variations via what happens to randomly show up on what you come across while playing only written music. The rudiments also work as a standardized metric for recongnizing and measuring strenghts and weaknesses. For teachers, which Franklin is, this would seem important.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
As for the number of rudiments, does it matter? Anything beyond the original 13 or the standard 26 are just standardized combinations of the originals or standards. But learning the rudiments is a more organized way to learn sticking combinations\variations then by picking up sticking combinations\variations via what happens to randomly show up on what you come across while playing only written music. The rudiments also work as a standardized metric for recongnizing and measuring strenghts and weaknesses. For teachers, which Franklin is, this would seem important.
A book like Stick Control provides an organised way to learn all kinds of varied stickings - including many of the rudiments. Something like Jim Blackley's approach in Syncopated Rolls provides a musical framework in which many of the rudiments appear and are executed without always being labelled as such. What's more important to know - a 5-stroke roll, or to be able to connect consecutive 1/4 note accents using triplet meter and double strokes on the remaining notes of the triplet (i.e. an actual application of a 5-stroke roll)?

One of the problems I've always had with a purely rudimental approach is that even if you can play your flamacues and paradiddles at 400 BPM alone, who says you can put them together into meaningful musical statements? When you go to apply them to a great amount of music, there is always the same process of sorting out the suggested sticking and putting the rudiments together into musical phrases.

As for measuring strengths and weaknesses, drums are about the only instrument on which we measure someone's achievement by their ability to play gymnastic exercises, such as rudiments. You don't check a piano or violin player's ability by asking them to play scales.
 

Pavlos

Senior Member
As for measuring strengths and weaknesses, drums are about the only instrument on which we measure someone's achievement by their ability to play gymnastic exercises, such as rudiments. You don't check a piano or violin player's ability by asking them to play scales.
Actually, you might. I had a piano teacher have me play all the scales once and I had to do the same thing with Saxaphone years ago.

I tend to look at the rudiments as words. You have to learn the word first before you can use it in a sentence. Of course stepping back a bit the sentence, paragraph and finally the whole book is what really matters. I think (and I wish I was better at this) the key to music is being able to understand it on multiple levels. The details and the big picture.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
"Sometimes" isn't "always" or even "a lot of the time". Usually you'd measure a pianist by the pieces they play, the kind of expression they can bring to them, etc. I played piano for many years, and did Royal Conservatory grade examinations, etc. Scales were part of what I had to learn, but by no means were they ever considered a good measuring stick for progress. Rather, they were technical exercises that would help develop the facility to play the pieces.
 

donv

Silver Member
A book like Stick Control provides an organised way to learn all kinds of varied stickings - including many of the rudiments. Something like Jim Blackley's approach in Syncopated Rolls provides a musical framework in which many of the rudiments appear and are executed without always being labelled as such. What's more important to know - a 5-stroke roll, or to be able to connect consecutive 1/4 note accents using triplet meter and double strokes on the remaining notes of the triplet (i.e. an actual application of a 5-stroke roll)?

One of the problems I've always had with a purely rudimental approach is that even if you can play your flamacues and paradiddles at 400 BPM alone, who says you can put them together into meaningful musical statements? When you go to apply them to a great amount of music, there is always the same process of sorting out the suggested sticking and putting the rudiments together into musical phrases.

As for measuring strengths and weaknesses, drums are about the only instrument on which we measure someone's achievement by their ability to play gymnastic exercises, such as rudiments. You don't check a piano or violin player's ability by asking them to play scales.
I'm not sure that's true for other instruments Bookma. Playing scales was just a much a part of the state high school band competitions for the non-percussive instruments as rudiments were for drums.

As for how fast you can play something. That can an aspect of playing rudiments, but for me practicing speed and combinations was more about comfort and ease of playing especially while sight reading.

