Sticking Independence Part 2: The Table Of Time

Being able to play all the way through The Table Of Time is great. If you've mastered it you can go up and down the table and use different stickings. But even if you can do that you're only getting a small fraction of the value from the table. Unless it's applied musically, it's a pointless exercise.

In my last column we focused on practicing all neighboring subdivisions of The Table of Time to make sure that we are comfortable not only playing it but also training our ears to hearing what they all sound like. Today we are going to look a bit further.

In order to be able to use any of this in a musical situation we need to be extremely comfortable with every subdivision against TIME regardless what comes before or after. We don’t want to be able to play a sixteenth-note quintuplet only when it comes after four sixteenth notes. We want to be able to mix it with any musical phrase in a fluid, easy way.

In this exercise we're going to start with quarter notes and pair them up with every other possible subdivision. This way we will get used to subdividing time into any desired number of notes.

We need to be very confident and comfortable with each subdivision before we start playing it. We don’t want to start playing and realize that we are too slow or too fast after the first several notes. (It would be like me in an ear training class starting low and using --sliding up and down the scale—until I find the right note).

Some of the combinations don’t naturally switch the leading hand each time around. In those cases make sure you practice leading with both hands. There are some combinations I considered easier that are not included (quarter-note to sixteenth-note and sixteenth-note to eighth-note) because they don’t require as much attention as the others to my opinion. You should still go through them making sure it is so.

Start with alternate sticking before moving over to paradiddles. Have fun!

DRUM! Notation Guide

Great, now let’s practice all combinations starting with Eighth Notes.