Respecting the Fundamentals (Part I): Rudiments Q & A

Since I began playing drums my teachers have impressed upon me the importance of practising rudiments. I learned the basic pipe band drumming rudiments early on: singles, doubles, paradiddles, rolls, flams and drags. Later, as a percussion major in university

Getting Your Drum Corps on the Same Page... Literally!

In my early years writing drum scores I used loose leaf paper, a pencil and (most importantly) a good eraser. There were virtually no music notation programs available and those that did exist could not handle pipe band drumming notation…

Tools of the Trade: Practice Apps and How to Use Them

In my younger days, my practice tools included sticks, a drum pad, pencil, paper, a metronome and a cassette recorder. These days, I still have my sticks and pad but the only other practice tool I need is my phone…

Six Steps to Building a Sustainable Drum Corps

In an age of instant gratification, myriad distractions and short attention spans it can be very tough to run a pipe band organization.  With so many different hobbies, sports and other activities to choose from these days it can be…

The "2346": A Warm Up You Can Count On

The importance of warming up before a rehearsal or performance cannot be overstated. If a drum corps is not warmed up properly it can mean the difference between success and failure on the field. So, which warm ups should you…

Introducing: The Drummer's Companion

In my early years, getting a piper to record my competition tunes was a complicated process involving cassette tapes, tape recorders and myriad technical difficulties.  On several occasions tapes stretched changing the tempo (only in certain parts of course) and…

Notating "Light and Shade"

For hundreds of years most of the Western world has been using a system of Italian symbols in their written music to indicate dynamic levels (loud and soft).  For some reason, pipe bands have yet to catch on to this…