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!”

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