Percussion Resources

Read Before Downloading MP3's

This page contains Downloadable MP3's for you to practice with. It can be intimidating to play with other percussionists if you have never played with them before. This is a way for you to not only practice with a metronomic device, but to hear how the exercise could sound with the entire section before you play with them. Try playing the exercises before listening to them. Gradually build up your speed and endurance by using the different tempos. 

Try to memorize these exercises right away so that the focus during rehearsal can be on listening to the ensemble and unifying everyone's technique. Start early in the summer and start slow in tempo. Keep the spacing between the double bounces on your rolls even.  Know these exercises before you come to band camp.

Preparing for the Fall Audition

Here's some help from the Vic Firth stick company to prepare for your audition this Fall. Look for other helpful tips in preparing mallets, drum set, etc.  When you arrive on the page, click on the search box and type in rudiments.  Watch videos and read about lessons on those rudiments.  You can also search about drum set and keyboard percussion knowledge within the Vic Firth Website.
Visitors please feel free to use and modify these exercises and cadences as you need for your ensemble.  Please ask questions-

The Fall Audition

What I am looking for is where your performances skills are currently at in regards to snare drum- rudiments, performance, and sight-reading; playing bells/xylophone; scales, performance, and sight-reading; and timpani- performance and tuning.  Even if you haven't had much experience on timpani or mallets, you should still keep an open mind and try to do your best.  Remember, this audition is mainly a chance for the teachers to gather information about you and your skills.  If you don't know how to do something, ask Mr. Fairweather or one of the 10-11-12 grade percussionists to help you.  Use the Vic Firth website for help too in regards to rudiments in case you don't know how to play them.

Snare drum


The teacher will select 6 of 12 selected rudiments for you to perform.  You will perform then consecutively using the appropriate stickings (alternating).


You will perform a piece of music and do your best to include all of the elements of music: rhythm, pitch, articulation, dynamics, and interpretation.


You can perform this part on which ever one you're more comfortable with.


You will need to perform the scales listed in your audition information packet.  Please perform the arpeggios and scale in thirds for each scale too.


You will perform a piece of music for your audition.  Please do your best to include all of the musical elements stated above.



You must tune the timpani before you play.  You may use the gauges or a pitch pipe.  Ask someone for help if you do not know how to do this.

Sight-reading for mallets or snare: you get to choose.

Try your best to get through the piece.  Don't fixate on mistakes.  Keep your eyes moving ahead of where you are playing (just like when you read prose), try to find patterns or focus your eyes on groups of notes ("chunk" the notes together), and most importantly, do not give up.


This is our cadence. It is an original cadence written by Mr. F. The mallet parts are based off the B flat blues scale.  There are 8 bars segments for easy points in the cadence to break for a roll off.  Most of the last eight bars were taken from students who came to me and improvised rhythms on the spot.  Enjoy!

Printable versions: 

Files to listen to:


Bunch a Bucks

Bunch a Bucks.pdf This exercise is nice because it can be modified for any accent pattern group. The bass drums and quints have optional last 4 measures provided to practice splits and sweeps and scrapes.  Bass drum splits should be practiced in addition to unison studies.  When practicing splits with the other bass drums it is important to place your part at just the right time.  Start by playing all the parts and then if needed gradually take away parts until you are playing just your part. Quints players when practicing their optional sweeps and scrapes should keep the forearm low to the drums to supply the left-right motion and use the wrist along with the weight of the mallet for the up-and-down motion.

Files to Listen To


6-3-2-1 is an advance accent exercise for drum-line warm ups. For mallets it is designed to get a consistent stroke when playing any note on the keyboard, getting to know where the notes are on the keyboard, and practicing playing in double-stops (2 hands playing the same pitch an octave apart in this case). For the other instruments, you must be able to time and subdivide the rhythms correctly. Become familiar with how the beats are grouped: 6-3-2-1. Have a consistent height between unaccented and a low height and accented high heights.

