Tiger Bill: Using the Level System for Fast Accenting
While there are numerous approaches to accenting, I've found a technique known as the Level System to be one of the best. This technique was originally popularized by George Lawrence Stone, author of the book "Stick Control" and Billy Gladstone. And it has been used by many of the world's greatest drummers. With the level system, the louder you want to play, the higher you hold your stick from the drumhead when you make your stroke. The softer you play, the lower you keep your stick to the drumhead.
Watch the video demonstration. Practice each exercise slowly at first and listen carefully to make sure you are playing as evenly as possible. Then gradually increase the tempo. When done correctly, you should hear only two distinct dynamic levels - one loud and the other soft with nothing else in between.
If you have the book "Stick Control" by George Lawrence Stone, you can apply this level accenting approach to any of the exercises on the first three pages. Once you perfect those, you can apply it to the rest of the exercises in the book. Just be sure to devote equal time to each hand. First, play each written Right Hand sticking as if it were an accent (that is, play it from the Full Stroke position) and play each written Left Hand sticking as an unaccented note (from the Low Stroke position). Then, go back and reverse this and play all written Left Hand stickings as accents and all Right Hand stickings unaccented. These drills will definitely help you get your accents together!
If you have questions on this month's lesson or would like more info on my Tension Free Drumming methods, visit www.TensionFreeDrumming.com.
Until next time, have fun and stay loose!
Tiger Bill Meligari