Notes from arranger, David Cheetham…
This drill is an algorithmic approach to playing all possible combinations of notes within a single beat using a 4-part subdivision (16th notes, or 4 notes per beat). There are 16 possibilities, and this exercise covers them all in a logical order.
The exercise is played with the first line being repeated after each individual line, and the sticking for an individual line is always dictated by the first line, i.e. if a note’s position within the beat means it is left-handed in the first line, it will be left-handed in the individual line regardless of what else is happening in that line.
This drill is best played with a metronome and at a wide variety of tempos. There are also many variations and mutations of this drill for working on specific skills, such as splitting the ensemble into 2 groups and playing different patterns which interlock against each other, or playing it “filled in” where one plays all 4 notes every beat but adds an accent to the notes present in each pattern. This drill can also be played in a swing style for additional variation.
Scores, notes, and audio files to help learn this piece.
Editable Excel file: check-pattern-2012-hannum