Snare Drum Exercises
Composer: Severin Stitzenberger
Instrument: Snare Drum Method Book
In this booklet I join all exercises I wrote for the percussion students of HMT Leipzig during the difficult times of Corona 2020. Due to the lockdowns we spent a lot of time in online classes working on these exercises, which we performed on the pad or the snare drum. We had a nice time and a good learning process. So I think this is worth to get collected all at once in a small booklet.
For developing strength and velocity I highly recommend to not play these exercises too often in a row. Especially in cases of velocity and accuracy we want to trigger the fast and explosive white muscle fibers and not the slow-twitch red ones which are more for endurance. This you will also recognize in several exercises where I tried to build in a strong and fast triggering playing section followed by a small recovery section. The muscles are supposed to be allowed to recover while playing. (e.g. Chapter 11 Ex.10)
In some exercises I implemented two different sections. First a template section where I want to create a sound structure which you have to keep up and monitor in the second confirmation section. A good example for these kind of exercises is number two to four in chapter 2 "Doubles".
At the places where I have indicated to strike both hands at once (RL / LR / "double stop"), I want to work and improve equality and smoothness of the single strokes. If you can’t hear flams in the double stops it is a good sign that your singles will sound even.
The first exercise in chapter four "Rolls" is (for me) the most important exercise to develop a smooth, equal and versatile way of rolling. This exercise requires a huge amount work and time dedication. I recommend to start this exercise in pp at tempo 60 and then slowly rise speed and dynamic till you reach ff at tempo 180.
Taking a close look at the requirements of our application area - the orchestra - it is of additional importance that we concentrate on perfecting the quality of playing short phrases. Here, it is important that the beginning of the phrase is on the money and we get the absolute right tempo and expression already at the very beginning of each phrase. I therefore think that it is necessary to practice this more often. That’s why I tent to practice more in short cycles. I also added some exercises that might feel a bit strange and where I intended to focus and train the "to be on point" qualities here.
To keep up with the application in the orchestral context I added exercises for dynamic changes as well as for different sound colors. This is what needs to be built in to the every day practice and what will eventually make a very versatile player. It is of great importance to evolve a sense for this kind of colorful drumming and to get your hands and ears familiarized.
The exercises are organized in eleven chapters with individual technical exercises depending on the topic. In between I added so called "conclusions and warm up routines". This is meant to be a summary of the previous chapters and could be played after having worked on the exercises before to remember the special issues. Also to be used as warm-up program for special occasions.
If there are two lines of sticking indicated the second line is the sticking of the repeat.
Leipzig, in December 2020
„I owe a huge debt of thanks to my teachers Gerolf Stitzenberger, Uwe Eichele, Andy Witte, Peter Sadlo, Arnold Riedhammer and Klaus Schwärzler for sharing their knowledge and passion; to Muriel Razavi, Johann-Georg Baumgärtel and Edzard Locher for lending me their critical eyes and keen minds; to Johan Svitzer for the very nice contact and the uncomplicated realization of this project and especially to my wife Andrea for having my back since ever.“
Snare Drum Method Book
About the composer +
Severin Stitzenberger, born and raised in Wangen im Allgäu (Germany), is 1st percussionist of the Gewandhausorchester zu Leipzig and member of the brass ensemble Salaputia Brass. Since 2018 he has been teaching at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Leipzig.
Front Cover graphics and layout: Nicola Lee
Photo: Alexander Frank
Engraving: CPH Engraving
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER