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Snare Drum Warm-Up, Part 3

Accent patterns and wrist lifts.

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


The two previous blog articles in this series got your hands moving. They started with eighth notes and progressed to sixteenth notes. The exercises in this posting will begin to introduce accent patterns and wrist lifts.

Element #3: Accents

Start with the theme and progress to the variations once you feel comfortable.


Musical annotation.

Variation 1:

Musical annotation.

Variation 2:

Musical annotation.

Be careful of the stickings in Variations 1 and 2. These have been written with triplets and doubles to ensure that you begin on the opposite hand when you repeat the exercise.

Remember to start at a slow tempo and use a big range of motion to get your muscles loose. Use a metronome and track your progress. As before, 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

Check out the other postings in our Snare Drum Warm-Up series:

Part 1: Warming up the big muscles

Part 2: Transitioning to the small muscles

Part 4: Adding flams to the equation

Part 5: Wrap it up with rolls


Dr. Dave Gerhart
Dr. Dave Gerhart is the assistant segment marketing manager of education and is a nationally recognized performer, composer and educator. 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, Gerhart was a Yamaha Performing Artist. He now travels the country 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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