I frequently teach with Stone Stick Control book pp. 5 – 7. Here are some basic (beginning) drum set exercises I use from these 72 sticking exercises. I have the student play eighth notes or quarter notes on a closed hi-hat and play the R’s on the bass drum and the L’s on the snare drum. I encourage them to try both right AND left hands on the hi-hat. Some students take to “open playing” and I encourage them to continue developing this technique. Starting with eighth notes seems to be the easiest for students.
I have used exercise #67 from the Stone Stick Control book as an example:
#67 Quarter Note Ride:
Later I have students move to the ride cymbal (including the bell) and add the hi-hat on beats 2 and 4 and then all 4 beats. Finally, I have them return to the hi-hat and use various open and closed patterns.
Add Feet Stone Stick Control – Bass Drum and Hi-Hat Patterns
Play the Stone Stick Control pp. 5 – 7 as written on the snare drum with the following simple 2 beat bass drum and hi-hat pattern:
Play the Stone Stick Control pp. 5 – 7 as written on the snare drum with the following simple 4 beat bass drum and hi-hat pattern:
Play the Stone Stick Control book pp. 5 – 7 as written on the snare drum with the following Samba bass drum and hi-hat pattern:
Play the Stone Stick Control book pp. 5 – 7 as written on the snare drum with the following Mambo bass drum and hi-hat pattern:
Finally, change the playing surfaces for each hand while playing the bass drum patterns. Such as right hand on the hi-hat and left hand on the snare drum. Reverse the hands. Right hand on floor tom and left hand on snare drum or rack tom. Be creative.
These exercises have worked well with students over the years. Consider having your students work on these exercises and make sure YOU can play them all too. I still practice these exercises with a metronome pushing for speed, consistency and accuracy. NOTE: I do not always play these exercises in the order in the book.
Stone Stick Control for Funk and Latin Style
You can use Stone Stick Control to play Funk and Latin Grooves – especially pages 5 – 7. With some imagination and creativity you can get some great funk and Latin grooves. The exercises on pages 5 – 7 have seemingly endless practice possibilities. A couple of those possibilities are what I would consider funk and Latin beats.
For a funk style play the right hand part on the hi-hat and the left hand part on the snare drum. Add a bass drum pattern of your choice. Some really cool grooves emerge. If you are anything like me, you start to focus on the resulting snare drum rhythms. In the beginning this was tricky. If I only thought about the Right – Left hand patterns – no problem. But when I started to think musically about the snare pattern it sometimes made me abandon the sticking patterns. I have started singing (imagining) the resulting snare pattern before playing. My hope is that I will be able to hear in my mind the snare rhythm I want and the sticking patterns will happen intuitively.
For a Latin style you can do something similar. Place the right hand on a cowbell and the left hand on the snare drum. Again add the Latin bass drum pattern of your choice. Interesting that when I placed the right hand on the cowbell my focus was drawn to the right hand rhythmic pattern. The snare drum pattern become secondary. So try practicing the exercises by moving the right hand to the hi-hat or a cowbell. Not all the exercises will appeal to you or have musical relevance. But I think you will be surprised at how many patterns you really do like and try to incorporate them into your playing. It is possible to play Funk and Latin with Stone Stick Control.