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Old 07-12-2018, 06:25 AM
Seafroggys's Avatar
Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
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Default NARD Snare Book - Interpretation Help

Hey all, I just got the old school NARD snare book. Since I've been apartment living for a few months now and away from my drumset, I've been really working at the pad and figured this would be fun to play rather than just sticking to 'exercises.'

As I glanced through the book I noticed a few things. Some of the cadences have stickings, and many don't. Some cadences have marked rolls, and others don't.

1: Rolls Part 1
I was taught that typically speaking, in old school marching style, that an 8th note roll leading into the next measure is played as a 7 stroke roll; in technical terms, that'd be a sextuplet sticking for half a count, and doubling those strokes. So I assumed that's how they'd all be. However, on some cadences, for example on the first couple pages, on "The Strut Street March" you can see that several of those rolls are specifically marked "7" (which I have seen notated in other things I've read before), but there are also those pickup rolls that are not marked. If you play them literally as written with the two dashed lines, ignoring the tradition that they are usually "7's", that would make them 5 stroke rolls, or a 16th note sticking.

Does that mean that I should play them as a 16th note sticking, and do those pickup rolls as 5 stroke rolls, unless they're specifically marked as 7s? Because most of these rolls in the book are not marked as 7s. Or should I treat them all as 7's if that particular cadence does not distinguish between 7's and non-7's?

B: Rolls Part 2 (Longer Rolls)
So while those pickup rolls are prevalant throughout the piece, there are also longer rolls throughout. For example, the first Cadence, Mister Rudiments, has several quarter note rolls, and even a longer four count roll in the third and fourth measures. Should these be played at the '5' speed (16th based) or the '7' speed (Sextuplet based). Because lets be honest; while a quick sextuplet roll that lasts an 8th note is easy to squeeze out at a lot of tempos, sustaining a longer roll at that speed is....quite hard if you're wanting to play at actual marching tempos. If typical marches are between 105-120 from my past experience, you're basically looking at triplet rolls being played from 210-240 bpm. That's like at the very very high end of modern DCI levels using kevlar heads, which is a far cry from the pre-mylar calf heads that these guys were playing on in the 30's, where the technical aptitude was lower in general.

Are those longer rolls supposed to be played at that sextuplet roll speed? Because once I get up to 100 bpm, that becomes super shoddy to me, and I'm not a novice at this stuff. Or are those longer rolls intended to be 16th note based? Which seems to be easily within the grasp of most rudimental players, and just makes more sense to me.

C: Tempo
Which leads me to this. Tempos aren't marked. I'm assuming the 105-120 range is a good area to play these in? Or are they intended to be slower, like sub 100 bpm? I'm not sure what was the common tempo for rudimental work in the 30's, I know Sousa's marches were definitely more upbeat but I've also heard old school stuff being played that felt a lot slower too.

D: Stickings
Similar to the marked and unmarked rolls, a lot of these cadences have no sticking whatsoever. I assume that on the cadences with marked stickings, anything that isn't marked is just played with Natural Sticking practices, or relatively close. Easy enough.

But when you look at the cadences that are completely unmarked, there are things that stick out. For example, looking back at the first cadence, Mister Rudiments, if you look at the second measure; two counts of 16th notes, flams and accents on the downbeat. That just *screams* paradiddle to me (or more accurately, flamadiddle). If I see something that looks like its a particular rudiment, should I play with that sticking?

