Concert Snare Drum

This series of video lessons will provide students and instructors alike with a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental techniques for the most common percussion instruments. From instrument setup to maintenance to performance techniques, Vic Firth's PERCUSSION 101 will cover the essential skills necessary for today's all-around percussionist.

The curriculum for this series was compiled by members of Vic Firth's Collegiate Educator Program which includes some of the most influential university instructors in the country. Presented by percussionist David Skidmore in a relaxed, approachable atmosphere, this series is sure to become the most widely referenced video guide for percussion education!


To learn the essential fundamentals for snare drum maintenance, tuning
and playing techniques, first take some time to watch the following videos.
After you've finished, test your knowledge with our online quiz!


TEACHERS: The online test is the perfect way to use Vic Firth's PERCUSSION 101 in your classroom!
and get ideas for how to implement this valuable resource in YOUR curriculum!

01: Instrument and Head Selection
A demonstration of the most common types of snare drums and suggestions for head selection.
08: Roll Fundamentals
An approach to develop the multiple bounce and double bounce roll. Including when multiple and double bounce rolls are appropriate.
02: Care and Maintenance 09: Metered and Unmetered Rolls
Selecting the stroke speed to produce a smooth sustained roll sound. Also including a discussion of various roll bases for different tempos.
03: Head Replacement and Tuning
Covering top and bottom head replacement and maintenance, including detailed instructions on tuning for a good concert drum sound.
10: Tied and Untied Rolls
Instructions on how to play rolls that are not tied to a release note
04: Stick Selection and Characteristic Sound
Including a demonstration of how various playing areas and muffling can effect the sound of the drum.
11: Flams
A fundamental approach to playing flams, both single hand and alternating. Including suggestions for playing soft flams and achieving a consistency of sound.
05: Proper Setup and Playing Position
Setting the drum up to the proper height and position for the best playing posture.
12: Sticking Methods
A demonstration of Lead Hand and Alternating sticking methods, including the pros and cons of each system.
06: The Grip
Instructions for gripping the sticks in the matched grip.
13: Ruffs
The basics for playing ruffs: multiple bounce, double bounce, 4 stroke and 5 stroke ruffs. Including a discussion of which type of ruff (and sticking for the ruff) is appropriate for the music.
07: The Basic Stroke (Rebound / Legato Stroke)
Presenting the fundamental stroke for independent right and left hand strokes independently, as well as three important rudiments: alternating strokes (single stroke roll), double strokes (long roll) and paradiddles.
14: Alternative Sounds
A demonstration of other implements that may be used to achieve a variety of sounds and tonal colors: brushes, dreadlocks and rute.
Additional Reference:
Mark Wessels' Beginning Snare Drum Lesson Series

An extensive video lesson series based on ”A Fresh Approach to the Snare Drum,” designed as a progressive approach for the beginning student.
Additional Reference:
40 Essential Rudiments

A great resource for practicing your rudiments, with exercises and playalong tracks for each level of student. Including video demonstrations of each rudiment performed open-close-open style by Dr. John Wooton.
Additional Reference:
Norm Weinberg's WebRhythms

A series of articles designed to teach rhythm reading from the most basic to very advanced. Includes play along files for various skill levels and downloadable PDF files of the exercises.
Additional Reference:
Jeff Queen's “The Next Level” Rudimental Technique

Exercises and video explanations by rudimental master Jeff Queen that is designed to take the intermediate player to the advanced level.
Additional Reference:
Ted Atkatz' PASIC Orchestral Snare Clinic

Covering snare drum and cymbal techniques, Vic Firth Signature Artist Ted Atkat applies some very simple concepts to the orchestral literature – and along the way demonstrates musical approaches to some of the most common orchestral excerpts.
Additional Reference:
Vic Firth Concert Podcast

The most extensive collection of video performances from percussion soloists and ensembles. A great resource for exposing students of all ages and ability levels to the wide range of musical genres in percussion.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Each computer station has ONE OPPORTUNITY to take this test and receive a CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT
(you may take the test as often as you like – but no certificate will be offered on subsequent attempts). We recommend that if you
taking this test for a grade, YOU USE THE STUDY GUIDE as you watch the videos BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE TEST!

Concert Bass Drum Tambourine
Crash Cymbals Suspended Cymbal
Gong / Tam-Tam Triangle
Keyboard Percussion Instruments Wood Blocks / Temple Blocks
Concert Snare Drum Marching Percussion
Timpani Drumset

About David Skidmore:

David Skidmore is active as both a performer and composer of music for percussion. David is a member of the Ensemble ACJW, Third Coast Percussion, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Lucerne Festival Percussion Group, and Collide. He is a dedicated advocate for the music of our time, having commissioned, premiered, and performed dozens of new works by many of the great composers of the 20th and 21st century.

David has been featured as a soloist with the Royal Academy of Music Orchestra in London, the Pacific Soundings series in Sapporo, Japan, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and the Chicago Civic Orchestra LaSalle Bank Chamber Music Series. As a chamber musician, David has performed for the Music on the Edge series in Pittsburgh, the Cleveland Art Museum Concert Series, June in Buffalo, Klangspuren Schwaz, the Philharmonie Essen, the Ojai Music Festival, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Bang On a Can Marathon, the Princeton Composers’ Ensemble, and at three Percussive Arts Society International Conventions.

David’s compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and universities across the country. Two of David’s pieces were performed in November 2007 at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. In May of 2007 his latest piece, “Unknown Kind”, was premiered at Carnegie Hall. He was awarded 1st prize in the 2005 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest and 2nd prize in the 2004 contest. His piece “Whispers – for 9 Percussionists” was a finalist for an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award in 2005, and has been recorded by the Northwestern University Percussion Ensemble.

David received the Bachelor of Music degree from the Northwestern University School of Music and the Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. His teachers have included Robert Van Sice, Michael Burritt, James Ross, Paul Wertico, and Michael Hernandez.