When using Rudiment Mode in Drummer ITP, the app takes on a new and unique approach to metronomes and development of timing accuracy for drummers. Using Rudiment Mode you can track your ability and progress with timing control for a number of tempos and rudiment patterns.
Opening the Rudiments page allows you to choose between many different rudiments and practice exercises. You’ll find the single stroke rolls are easiest at some tempos, the double rolls are easier at other tempos, and the paradiddles, triplets and other rudiments are a little harder altogether. All rudiments are worth learning and can enhance your creativity as a drummer, as long as you can play them in time. The paradiddle rudiments are usually played with accents, but it’s worth practicing these without accents too. If you can play these different rudiments in time on a practice pad, then when you move them to a full drum kit the creative options become endless.
You can select one of the rudiment patterns, and if you wish open the ‘info’ button on each to see the stick pattern for each. Each exercise is made harder by choosing to reverse the sticking order. For example, most right-handed drummers are most comfortable starting a drum roll or paradiddle with their right hand, but it is good practice to reverse this and start with your left hand too on occasion. There is a selector in the options page to select the lead hand for the selected rudiment. You can also choose a 30, 60, 120 or 300 second Rudiment analysis period.
Once you have chosen a rudiment, you can close the view and go back to the main screen, and switch Rudiment Mode on with the Rudiment On/Off button on the right of the BPM display. Now when you hit the Start button, a special Rudiment Mode popup display will appear. This shows the selected rudiment, the selected BPM, the countdown timer, and Left/Right indicators to show the sticking pattern for the rudiment. Accents flash in red, so that you know when to hit harder on the pad in relation to the timing of the rudiment or exercise. A 4-beat countdown starts and then the rudiment challenge is active.
The Rudiment exercise runs for the duration of the countdown timer. Your mission during this time is to follow the rudiment stick pattern whilst maintaining as accurate and consistent performance as possible. Aim to keep the green accuracy light in the centre of the screen and you will see if you wander ahead or behind the beat. Note, at high tempos it can be hard to follow the stick pattern indicators, so maybe try starting at a very slow BPM, get a feel for the rudiment or exercise pattern and then gradually speed up. Remember to LISTEN very carefully while you practice – listen to the click and the sound of your stick hits, and try to keep the timing as locked together as possible. Work towards making your timing adjustments smooth and minimizing the ‘overshoot’ of your timing corrections. The visual displays in the app are very useful, but it is really important that you concentrate most on listening and hearing what is going on.
Every time you complete a Rudiment trial, a score summary will be displayed. This also calculates the ‘Overall Score’ which is essentially an average of the Accuracy, Consistency and Dynamics scores. If the overall score is better than a previous score for that rudiment and BPM combination, then the score will be saved to your high scores file. If it’s the first time you have performed that rudiment and BPM combination then it will also be stored as a high score.
And if you’re not happy with your score, you can just run the test again and see your scores gradually improve. Or maybe you need to try a simpler rudiment or a different BPM and then work up to the more difficult ones as your stick technique improves.
Download Drummer ITP in the iPhone App Store