Printable Files

Files to Listen To


Fred Sanford

Fred Sanford.pdf develops the double-stroke and triple-stroke.  Keep in mind from when we exercised singles strokes (16 On A Hand) that each note sounds the same. The same is true for this exercise, only we have 2 sounds per stroke.  Be sure your wrist only does one stroke while your fulcrum, fingers, and bounce off the head do the work for you. Squeezing your fulcrum slightly, letting your fingers catch the stick on the rebound, and giving stick a little kick from the wrist, are the necessary motions to execute the double-stroke roll. Let the arm pump up and down slightly when executing the roll to control tempo and pulse. The end result of the entire motion will put the stick in the up position. It is also my belief that when you develop a good, even sounding triple-stroke, your double-stroke will be that much better. This version is more or less the real deal. It is different than the Easy version in that there are some segments where there are 2 measures of double and triple beats.

Be careful not to rush the last 2 eighth notes.  That is a common error when playing this exercise together with the line.  Listen.

Fred Sanford Full

Fred Sanford Mallet

Fred Sanford Snare

Fred Sanford Quints

Fred Sanford Bass Drum

Fred Sanford Cymbal Bass

Listen to these different tempos of the Fred Sanford Exercise for more help:

Sanford Slow

Sanford Medium

Sanford Fast

 Sanford slow.mp3 Sanford 

Irish Spring

Irish Spring.pdf is basically the same thing as  Fred Sanford, but works on rolls in a triplet style. 

Files to download:

Irish Spring

Irish Spring Mallets

Irish Spring Snare

Irish Spring Quints

Irish Spring Bass Drum

Irish Spring Cymbal


Metalica.pdf is an exercise based on a riff from a Metallica song (One). If you know the song, you will recognize the riff at the end of the exercise. This riff combines eighth notes, sixteenth notes and sextuplets (like triplets) in a single exercise. Some times making the transitions between a 2 feel (like in eighth note or sixteenth notes) to a triplet feel (Sextuplets) can be tricky. The learner will find after awhile that sextuplets are actually a division of 2 instead of 3.  When playing this exercise at faster tempo, keep the wrists down and the tips of your sticks up.

Files available to download:


Metalica Xylo

Metalica Snare

Metalica Quint

Metalica Bass Drum

Metalica Cymbal

Listen to these different tempos of the Metalica exercise for more help:

Metalica Slow

Metallica Medium

Metalica Fast


Peas Porage Hot

Peas Porage Hot.pdf (sorry about the misspelling) is based entirely on accent patterns within sextuplets. The accents on the first part of the exercise work with the nursery rhyme Peas Porridge Hot. Be sure to keep your wrists down and the tips of your drum sticks back for the accents. Work on evenness of sound when playing the paradiddle-diddle. Quints also have some sticking issues to watch for as you work around the drums. Bass drums should work on their splits within the line. Remember to place your part at the right time; don't anticipate too much yet don't wait for your neighbor to play at the right time either.

Files available to download:

Porage Full

Porage Mallets

Porage Snare

Porage Quints

Porage Bass Drum

Porage Cymbal


Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey Diddle Diddle.pdf - Here we are working on paradiddle and some permutations of paradiddles, including double paradiddles and paradiddle-diddles. Mallet players will work on combining knowledge of scales, arpeggios, chromatic scales, and double stops. Snares and quints will develop the aforementioned rudiments with the quints breaking them up between the drums. Be sure to keep observe the sticking patterns and keep the diddle parts even in sound between the first and second stroke. Bass drums should continue to work on splits here. Cymbals can continue to work on returning to port after certain passages.

Files available to download:

Diddle Full

Diddle Mallets

Diddle Snare

Diddlle Quints

Diddle Bass Drum

Diddle Cymbal


Time Checker

Time Check.pdf - The exercise is divided into 2 parts - the first line and the second line. Both deal with timing but with slightly different approaches. The first line is basically a unison sticking exercise following right-hand-lead. Mallet players will work on double-stops with a little "Chop Sticks" flair.  Snares and bass drums should follow the stickings closely. Cymbals will provide the steady pulse while the quints will help with the subdivision of the beat. The second line of this exercise for all players will deal with how one listens and adjust the balance of the entire drum line. Mallet players will again have a familiar tune here to work on. Snare players have a unique part but it must "groove" with the bass drum and quint parts. Quints and bass drums have the same accent pattern with the quints moving the pattern around the drums. Cymbals should practice return to port in this part of the exercise. All players must listen to each other and practice good balance and ensemble performance.

