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What a Drag!

Technique by Sean Mitchell // November 12 2014
What a Drag!


TRANSCRIPTION FOR RIGHT HANDED PLAYERS (Click on the image to download the PDF version for print or your mobile device)


TRANSCRIPTION FOR LEFT HANDED PLAYERS (Click on the image to download the PDF version for print or your mobile device)


This week's drum lesson is another rudimentary warm-up that everyone can benefit from. The drag is by far one of the most expressive rudiments that also allows for some creative expression. Drags are great for exercising your sticking prowess as well as your dynamic sensitivity and accent control. 

In this exercise I have mixed up various stickings to form what literally looks like a diamond, as you see in the transcribed lesson above. 

  • The exercise starts with a drag which consists of three strokes. From there, I then doubled the number of strokes for every line.
  • For the next rudiment I used a ratamacue as it consists of six strokes.
  • The next line doubled would give us 12 strokes, which can be achieved by playing a triple ratamacue.
  • The fourth line would then be 24 strokes, and to achieve this I employed six drag taps which consist of four strokes each giving us a total of 24 strokes.
  • From here, we now subtract by half. So the fifth line becomes 12 strokes again utilizing a triple ratamacue. The sixth line would then be another ratamacue and the final line brings us back to a drag.

The best way to practice this lesson is to start with your non-dominant hand and work your way down the diamond alternating with each rudiment. By the time you get to the bottom of the exercise, your last drag should be played with your dominant hand leading. Play this exercise in succession without stopping for a minimum of five minutes or more.

  • For beginners, start slow and concentrate on your stickings. If you can say the strokes out loud as you play, you will benefit greatly.
  • For intermediate to advanced players, you can use this as a pre-show warm-up or as an exercise in stick and dynamic control. You may also want to try and interpret these rudiments with a little creativity by playing around with accents and the diddles. 

Here is the link to the Aquarian onHEAD PED that I am using as a practice pad in this video: http://www.theblackpage.net/review/the-aquarian-onhead-acoustic-to-electronic-and-back

Go get your shed on!







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About the Author
Sean Mitchell

Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.

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