Experimenting with different sticking combinations can sometimes produce unexpected results, and subsequently working through all possible combinations in a systematic pattern can be a rewarding exercise. I would like to share a recent exploration that resulted in a very exciting and new (to me) set of variations: the “Docada-chugga.”
The base pattern consists of a five-note grouping, with an unaccented flam on the fourth note, with subsequent variations forming from various diddle and roll combinations. As you’ll notice, a feel similar to the “book report” happens when placing diddles on the first and last partials of the grouping. Many (if not all) of these patterns have undoubtedly been used before (the variation that forms the “chutra-cheese” is a well-known hybrid rudiment), but placing them in a logical order was the goal of this endeavor.
As with many types of rudimental drumming exercises, I suggest using the base pattern as a “check” pattern to begin with in between variations. As you become more comfortable, try playing multiple groups straight through before returning to the check, eventually playing the entire exercise as written.
Gene Fambrough is Assistant Director of Bands and Professor of Percussion at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. He holds degrees from the University of Georgia, East Carolina University, and the University of Alabama. He directs the UAB Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, Electro-Acoustic Percussion Group, and Blazer Band, serves as percussion arranger and instructor for the UAB Marching Blazers, and is assistant conductor for the UAB Wind Symphony and Symphony Band. His compositions are published by C. Alan Publications, Innovative Percussion, Musicon, Rhythmic Expressions, and T.A.P. Publications. He has performed with the Alabama Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, Panama Steel, the Bizarre Arte Ensemble, and the Spirit of Atlanta drum and bugle corps. Dr. Fambrough’s articles have appeared in Percussive Notes and The Instrumentalist, he has presented clinics and concerts at the Alabama Music Educators Conference and the Alabama PAS Day of Percussion, and he appeared at PASIC 2012 as a member of the PAS All-Star Steel Band and as a panelist for the World Percussion Committee discussion. He also serves as Marching/Rudimental Editor for Percussive Notes.