Tag Archives: Stick Control

Stick Control Double-Stroke Roll Exercise

In the same vein as an earlier single-stroke roll exercise, we’re going to use George L. Stone’s Stick Control to help develop our doubles. First, we want to convert the exercises from page 5 of Stick Control into triplets. For example exercise 5 (paradiddles) will looks like this:

Para - Full Score

We then add 2 bars of 16th note double-stroke rolls. Apply this method to all of page 5:  

Stick Control Doubles Exercise - Full Score 2


After you’ve mastered page 5, move onto pages 6, 7, 8 and beyond.

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More 5/4 Foot Ostinatos

As part of an ongoing mission to develop my playing in 5/4, i’ve found a handy tip is to divide the bar into 2 parts; one consisting of 3 beats and the other of 2. Counting the bar aloud as two separate meters – either 1,2,3,1,2 or 1,2,1,2,3 can give you access to your normal 3/4 and 4/4 vocabulary even when you’re technically playing in odd time. Because 5/4 really only has two ways of being divided, it’s important to try and get comfortable in both configurations. Last week’s Stick Control exercise contained a foot ostinato using the 3-2 bar division. Here’s the same exercise with the feet playing a 2-3 division. Count 1,2,1,2,3 along while you’re playing. Next time in this ongoing series of 5/4 exercises we’ll start working through some jazz ostinatos divided into both 3-2 and 2-3 divisions.

Singles in 5 4 Ostinato no. 2 - Full Score

2 3Singles in 5 4 Ostinato no. 2 - Full Score
4Singles in 5 4 Ostinato no. 2 - Full Score5Singles in 5 4 Ostinato no. 2 - Full Score


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Using Stick Control in 5/4

Here’s an exercise inspired by Andrew Hare from the The Melodic Drummer blog (or perhaps Todd Bishop). By adapting the Alan Dawson esq. Single Stroke Roll Exercise from last week into 5/4 we can simultaneously develop our odd time playing whilst building the speed of our singles. Hare/Bishop’s concept was to add an extra beat (played RL or LR) onto bar 1, page 5 of Stick Control. Play this new 5/4 bar twice followed by fast 16th note singles as in last week’s exercise. Repeat with each exercise of page 5. Just to make things a little more complicated (and co-ordinated) i’ve added an ostinato with the feet. This is a highly portable exercise as the tricky co-ordination required can be practiced with hands on thighs (a method that’s been particularly useful on my current 5 week tour).

Singles in 5_4 Ostinato - Full Score

Singles in 5_4 Ostinato - Full Score2 Singles in 5_4 Ostinato - Full Score3 Singles in 5_4 Ostinato - Full Score4
Singles in 5_4 Ostinato - Full Score5


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Stick Control Single-Stroke Roll Exercise

Here’s an exercise that’s been part of my practice regime for the last year or so. I came up with this after misreading a singles exercise in The Drummer’s Complete Vocabulary. You play exercise 1, on page 5 of G.L. Stone‘s Stick Control followed by 2 bars of 16th note hand-to-hand singles. Now repeat the process starting with exercise 2. Play the whole of page 1 start to finish this way. Start at around 180bpm and gradually build the speed up to 230bpm or higher. I’ve also added a Tumbao pattern for the feet.

Over the weeks and months you should start to see real improvement in the speed and control of your singles. Next time we’ll explore how we can use a variation on this exercise to help develop our co-ordination in 5/4. Below is the first column of page 5 with the single strokes added to each line.
Stick Control Singles Exercise - Full Score

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