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Snare Drum Thursdays

Snare Drum Warm-Up, Part 2

Transitioning to the small muscles.

The second in a five-part series about creating the ideal warm-up routine.


Part 1 of this series explored ways of warming up the big muscles. In this article, I want to talk about transitioning to the small muscles.

Element #2: Moving from Big Muscles to Small Muscles

This exercise is a combination of singles, doubles and paradiddles:Musical annotation.

Note that this is written in 3/4 time. Too often exercises are written in 4/4 and we mindlessly play them. Doing an exercise in 3/4 time will help warm up your mind as well as your body.

Remember to start at a slow tempo and use a big range of motion to the get your muscles loose. Use a metronome and track your progress. Try increasing the speed of the metronome by two beats per measure every time you repeat the exercise. (This can be done manually, or with the use of an app.)

Creating a warm-up routine is an individual process and what works for me will not necessarily work for everyone. Feel free to create your own routine! Share your results with me at

Coming in Part 3: Accent pattern exercises.


Dr. Dave Gerhart, Product Manager for Yamaha Percussion and advocate for all things percussion, is a nationally recognized performer, composer and educator. Dr. Gerhart holds a D.M.A. from the University of Southern California, an M.M. in Percussion Performance and Instrumental Conducting, and a B.M. in Music Education from California State University, Long Beach. Before joining Yamaha, Dr. Gerhart was a Yamaha Performing Artist. He now travels the U.S. talking percussion and sharing his passion for music education. In his free time, he teaches at the CSULB Steel Drum Orchestra and has published works for percussion and steel drum ensembles.

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