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All State Band Recordings

Percussion

Junior Mallet: Audition Solo, Allegretto

  • For my recording, I am using the SH-14 mallets by Malletech. They offer a nice blend of warmth and articulation for this solo.
  • I have found that it is difficult to maintain a steady tempo in this solo, as I always want to rush. This might be due to the quarter notes in the first few measures.  Make sure the quarter notes get their full value, especially the tied rolls in measures 2 and 3.
  • Pay special attention to the double-stops throughout the solos and be sure to play them precisely together. 
  • In measure 8, strike the double stop roll (C &E) together and then execute the roll.This allows both the C and E to sound together, rather than a staggered attack to the roll.
  • Once you arrive at the Largo in measure 13a, used a relaxed grip for the rolls to produce a legato sound.
  • When playing the rolls through the region ending, avoid rolling too fast, as this will make the shifts from note to note sound choppy.
  • *After practicing the region ending, resist the temptation to slow down in the first measure of the All-State Ending.
  • *For measures 13b and 14b, be sure the double stops sound exactly together. One way to practice these figures for accuracy is to isolate each hand.
  • *For the last note, strike the double stop and then execute the roll, similar to measure 8.

*All-State ending only

Clinic Mallet: Audition Solo, quarter = 90

  • For my recording, I am using the SH-14 mallets by Malletech. They offer a nice blend of warmth and articulation for this solo.
  • In Measure 1-2 and 5-6, play the accent on the Bb carefully so as not to make a bad sound.Even though this note is accented, you still want to lift after striking the bar.
  • The accent pattern in measures 5-6 are a little different than measures 1-2, so be sure to also accent the changing notes on the downbeats.
  • From measure 9-11, I like to striked the accented rolls together so that both notes sound at once, then play the roll. This adds some articulation to the front of the roll. 
  • In the Region ending, be sure that the double stops sound precisely together with no “flam.”
  • In measure 21 of the Region ending, I put a small diminuendo to set up for the crescendo that follows.
  • *The accents in the first few measures of the All-State ending are similar to measures 5-6.
  • *The dynamics in the All-State ending are a little vague. I like to put a crescendo in measures 32-33 to go along with the accel. Then I diminuendo in the last two bars to go along with the ritardando.

*All-State ending only

Senior Mallet: Audition Solo, Espressivo con rubato

  • For my recording, I am using the SH-14 mallets by Malletech. They offer a nice blend of warmth and articulation for this solo.
  • *Shifting between the chords by leading with the left hand will result in a much smoother shift from chord to chord. This section can be played with a little freedom and not strictly in time.
  • Many of the Allegro passages of this etude should be played left hand lead. This is especially true for measures 7-9.  
  • Be sure to start at a strong enough mf to make a good diminuendo in measure nine.
  • In order to navigate the transition between measures 9 and 10, play a double right from the last sixteenth of measure 9 to the first note of measure 10. 
  • Measures 11 and 12 are complicated by the double stops. To effectively execute those two measures, follow the double stop with a left hand stroke (M. 11 Bb to C and M. 12 A to C). 
  • In measure 13, an alternating sticking beginning on the right hand will lead to a left hand in measure 14. The next several measures will need to start on the left hand due to the rising contour of the line. 
  • In measure 15, 17 and 19, it is very important to for the double stops to sound precisely together.
  • Carefully practice measure 21 very with a metronome, as the triplets will want to rush coming out of the sixteenth notes.

*All-State ending only

Junior Snare: Audition Solo, Allegretto

  • Observe the dynamics carefully in this solo. The terraced dynamics through the first six measures should occur “suddenly.” Changing your stick heights and your playing area on the drum will help achieve the sudden dynamic changes.
  • Be aware of accented vs. unaccented notes throughout the solo. Accents are relative to the written dynamic level so as the dynamics change, so should the accents. 
  • In this solo, all flams, rolls, and ruffs can be played on the same hand - RH for those of us right-handed players (LH if you prefer left-handed rudiments).
  • The only rolls with an accented start are found in measure 18 of the region ending, *and in measure 15b of the All-State ending. The only roll with an accented release is found in measure 17 of the region ending.
  • For this solo, a sixteenth-note roll base (skeleton) works well.
  • In the Region Ending, be aware of the many dynamic changes. ff to pspans 5 dynamic levels. pshould be played close to the edge of the drum with smaller stick heights while ff should be played just off-center with larger stick heights.
  • *In the All-State Ending, be sure not to accent releases of rolls, and differentiate accented vs. unaccented notes.
  • The fp on beat 1 of measure 16b means that you should play the first note at a forte (f ) dynamic level, then immediately drop down to a piano ( p ) dynamic level, then crescendo through measure 17b, reaching a fortissimo ( ff) dynamic level at measure 18b.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Clinic Snare: Audition Solo, Maestoso

