Looking Ahead: Making a Plan for Your Upcoming Season

Trying to balance my work, pipe band, gig schedule, website maintenance and personal life can be challenging at times. September is the busiest time of year as I start a new term teaching drum kit, begin the process of writing scores for the three bands in our organization, attempt to prioritize and organize my teaching materials for new pipe band drumming students and figure out which drummers will move up the ranks. For the latter I have created a tool that has helped me immeasurably:  The Rudiments Standards for all Bands.

The rudiments standards page is the key to deciding who will advance to a higher level band within our organization. A couple of years ago I took several days to try to figure out how fast rudiments should be played at each grade level. I also decided which rudiments should be learned at each level of playing. Those rudiments deemed too advanced for lower levels were blacked out. I then needed to figure out where in each rudiment the metronome "click" should fall and decided that would be indicated by arrows underneath each rudiment. Finally, I made the decision that in order to "pass" a given rudiment, each drummer would need to play that rudiment correctly for 16 "clicks" of the metronome and if they were successful, that rudiment would be initialled by one of our three lead drummers. In order to advance up the ranks, a drummer would need to have every rudiment for his/her grade level initialled. When completed, that drummer would be invited to "come up" to the next level. In order to cement the rosters of our three bands, drummers have until Christmas to work on their rudiments. At Christmas, I'll sit down with everyone, have a look at each drummer's chart and they will be placed in the band corresponding to the number of rudiments completed.



Above is a sample of the rudiment standards chart that we use in the Dartmouth organization. I am making it available to website subscribers as both a PDF and a Microsoft Word file. If you download the Word file, please feel free to change the title, replace the Dartmouth logo with your own and change any of the tempos or specific grade levels you like. Finally, let me know if you have any success with these materials as I value the feedback, both positive and negative.  Good luck to everyone for the coming season and hopefully this chart will help you as you prepare your aspiring drummers for the future.

Happy Drumming!

1 comment

  • Kevin
    Kevin Marshall
    A very interesting concept.

    A very interesting concept.

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