Is Stone's Stick Control anything but rudiments? The presentation isn't standard to typical rudiment notation, but isn't that because of Stone's methodology? Start slow with each sticking stroke first being quarter notes. One measure of 4 quarter notes evolves into one count of four sixteenth notes, etc.

What's more important? That would depend on what you're expected to deliver.A 5 stroke roll is a five stroke roll regardless of how one accents it. I can't imagine that you're example would be easier to play without first learning to play a straight forward 5 stroke roll.

I'm all for Franklin's perspective on accomplishing all you can from being able to play what is written. I just don't agree that playing what is written is enough to replace practicing rudiments. Also being able to read isn't enough in itself to demonstrate abilities. I don't think Franklin is referring to exercise books when she writes about replacing rudiments.

I agree with you completely that being accomplished with rudiments says nothing about someone's ability to musically use them, but does the ability to read and play what someone else has written demonstrate musical abilities? It demonstrates the ability to play someone else's musical sensibilities.
 

donv

Silver Member
"Scales were part of what I had to learn, but by no means were they ever considered a good measuring stick for progress. Rather, they were technical exercises that would help develop the facility to play the pieces.
My sister, a violin player is sitting here in the living room, and she disagrees with you. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or doe ra me fa so la ti doe ti la so fa me ra doe scales don't demonstrate much, but for scales, this is first year music.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I don't know about your sister's experience. I'm not saying that scales are not useful for developing facility. When I was doing Royal Conservatory exams, the Studies were weighted far less in comparison to the Repetoire. And note that in the case of the Studies, they were selected to demonstrate certain technical facilities, however, they were still musical pieces and not purely scales/rudiments au natural.

When playing as a professional player, in my experience, precisely no one cares if I can play technical exercises or rudiments. They want to know if I can play the gig and make it sound musical. Your mileage may vary.

As for having bands play scales to demonstrate their abilities, that's a crime in my opinion.

And in regards to Stone's book, while there is a "rudimental" element to Stick Control it is not presented as such for a reason. Stone was aware that there were a number of approaches to the instrument (marching/rudimental, jazz, symphonic, etc.) and he was trying to create a framework that would allow for anyone, from any of those approaches, to develop their facility.
 
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donv

Silver Member
I don't know about your sister's experience. I'm not saying that scales are not useful for developing facility. When I was doing Royal Conservatory exams, the Studies were weighted far less in comparison to the Repetoire. And note that in the case of the Studies, they were selected to demonstrate certain technical facilities, however, they were still musical pieces and not purely scales/rudiments au natural.

When playing as a professional player, in my experience, precisely no one cares if I can play technical exercises or rudiments. They want to know if I can play the gig and make it sound musical. Your mileage may vary.

As for having bands play scales to demonstrate their abilities, that's a crime in my opinion.

And in regards to Stone's book, while there is a "rudimental" element to Stick Control it is not presented as such for a reason. Stone was aware that there were a number of approaches to the instrument (marching/rudimental, jazz, symphonic, etc.) and he was trying to create a framework that would allow for anyone, from any of those approaches, to develop their facility.
I don't remember what Stone wrote at the beginning of the book but I will re-read it today.

I don't disagree with much of what you wrote. What I'm talking about though is in relation to the article and isn't about the what skills anyone demonstrates while playing. Franklin's point is that rudiments aren't necessary because in the course of playing the repertoire, whatever that may be but in enviorment, concert music, you naturally and randomly come across all the necessary sticking exercises necessary to replace rudiments. Her argument is definitely not the technique vs. feel argument and has nothing to do with what skills are necessary to play musically.The article is strong on technique, just not on rudiments. Her background and profession is in acadamia and classical\concert music. Regardless of where you stand on technique when considering rock, jazz, blues, etc., classical and concert music is almost all technique. ""Generally"" they're not musicians that are out looking for a good jam session.

