Announcing the arrival of Heavy Left
Heavy Left (2013-2017)
My new book of four snare drum solos w/backing track is now available. Please enjoy these performance videos by Corporal Jesse Sieff of the "Commandant's Own" United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps.
As a book, $30 - shipping within the US is included
Use the contact/email link and let me know what you'd like.
About the Solos
These four solos demonstrate four different playing styles on four different types of snare drums, each using a different type of head and tuning scheme. The type of drum as well as the content of each solo loosely follows a kind of drumming evolution and chronology.
Muster is the first solo in the set. It utilizes the first thirteen standard rudiments and should be performed on either a rope tension drum or a conventional field snare drum tuned to imitate that deep but articulate rope tension drum sound.
The Heavy Left pattern is realized in two different tracks. The backing track consisting of snare drums, a single tenor drum, bass drums and cymbals illustrates the first pattern, keeping a constant half - half - quarter - quarter - half note groove. The “Left, Right, Left” commands illustrate the second Heavy Left pattern, and it is this track that the snare drum music follows.
Funeral March is the second solo in the set. It utilizes the first twenty-six standard rudiments and should be performed on a concert field drum with the snares off. The rudiments are played in a closed style. Multi-percussion sticks (wood tips on one end, felt balls on the back end) are required for this solo.
The overall effect of Funeral is that of a long accelerando followed by a long rallentando, even though the tempo remains the same throughout. This is achieved by adding one additional Heavy Left pattern to every four-bar phrase, all the way up to five times within a four-bar phrase And then the opposite takes place, resulting in the rallentando effect.
Parade is the third solo in the set. It utilizes the forty standard rudiments and is played on a modern marching snare drum fitted with a Mylar (plastic) drumhead.
The Heavy Left pattern in the backing track is more obscured and found within a 5/4 bass drum groove. It is written as: 1, the “eh” of 2, the “ah” of 3, the “&” of 4 and then beat 5. Although it is more syncopated, the Heavy Left groove is very consistent, repeating basically every measure. When it is not sounding in the backing track it is often implied in the snare drum solo, as well as a second layer in the backing track - a tonal, marching bassline of twelve drums.
Space Walk, the fourth solo, is played on a modern marching snare drum with a synthetic weave head. Space Walk deviates from the first three solos in one key way: the rudiments. Muster, Funeral and Parade are made up of only rudiments. Every sounding note in the snare music is a rudiment. In other words, there aren’t any “connective tissue” rhythms that simply get us from one lick to the next.
Space Walk does use several standard and hybrid rudiments, but it also uses simple rhythms to connect these ideas. Even the solo’s title takes leave of the traditional march style indicator and tempo marking. It refers more to the 9/8 backing track that provides the Heavy Left pattern, consisting of a low-pitched and resonant Hip Hop kick drum sound colored with futuristic space-like sound effects. It also refers to the antigravity nature of the snare drum music - very fluid with the sticks always in motion.
Heavy Left Sample Pages