Double Strokes – Ultimate ladder exercise

I’m going to share with you my ultimate exercise for building dynamic control and speed with literally any rudiment or pattern. In this example, though we’re going to use double strokes. This exercise ticks all of the boxes: a controlled slower feel with 16th notes, a timing challenge with the 16th note triplets, and a speed challenge with 32nd notes.

As with all exercises like this, the key is to focus on where the ‘1’ is, and to always aim for that. Emphasize that ‘1’ a little if it helps with the timing at first. If you’re keeping an internal count while playing along to a metronome and really focussing on where that ‘1’ lands, the exercise and your abilities will 100% tighten up.

Double Stroke Exercise

This is my recommended exercise to build dynamic control and speed with double strokes – as it ticks all of the boxes: a controlled slower feel with the 16th notes, a timing challenge with the 16th note triplets, and a speed challenge with the 32nd notes.

Remember to work both up and down the ladder. Start at the 16th notes and go up to the 16th note triplets and 32nd notes, then work back down:16th note triplet > 16th note > 8th note triplet > 8th note & then back up – 8th note triplet > 16th note >16th note triplet > 32nd note. Play each for one or two bars.

Go for consistency first, then speed. To begin this exercise, start by setting the metronome at whatever speed it needs to be for your 32nd notes (8 hits / 4 double strokes per metronome click) to be clean. There’s no use starting out at your max speed with 16th notes as the 16th note triplets and 32nd notes will then be unplayable.

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