  • Accents are used sparingly in this solo. Be sure to only accents notes when indicated, and play accents relative to the written dynamic level.
  • The fp on beat 1 of measure 5 means that you should play the roll release (first eighth note in the measure) at a forte dynamic level, and then immediately drop down to a piano dynamic level.
  • Due to the slower tempo, a quintuplet or sextuplet roll base (skeleton) will work well for this solo.
  • *Since the All-State ending is twice as fast, you can use a sixteenth note roll base for that section.
  • Dynamic contrast is important in measures 9-11. Changing your stick heights and your playing area on the drum will help achieve the sudden dynamic changes.
  • In the Region Ending, be sure to count appropriately at measure 13a. The roll spans from beat 1, to the “and” of beat 2. (e.g. 1 e & a, 2 e +)
  • *For the All-State Ending I suggest practicing it under tempo to begin and work up the speed as you practice. Use a 16thnote roll base, and count carefully through the syncopated rolls.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Senior Snare: Audition Solo, dotted quarter = 72

  • At dotted quarter note = 72, the dotted quarter notes are very easy to shorten. From the first measure, subdivide the eighth notes during the dotted quarters. 
  • Dynamic contrast is very important in this solo. Playing softer dynamics towards the edge of the drum will help achieve the desired contrast. 
  • For all of the quarter note rolls, I would suggest a 5-note (quintuplet) roll structure.A four-note (sixteenth notes) structure will work, but doesn’t fill the roll out as well as a quintuplet.  If you decide on the 5-note subdivision, I would suggest starting them on your left hand and ending on the right.
  • The dotted eighth-note figures in measures 5-8 make this section feel as if it is in 2/4.The tendency is to want push the time in these figures.  Practice these measures carefully with a metronome keeping the sixteenth-note subdivision constantly going through your mind.
  • In order to play this etude successfully, you must choose stickings wisely. Many of the following comments will pertain to stickings for this reason.  While these are certainly not the ONLY way, I have found these choices of stickings to be successful for me.  If you are left handed, you may want to reverse what I have below.
  • For the 4-stroke ruffs, single drags, and flams in measures 5-8, I would suggest playing them all on the right hand (Measure 5 - RLLR, LR, LLR, LR). This will help in playing them the same every time. 
  • In measure 9, start beat two with your left hand, and play the flams on your right hand (LRLRL LR LLRRL LR). 
  • Even though they are not tied, I would suggest connecting the rolls in measure 11-12. Remember that the crescendo in measure 13 only goes up to a mp
  • *In measure 14b, trying playing a Swiss-Army triplet at the end of the bar to transition into the drag in the next measure.
  • *Measure 16b is particularly difficult due to the speed of the thirty-second notes and the diminuendo to the end of the bar. I would suggest the following sticking for measure 16b: LLR  RLRLRLRL R LRLRL RLRL.  Many repetitions of this measure at a slower tempo will help you work it up to the marked tempo.