Also my mentioning strenghs and weaknesses has to do with someone challanging themself. Not someone else although that is a possibilty. I don't practice SAT's to dazzle anybody. I practice them because the more I do, the easier the sticking combination becomes and my overall comfort level while playing anyting improves and it also give me the ability to play them fast and fit them into whatever I'm playing if that's what I choose to do. If I don't practice them the only choice I have is to not play them. But once again, the article has nothing to do with this.


As for scales, my sister said the only way you can demonstrate the competence with bow atriculation is with scales, or going through 20 hours of various scores. When auditioning for a symphony you're going to play alot of scales along with select pieces of music. Auditioning seems to be the ultimate in competion doesn't it?
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I don't disagree with much of what you wrote. What I'm talking about though is in relation to the article and isn't about the what skills anyone demonstrates while playing. Franklin's point is that rudiments aren't necessary because in the course of playing the repertoire, whatever that may be but in enviorment, concert music, you naturally and randomly come across all the necessary sticking exercises necessary to replace rudiments.Her argument is definitely not the technique vs. feel argument and has nothing to do with what skills are necessary to play musically.
I realise that she's not making the "technique vs. feel" argument, Don. That much is very clear. But I disagree with your assessment that her position is not related to the question of playing musically. Even in her definition of what a rudiment is, she's very clear that her primary concern is getting students the skills to play musically:

I would propose as a working definition a slight revision of Harr’s: A rudiment in percussion playing is a fundamental sticking pattern or skill set which will aid in developing a basic technique for musical performance on percussion instruments, specifically, the snare drum. This definition allows for a broader view of ourselves as percussionists rather than “drummers” while retaining the idea of a rudiment as a basic or fundamental skill. The revised definition also highlights that which must be the paramount concern to all percussion performers and educators – playing music.
She speaks of playing with "musical maturity" as one of the primary goals of technical training. And she continues the trend with this comment about the importance of placing musicality ahead of technique:

The danger to a technique-first approach is that this may result in a player who is an impressive technician, but who lacks the type of musical skills necessary to be considered an impressive musician. The music then becomes subservient to the technique.
Her argument seems to be - at least to me - to be almost tautological in it's simplicity: playing music will better prepare you for playing music than playing rudiments. As you come across circumstances which require complex stickings, they can forever be reduced to singles, rolls and embellishments. Heck, I'm with Alex Duthart - "there is only a tap and a roll!"

She sees - as I do - in the ever-increasing number of rudiments a failing attempt to codify and account for a huge range of possibilities:

The current list of 40 Rudiments represents a very small proportion of what a snare drummer will encounter in his or her playing career, and the list by its very nature is stagnant - it is not representative of the very real changes that happen in music over time. As such, their use is very limited and cannot truly be predictive.
Moreover, I think you've missed her point about rudiments. She's not excluding them entirely. She's making the point that while rudiments were/are part of a very specific set of skills needed in the marching/drum corps snare world, that once we look at being a percussionist in a wider sense, they take on less and less importance. So, she's trying to (re)assign rudiments to their original, more narrow purpose:

The numerous sticking patterns known as Rudiments shall be relegated for use by marching snare drum players, in keeping with their historical purpose and present focus.
 
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Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
This is another apples vs. oranges debate. I was originally going to compare rudiments to scales but then I decided not to. Scales do come into the music, you see them in fragmented form and even in their entirety. The knowledge of scales and their relation to each other is a basic concept for getting into the music. Sit at a piano and look at a piece of music. The first thing you see is the clef, then the time signature, then the key. If you are a jazz player, knowledge of the modes and their relation to each other is paramount to understand the process of improvisation.

Try to play in a symphony orchestra without having a solid long roll.

Bring the band into. 1-2-3 - flam bang. Carry On Wayward Son . . .Add a bass drum on the upbeat and you have a flam tap. Add it before the flam and you have a reverse flame tap. Rockin' into the night . . . Can't Get Enough of Your Love. Play a funk beat and add a couple of grace notes in your left hand. You're playing drag.

then you can try this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDBaqbj6nD4
 
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