Drum and Percussion Skills

Here is the list of skills that are developed in our students during drum and percussion lessons. This page gives you an overview of the concepts that the student will acquire throughout his or her course with us.

Knowledge of the instrument

  • Level I. Knowledge of the different elements composing a drum set, discovery of the specific elements: timbre, tuning key, skins, harmonic attenuators, etc. For students who have an electronic drum set, these notions are transposed.
  • Level II. Knowledge of the additional elements that can make up a drum set (china, splash, crash-ride, effect cymbal, rata toms, etc.). Tuning of an acoustic drum.

Independence of hands and legs

  • Level I - the hands are able to play quarter notes and eighth notes independently, with simple foot accompaniment
  • Level II - hands are able to play sixteenth notes independently with simple footwork
  • Level III - development of foot independence - eighth and sixteenth notes in binary and ternary
  • Level IV - binary / simple ternary polyrhythm
  • Level V - advanced binary/ternary polyrhythm, exceptional divisions

Rhythmic solfeggio

  • Level I - Mastery of binary rhythms: rounds, minims, quarter notes, eighth notes and their equivalent in silence. Basic reading concepts: what is a bar? What is the bar numbering or rhythmic signature?
  • Level II - Mastery of binary rhythms up to sixteenth notes and silent equivalents, dotted notes and slurs. Additional reading concepts: what is a continuation slur? What is an extension point? What is a syncopation? What is an offbeat?
  • Level III - Mastery of ternary rhythms up to the eighth note and their equivalent in silence. Study of exceptional divisions: what is a triplet? What is a triplet?
  • Level IV - Mastery of ternary rhythms up to sixteenth notes and their equivalent in silence. Study of exceptional divisions: what is the sextolet? What is the quarter note? Introduction to complex rhythmic signatures (5/4, 7/4, 7/8, 9/8, ...).
  • Level V - Mastery of binary rhythms up to sixteenth notes and their equivalent in silence. Study of exceptional divisions: what is the quintolet? What is the septolet?

Hands Technique

  • Level I - basic rudiments: single stroke roll rudiments and double stroke open roll, grinds, basic stick holding.
  • Level II - intermediate rudiments: double stroke open roll rudiments (5, 7, 9, etc.), single paradiddles (grinds), awareness of stick bounce, further development of holding technique.
  • Level III - intermediate rudiments II, diddle rudiments (double, triple paradiddle, etc.), flam rudiments (flam accent, flam tap, flamacue, etc.), development of bounce.
  • Level IV - advanced rudiments: drag rudiments (drag, single drag tap, etc.), working on the first snare drum solos.
  • Level V - development and deepening of snare solos, advanced hitting techniques: push pull, Moeller, etc.

Foot-stomping technique

  • Level I - discovering and working on the two basic positions, heel down and heel up.
  • Level II - development of body balance, posture, highlighting the link between body balance and hitting quality
  • Level III - foot strike development, speed, accuracy, technique
  • Level IV - advanced foot strike techniques

Rhythm and Accompaniment

Students will learn to accompany different styles of music, studying rhythms as well as genre-specific standards:

Rock - Pop - Funk - Blues - Jazz - Reggae

  • Level I - learning simple eighth note binary rhythms, playing the metronome, accompanying simple pop/rock songs
  • Level II - binary rhythms in sixteenth notes, accompaniment of intermediate pop/rock pieces, integration of hi-hat playing
  • Level III - ternary eighth note rhythms, accompaniment of ternary blues and rock pieces.
  • Level IV - development of new binary eighth and sixteenth note cymbal patterns, accompaniment of intermediate/advanced pop/rock songs. Advanced bass drum patterns.
  • Level V - ternary rhythms in eighth and sixteenth notes, accompaniment of advanced binary and ternary pieces in different musical styles.

Interventions, accentuation and improvisation

  • Level I - learned interventions in binary, eighth and sixteenth notes, on one, two and four beats.
  • Level II - learned interventions in binary and ternary on different lengths, simple improvised interventions on one, two and four beats. Accentuations of strong beats in 4/4.
  • Level III - development of complex learned and improvised interventions. Accentuations of off-beats in 4/4 time.
  • Level IV - improvisations around an established rhythmic figure, development of first drum solos. Development of accentuations on complex binary and ternary rhythmic signatures.