And then you have an interesting example on one which has marked stickings, on the next page, The Strut Street March. It has some markings on the first two paragraphs, but again, you see instances later which have licks that just scream paradiddle but aren't marked. Plus the fourth measure screams Flam Tap, but again, not marked. Even in cases like this, should you just play the implied rudiment here, or just alternate sticking?
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Old 07-12-2018, 02:49 PM
toddbishop toddbishop is online now
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Default Re: NARD Snare Book - Interpretation Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafroggys View Post
1: Rolls Part 1
I was taught that typically speaking, in old school marching style, that an 8th note roll leading into the next measure is played as a 7 stroke roll; in technical terms, that'd be a sextuplet sticking for half a count, and doubling those strokes. So I assumed that's how they'd all be. However, on some cadences, for example on the first couple pages, on "The Strut Street March" you can see that several of those rolls are specifically marked "7" (which I have seen notated in other things I've read before), but there are also those pickup rolls that are not marked. If you play them literally as written with the two dashed lines, ignoring the tradition that they are usually "7's", that would make them 5 stroke rolls, or a 16th note sticking.

Does that mean that I should play them as a 16th note sticking, and do those pickup rolls as 5 stroke rolls, unless they're specifically marked as 7s? Because most of these rolls in the book are not marked as 7s. Or should I treat them all as 7's if that particular cadence does not distinguish between 7's and non-7's?
In my crappy Richard Sakal-edited version of the book, on that piece they're all marked as 7s except at the end of the first line. But they're just repeating what was played at the beginning, where the 7 is marked, so you can play a 7 there too. Haskell Harr and Wilcoxon do often have 8th note length 5s and 7s in the same piece, so you can usually assume some of them will be 5s. If playing something as a 5 turns the sticking around so you're leading with the left, it should probably be a 7.

Quote:
B: Rolls Part 2 (Longer Rolls)
So while those pickup rolls are prevalant throughout the piece, there are also longer rolls throughout.
Play those with a 16th note pulsation.

Quote:
C: Tempo
Which leads me to this. Tempos aren't marked. I'm assuming the 105-120 range is a good area to play these in? Or are they intended to be slower, like sub 100 bpm? I'm not sure what was the common tempo for rudimental work in the 30's, I know Sousa's marches were definitely more upbeat but I've also heard old school stuff being played that felt a lot slower too.
I forget what the standard tempo is-- I think it was 102 early on, and later people started doing 110. That's the range they're all designed for, anyway. I usually do them in the 120-126 range. Things in 6/8 should be a little slower.

Quote:
D: Stickings
Similar to the marked and unmarked rolls, a lot of these cadences have no sticking whatsoever. I assume that on the cadences with marked stickings, anything that isn't marked is just played with Natural Sticking practices, or relatively close. Easy enough.
Use rudimental stickings wherever possible-- any 16th notes with flams are going to be flamadiddles, for example. Except when they should obviously be flam taps, etc.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:50 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: NARD Snare Book - Interpretation Help

I agree with Todd's suggestions. As far as the sticking in the 1st two bars of 'The "Strut" Street March' that, (IMO) is to make sure you play a Flamaque in the 2nd bar, not a Flam Paradiddle with an accent on the 2nd stroke.

I only have a newer edition of the book. So if yours has the Fritz Berger piece titled 'Rudimenter Good Luck' well...good luck! Claus Hessler has some MD articles and videos to help decode Basel/Swiss drumming notation and interpretation.
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Old 07-13-2018, 01:43 AM
eddypierce eddypierce is offline
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Default Re: NARD Snare Book - Interpretation Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
I agree with Todd's suggestions. As far as the sticking in the 1st two bars of 'The "Strut" Street March' that, (IMO) is to make sure you play a Flamaque in the 2nd bar, not a Flam Paradiddle with an accent on the 2nd stroke.

I only have a newer edition of the book. So if yours has the Fritz Berger piece titled 'Rudimenter Good Luck' well...good luck! Claus Hessler has some MD articles and videos to help decode Basel/Swiss drumming notation and interpretation.
I also agree with Todd's advice, and since John brought up Claus Hessler, I just wanted to chime in that his book Camp Duty Update (which came out in an English edition late last year) is wonderful for any interested in the history of rudimental interpretation.
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:19 AM
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Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
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Default Re: NARD Snare Book - Interpretation Help

Thanks Todd, that's really helpful and makes so much more sense of things. And thank you to everyone else that agreed with him!
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