Playing Technique 3

Course Number: MUS-146DL Credit Hours: 2

Course Description

The Playing Techniques 3 course is designed to continue addressing proper limb motion, balance, coordination, time and timing and sticking processes. Selected topics include finger technique, more Group 1 & 2 sticking exercises, Group 3 sticking, more flam rudiments, roll development, and foot ostinatos & control.  Prerequisite: Playing Techniques 2.    

Ralph Humphrey

Ralph Humphrey is one of Los Angeles’ most demanded studio drummers, recording for TV, motion pictures, albums and jingles. His most recent projects include Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Charmed, Piglet’s Big Movie, Star Trek Enterprise, The Simpsons, ABC 50th Anniversary Special, Far From Heaven, Coca-Cola, and Ping golf clubs. His past touring and recording experience includes the Don Ellis Big Band, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Akiyoshi-Tabackin Big Band, Al Jarreau, Manhattan Transfer, Seals and Crofts and Free Flight. He can also be heard on album projects by Wayne Shorter, Tom Rainer, Mike Miller, Jeff Richman, The Outsidemen, and Babaghanoush, among many others.

Ralph is the author of the drum book Even in the Odds and contributes occasional articles to Modern DrummerMagazine.

See the Ralph Humphrey page at

Lesson 11

  1. Introduce and demonstrate the use of the fingers in technique
  2. The two-stroke motion
  3. The three stroke motion
  4. The four-stroke motion
  5. Constant motion technique
  6. Combine all motions

Lesson 12

  1. Apply hand to hand and Group 2 sticking to phrases
  2. Apply foot ostinatos to the above phrases in 4/4
  3. Apply foot ostinatos to the above phrases in 12/8
  4. Apply flams to hand to hand and Group 1 sticking phrases
  5. Continue with foot control

Lesson 13

  1. Apply hand to hand and Group 2 sticking to 2-bar phrases in 4/4
  2. Apply foot ostinatos to the above phrases
  3. Apply hand to hand and Group 2 sticking in 12/8
  4. Apply foot ostinatos to the above patterns
  5. Continue with open and closed roll development
  6. Introduce the flam paradiddle rudiment
  7. Continue with bass drum control

Lesson 14

  1. Apply a hand to hand sticking to accent phrases
  2. Apply a Group 3 sticking to accents phrases in 3/4
  3. Apply foot ostinatos to the above patterns
  4. Apply flams to hand to hand and Group 1 sticking phrases
  5. Introduce the flamacue rudiment
  6. Introduce hand and foot combinations

Lesson 15

  1. Apply hand to hand and Group 3 sticking phrases in 12/8
  2. Apply foot ostinatos in 12/8 to the phrases
  3. Apply flams to hand to hand and Group 2 sticking phrases
  4. Introduce the 4-stroke ruff
  5. Introduce single stroke roll development
  6. Continue with hand and foot combinations

Hardware & Equipment Requirements:

You will need:

  • Practice pad, stand, and sticks
  • Blue Yeti microphone
  • Webcam
  • Desktop or laptop PC or Mac with speakers, running the most up-to-date versions of Google Chrome or Firefox (see “Software Requirements” for more info)
  • Video/audio recording software, such as iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker
  • Recommended: Drums (acoustic or electric)


Software Requirements:

Operating Systems

  •         Windows 7 and newer (users on Windows 10 need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  •         Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
  •         Linux – chromeOS

Mobile Operating System Native App Support

  •         iOS 7 and newer
  •         Android 4.2 and newer

Supported Browsers

Canvas, our online learning platform, supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. As of March 12, 2016, we support the most recent versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge (Windows only—please make sure your operating system is also current as noted in the computer specifications lesson; you may need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to submit Canvas assignments)
  • Chrome 54 and 55
  • Safari 9 and 10 (Macintosh ONLY)
  • Firefox 49 and 50 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 22 and 23 (for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements).

Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but you are still seeing the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies. Learn how to clear your cache on a Mac or a PC.

Required Components

  • Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing as well as uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas. Please note that some browsers, such as Firefox, may no longer support Flash.
  • The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Please note that some browsers do not support Java. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.

Screen Size

  • LACM Online is best viewed at a minimum of 800×600, which is the average size of a notebook computer. If you want to view your courses on a device with a smaller screen, we recommend using the Canvas mobile app.

Computer Speed and Processor

  • Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Internet Speed

  • Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
  • Minimum of 512 kbps

Screen Readers

  • Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
  • PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer)
  • PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
  • There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome