Drumline Activities for Kids

Drumline activities for kids are designed to teach simple patterns and hits that can be performed on a drum pad or on one of the five axillary drums -- snare, bass drum, tenor, cymbals, timpany -- that make up a regular drumline. While drumline activities can be performed by kids, the kids must be old enough and strong enough to wear a snare, bass drum or tenor drum for extended periods of time. As a result, most kids in a drumline will be 12 and over.

  1. Eight on a Hand

    • This drumline exercise can be played on any of the five drumline drums. If you are playing the snare, turn on a metronome or have a conductor keep time at 90 beats per minute. From here, hit the snare eight times per measure with the stick in your left hand, alternating hands after each measure. Repeat this pattern continuously until fatigued. As you improve, increase the beats per minute of the metronome.

    Eight Count With Forward March

    • This drumline activity is designed to help improve the rhythm and marching abilities of your drumline. Have five drummers line up in a straight line. Stand in the middle of this line with a snare drum or other drum strapped to you. On your mark, instruct the line to begin moving forward, stepping at an even 8-inch pace. While walking forward, hit down on your snare eight times with one stick before switching to the other stick. Continue the pattern until fatigued.

    Accent/ Tap

    • This drumline activity is designed to improve your ability to create dynamics with your drum sound. Start by performing 16th note taps with your right hand. On the first and eighth hit of each set, lift your arm 12 inches above your drum, coming down at a quicker velocity then the seven following hits. For the additional seven hits, keep your hand close to the drum head, reducing the volume and speed of your hit by bringing your stick 3 inches above the drum head. Alternate between both hands, changing to more complex patterns as you improve your dynamics.

    High-Stepping Activity

    • This activity will help you and the other members of your drumline get used to high-stepping while marching. Have each member of the group take off his drum and get into a straight line. On your mark, instruct everyone to march forward, lifting their knees up to the middle of their chests before bringing them back down. Have each person alternate legs as they move, attempting to keep a straight line as they move forward. As you improve, try to increase the speed of the drill.

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