Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Drumslingers, "Hep Cat Street Beat."

The Drumslingers play traditional and modern style snare drum and drum line ensemble compositions. They also write many of their own exercises, solos and ensemble pieces. Among their original material is a cadence beat they call, “Hep Cat.”

“Hep Cat” was composed in 2007, by Drumslingers snare drummer, Wayne Stambaugh. He never actually “wrote” anything down on this. “Hep Cat” came about in the traditional way that has been common between field drummers going back a few hundred years. Stambaugh concepted and worked-up this cadence, playing it over until he was satisfied with the arrangement. He then shared it with the rest of the Drumslingers using the old school “narrative” method. Meaning he taught it by showing – playing it and explaining it, drummer to drummer.

On YouTube, I have posted a narrative explanation of how to play the “Hep Cat Street Beat.” The written notation of “Hep Cat” is posted with this article.

To play “Hep Cat” there are a few
essential techniques that are prerequisites. In addition to properly controlling single strokes, double strokes, and grace note strokes, you will need to know these lessons: Flams, Flamaque, Flam Taps, Pata-fla-fla, Hertas, Open Double Stroke Rolls, Single Stroke Seven, Rimshot (Gawk/Gok).

A word about tempo: "Hep Cat" lives well at any tempo you like between about 112 bpm to around 118 bpm. You may of course play it faster than 118 if you wish, but as the tempo increases, the rhythms begin to compress, all the oxygen gets sucked away, and it loses it's groove. Conversely, it is an excellent beat at 112 bpm and maybe a bit slower, but once it gets too slow, the Herta rudiments start to fall apart. It's up to you to make it work for your personal playing style.

The following link will take you to the "Hep Cat" video on YouTube:

Thank you and have fun learning “Hep Cat!”

The Drumslingers, Who Are Those Guys?

The Drumslingers from Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a group of drummers who practice and perform the time-honored art of American ancient, and American modern style field drumming.

It started in 2005 when this group of former drum and bugle corps players got together at the request of instigator/ringleader, Rick Dunlevy, in order to help him “get his chops up” to march with The Madison Scouts Reunion Corps.

Their drum corps background has given them the benefit of receiving training from some notable instructors of the golden age of drum corps during the 1970s and ‘80s. These teachers include three DCI (Drum Corps International) Hall Of Fame members – Larry McCormick, Fred Sanford and Tom Float.

Other esteemed teachers in the ‘Slingers collective background include Don Porter Jr. of The Anaheim Kingsmen, Ron Hermann and Gary Moore of The Cavaliers, Bruce Lages of The Madison Scouts, Tim Boland of The Dubuque Colts, Bill Staudts of The Norwood Park Imperials, Terry Therion of the Blue Stars and UNI Associate Professor of Percussion, Randy Hogancamp.

Their collective experiences and mutual sharing of information and techniques has proven a valuable asset in the development of their style. They write much of their own material, combining American traditional and modern techniques with European influences and contemporary rudimental hybrid concepts.

From 2006-2009, the Drumslingers were a regular attraction at many NE Iowa community events, by marching in parades and performing “stand still” sets. They no longer perform publicly but maintain strong friendships and get together from time-to-time to “throw down some diddles” on their practice pads while tossing-back a few beers and reminiscing on good times. These jam sessions can run three or four hours until they’ve either spent their chops or run out of beer.

The “Drumslingers” name is derived from a play on words – drawing on the outlaw mystique of the word “gunslinger” while referencing the traditional method of using a “sling” to carry drums.

The Drumslingers members and some of their drum line experience:
Tom Blankenship, Waterloo Chevaliers and The Cedar Glen Pipes and Drums Band.
Rick Dunlevy, Waterloo Chevaliers and the Madison Scouts.
Kevin Faber,The Concord Blue Devils.
Ed Flack, Chevaliers, UNI Panther Marching Band, Cedar Glen Pipes and Drums Band.
Mike Flack, Osage Precisionnaires.
Randy Kauffman, Tripoli and Decorah High School Marching Bands.
Dave “Mo” Moyer, The Dubuque Colts.
Dave “Wags” Nicholas, Waterloo Chevaliers, Waterloo Royals, The Dubuque Colts.
Tim Nicholas, Waterloo Chevaliers, Waterloo Royals, The La Crosse Blue Stars.
Wayne Stambaugh, Waterloo Chevaliers.

Follow this link to a video example of a cadence beat played by the Drumslingers: