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This book contains eighteen snare drum etudes that “hitchhike” along with other pieces of music. Each etude follows an excerpt of a different orchestral, chamber, solo, or recorded work—beat-by-beat, measure-by-measure—so drummers who come along for the ride can easily steal musical ideas to enhance their snare drum performances. I have always drawn from my musical imagination to color and shape my performances.
In my mind, Delécluse, Peters, and Pratt etudes have imaginary melody, harmony, and full orchestrations. This gives me a vast palette of colors, shapes, and articulations to try to model in my playing. These Hitchhiker Etudes explicitly explore this idea to make it easy for any performer hear more richly and perform more musically.
The first nine etudes are of a level similar to Mitchell Peters’s Intermediate Studies for Snare Drum or Anthony Cirone’s Portraits in Rhythm. The final nine etudes are of a level similar to Jacques Delecluse’s Twelve Etudes for Snare Drum.
How to play a Hitchhiker Etude:
1. Find a good recording of the source piece—preferably professional performers recorded professionally.
2. Listen carefully and memorize the excerpt.
3. Hear the source piece in your head while you play the etude.
4. Allow the character and inflections of the source piece to shape your performance.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony No. 41, K. 551, Jupiter, 4th movement
Johann Sebastian Bach, Concerto for Violin, Oboe, and Strings in C minor, BWV 1060, 1st movement
Robert Schumann, Symphony No. 3, Op. 97, Rhenish, 1st movement
Felix Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 3, Op. 56, Scottish, 4th movement
Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 2, Op. 43, 1st movement
Michael Jackson, “I Can’t Help It” from Off the Wall, written by Steve Wonder and Susaye Greene, produced by Quincy Jones
Franz Schubert, Piano Quintet, D. 667, Op. 114, Trout, 3rd movement, Scherzo
Olivier Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time, 6th movement, “Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes”
Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 2, 2nd movement
Antonín Dvorák, Scherzo Capriccioso, Op. 66
Sergei Prokofiev, Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 94,1st movement
Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson, Autumn in New York, written by Vernon Duke
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata No. 21, Op. 53, Waldstein, 1st movement
Johannes Brahms, Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34, 1st movement
Claude Debussy, String Quartet, Op. 10, 2nd movement
16. The Police
The Police, “Driven to Tears” from Zenyatta Mondatta
Steve Reich, Tehillim, 1st movement
Maurice Ravel, Jeux d’Eau