Left-Hand Work Out
This month, we’re going to concentrate on building strength and endurance in the left hand (for those of you who regularly play left-hand lead, just reverse the stickings for a rightie work out). We begin with some snare exercises (Exs. 1—2) that are fairly simple to play so that you can focus on making the left-hand accents stand out. I’ve also provided two beats in which the left hand really gets a work out. The first (Ex. 3) has a triplet feel and is played between the hi-hat, kick, and snare. There are no accents indicated, so the left hand plays at the same volume and consistency throughout the beat; feel free, however, to experiment with playing ghost notes once you’re grooving. The second beat (Ex. 4) is a straight four-on-the-floor. The left hand keeps a steady eighth-note pattern for the entirety of the beat and the ghost notes are indicated. Enjoy!