Files available to download:

Time Check Full

Time Check Mallets

Time Check Snare

Time Check Quints

Time Check Bass Drum

Time Check Cymbal


Hugga Dugga Burr

Hugga Dugga Burr.pdf is an exercise to develop the the double stroke roll specifically in the context of playing. Snares and tenors really need to listen to each other so that each sound they make line up together all the time. When this exercise is done right it will sound like one instrument playing.  Mallets will be working on scales for speed. Cymbals have different sound colors that will be demonstrated when you come in August.

Files available to download:

Hugga Full

Listen to these different tempos of Tap 25 for extra help:

Hugga Slow

Hugga Medium

Hugga Fast

Tap 25

Tap 25.pdf is a roll endurance exercise.  The goal of this is to maintain a consistent double stroke roll for 25 counts. Mallets will try to maintain a consistent scale pattern for 25 counts. Various scales should be used. Cymbal players should learn the snare drum part for now. There are 2 versions a sixteenth note version and a triplet version.

Files available to download:

Tap 25 Full

Listen to these different tempos of Tap 25 for extra help:

Tap 25 Slow

Tap 25 Medium

Tap 25 Fast

Timing Grid

Timing Grid.pdf is an exercise that uses two groups. The first group plays the top line (snares and tenors), the second group plays the bottom line (Bass Drums and Mallets). The cymbal players will provide the steady pulse for the correct execution of the rhythms. Cymbal players should learn the Mallet/Bass Drum line on the side while practicing by yourself. The objective of this exercise is to keep a steady beat  while playing the syncopated rhythms. You must subdivide in your head and place the notes at the correct time. The recommended sticking for this is to play 1,2,3,4 and all of their up beats on your right hand. The "e" and "ah" will all be played on the left hand. The first measure in the exercise is counted 1 and ah 2 and ah 3 and ah 4 and ah, the right hand should be placed on 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. The "ah" should be placed on the left hand resulting in this type of sticking: R RL  R RL  R RL  R RL. Another example of this sticking would be for measure 5 counted 1 e ah 2 e ah 3 e ah 4 e ah. The right hand plays on 1,2,3,4 and the left hand plays on e ah e ah e ah e ah.  In the second line of the music, parts one and two play a slightly different part.  Measure 9 of the first part is counted 1e 2e 3e 4e and part 2 is counted 1 e and ah (rest) and ah (rest) and ah (rest) and ah.  Part one is playing the notes on the first half of the beat (1 e) and part 2 plays the notes on the second half of the beat (and ah).  The next few measures has the 2 groups rotating around the 4 parts of the beat. When played perfectly, one part will subdivide the others part resulting in correct timing of the rhythms.

Files available for download:

Timing Grid

Timing Grid Percussion 1 - Snare, Quint, Cymbal

Timing Grid Percussion 2 - Xylophone, Bass Drum, Cymbal

Listen to these different tempos of the Metalica exercise for more help:

Timing Exercise Slow

Timing Exercise Medium

Timing Exercise Fast

Triple Roll Ex

Triple Roll Ex.pdf is an exercise to work on triplet rolls and triplet subdivision. Be sure to keep each stroke of the double stroke sounding the same volume. Mallet players should make sure the hands sound balanced throughout the exercise; whether playing single lines or double stops. Bass drums should keep subdividing even when you're not playing during a split part.  

Triple Roll Ex

Use the slow tempo versions as well.

Triple Mallet/Snare

Triple Snare/Quint

Triple Snare/Bass Drum

Triple Snare/Bass Drum/Cymbal


Duk-a-Duk.pdf is an exercise to build strength in your double strokes. It also helps develop the feel for swing style.  Be observant of the 3/4 measure. Observe the stickings; you'll spend some time doing all that with right hand alone and then left hand alone.

Duk-a-Duk All

Slower versions with individual instruments.

Duk Mallet Snare

Duk Snare Quint

Duk Snare Bass Drum

Duk Snare Bass Drum Cymbal