Feb 1, 2015, 00:00 AM
Rhythm Scene Staff
“Pachyderm” opens with a rhythmic motive—short, short, long—that appears throughout the solo and, not coincidentally, also is the same rhythm in which the title would be spoken.
Based on the tempo range provided, all rolls are best performed with an underlying sixteenth-note pulse and, because the piece is indicated for concert snare drum, rolls should be played as buzz or multiple-bounce rolls.
A few additional challenges in this solo merit some attention:
• Notice that none of the flams or drags are accented. Be sure to make the main note of each of these figures the same height and emphasis as every other non-accented note.
• There are six different pulse or division values in the solo: quarter notes, quarter-note triplets, eighth-note triplets, sixteenth notes, and sixteenth-note triplets. Be sure you can count each rhythmic value against a metronome.
• Accents in concert snare drum performance should be virtually the same height as the non-accented notes (unlike in rudimental snare drum performance). Particularly in passages like that in measures 6–7, strive to maintain stick height while placing additional emphasis on accented notes.
• The one-handed buzz followed by a stick shot (first found in measure 11) is a fun combination to execute. Make sure the hand that plays the buzz remains pressed on the head as you strike it (about mid-shoulder) with the other stick.
• Sometimes the hardest thing to do well is to play softly. Make sure the passages marked piano (especially in measures 13–16) stay piano!
Josh Gottry is a respected educator and internationally recognized composer who has been working with the next generation of percussionists for over 20 years. He is part of the music faculty at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and works with percussion ensembles and students at all grade levels as a clinician and within his private lesson studio. Starting in 2011, he was selected to serve as a teaching artist with the Arizona Commission on the Arts, presenting clinics and residencies for schools and after-school programs. Gottry is an ASCAP award-winning composer whose works have been credited as engaging, pedagogical, and brilliantly creative.