*Applies to All-State Ending only

Junior Timpani Solo:  Pesante

  • For this solo, the pitch/drum assignments should be as follows:
    • 29” – Bb
    • 26” – F
  • The articulations will be the difference maker in this solo. Be sure to observe the articulations carefully, whether it is an accent, a staccato, a tenuto, or marcato, and in some instances a combination.
  • For the staccato markings, one should mute the drum during the rest immediately following (an example of this would be in measure 6). You must be careful that you give these notes their proper length prior to muting, though.
  • The passage involving the rolls starting in measure 16 will need attention, be sure to change the drums on the correct beat, with a smooth transition between each.
  • Region Ending:
    • The fpcrescendo roll in measure 23a and 24a should feel as if the roll releases into beat 4 of 24a, even though there is a rest.
    • Be sure to not over-play the ending measure, even though it is ffwith marcato markings.
  • All-State Ending:
    • Be sure to make a clear difference in which notes are accented.
    • This section has a decent amount of tricky passages, be sure to learn this slowly and choose your sticking wisely.
    • Pay close attention to the rolls in measure 32b and 33b. the dynamic that you reach at the peak of the crescendo on the F should match what dynamic you start the Bb on before you decrescendo.
    • Be sure that the quarter notes in the last measure receive the full duration before they are muted.

Clinic Timpani Solo: Presto

  • For this solo, the pitch/drum assignments should be as follows:
    • 32” – F
    • 29” – Bb
    • 26” – Eb
    • 23” – F
  • The articulations will be the difference maker in this solo. Be sure to observe the articulations carefully, whether it is an accent, a staccato, a tenuto, or marcato, and in some instances a combination.
  • For the staccato markings, one should mute the drum during the rest immediately following.An example of this would be in measure 4.

  • The passage starting in measure 8 is particularly tricky. Do your best to ensure that all drums are not ringing during the staccato markings in measure 9. This is true for the next two measures as well. The key to helping this is to not over-play the eight-note descending passages that are immediately prior to the staccato notation.

  • Another tricky section starts at measure 16. The key here is to keep the eight-note ostinato like figure well below the sfznotes that move around the drum. The sfznotes are what we want to hear in this section.
  • Region Ending:
    • The key for this ending is the rolls. Pay close attention that all of the rolls receive the correct duration, and also the correct dynamic.
    • The sticking for this passage is fairly straightforward. Straight sticking (RLRL) should work well throughout.
  • All-State Ending:
    • The key for measures 25b - 27b is your sticking. This is especially true for the rolls in measure 27b.  Know exactly how make times you are going to strike the drum for the roll before you play the next figure.
    • Measure 29b will be the difference maker in this etude. Rhythmic accuracy while executing the muting is absolutely key here.

Senior Timpani Solo:  Maestoso

  • For this solo, the pitch/drum assignments should be as follows:
    • 32” – Eb
    • 29” – Bb
    • 26” – C
    • 23” – F
  • The articulations will be the difference maker in this solo. Be sure to observe the articulations carefully, whether it is an accent, a staccato, a tenuto, or marcato, and in some instances a combination.
  • The opening of this etude (the Maestoso) should be played in a more open manner. Be sure to take your time here and stay in time. Watch for the length of the rolls carefully.
  • The “theme” of this etude will take some time to get comfortable with. Be sure to practice measure 5-8 slowly and with a metronome. Rhythmic accuracy will be very important.
  • The syncopation throughout this solo is very important. Be sure to count carefully and give all notes and rests their proper values.
  • Pay close attention to the roll section starting on beat 4 of measure 9. Change notes exactly in time. >
  • The passage starting in measure 13 is particularly tricky.
    • Be sure that the left hand is playing the staccato notes directly in the center of the 32” drum. This is not to be muted.
    • The right hand (mm14-18) is the melodic line here; play this as such. Phrase the notes in the right hand accordingly.
  • Watch out for the transition to 6/8 in measure 20. The eighth note stays the same. Be sure not to rush this.
  • Region Ending:
    • The “theme” that comes back here should have much more energy than the original statement.
    • Be sure that you don’t over-play the 32” drum in the last two measures. Be tasteful with the ff.
    • Muting after the last notes should be done quickly.
  • All-State Ending:
    • The “theme” that comes back here should have much more energy than the original statement.
    • Rhythmic accuracy in measures 30b-31b will be important. Pay close attention to the tied sixteenth notes from the “e” of beat 4 of measure 30b to the downbeat of measure 31b.
    • Be sure that the roll in measure 32b is the correct length. Release in time to play the last measure on the Eb in perfect time.
    • Muting after the last notes should be done quickly.

Download the mallet performance notes [pdf].

Download the snare performance notes [pdf].

Download the timpani performance notes [pdf].