Friday, September 28, 2012

Rudimental Reed: ruffs

Today's Rudimental Reed entry is pretty straightforward— just make a ruff out of any note that doesn't have an (untied) 8th note before it.  That's an awkward way of phrasing it, but I think you'll find it's very intuitive once you play the examples. The rudiments covered, or generated, include ruffs, single drags, and double drags, similar to a lot of the things in the Wilcoxon etude Roughing the Single Drag, from Modern Rudimental Swing Solos— I would recommed playing through that as a companion piece to this item.

As always, we'll first see how it applies to the first line of Exercise 1, p. 37 in Syncopation:

I've given both alternating and natural stickings— play it both ways, leading with either hand. I haven't included the multiple-bounce strokes in the stickings, but they happen with the opposite hand. Swing the 8th notes.

Here's a denser example, which is the first line of Exercise 2:

If you have questions about how to play a ruff, there's a pretty good video after the break:

I would just note that in my time in marching percussion we always used closed ruffs, with a very short and tight multiple bounce stroke, never the traditional open ruff (consisting of exactly three notes) as described in the video. The open ruff might be used to emulate a traditional rudimental sound, or when a lot of volume is required, or when playing an instrument not conducive to a good multiple bounce stroke.

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