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And now for the ADVANCED LEVEL!

For this final level of warm ups, I'm focusing on fast playing skills. Now let's be real--ALL students want to play as fast as they can to show off how fast they can play!!! It's fun, it looks cool...the problem is of course, that anyone can wave mallets in the air, but it's all about what you are intending to strike and play AND how many times. THAT is what these warm ups are for. I always start my players off very slow so brains and hands can begin the "communication" process and allow muscle memory to begin.

PREREQUISITE: These warm ups are for students who are very comfortable playing with their right and left hands. And it's good that they have a basic knowledge of music theory (rhythm values and how they correspond to the beat).


To begin, I have students play a C scale, playing each note on the beat.

Once they come back down the scale we switch the quarter notes to eighth notes; after that we move on to a triplet variation; and finally end with a sixteenth variation.


The arpeggiated warm up is a fun challenge! Again, go as far as your instrument allows. I put a rest in between each set of notes as we ascend the scale. Here’s how the pattern goes. Make note of the sticking pattern:

I like to have students workout both their dominant and non-dominant hand. So coming back down, I like them to switch their sticking pattern:

In the video I made, I do the ascent and immediately do the descent. You do not have to do it this way; you can have students play just ascending the scale and work on the descent another time. You may want to share this video with your students so they can practice it at home and then try it as a group in class.


This is the one that all players (including me) think makes them soooooo cool! Walt Hampton uses this pattern as well in his music and it is super FUN! It's a triplet pattern going up the scale with no rest. Again, note the sticking pattern:

How I would introduce this warm up is to have students practice each spider pattern 4 times on the C-chord, rest for 4 beats and move to the Dm chord and do it again 4 times and so on.

And then coming back down the scale, the sticking pattern switches up.

This has been a fun, fun series to present and I hope it is helpful to whoever reads this. What are some warm ups that you use? Or if you are new to this, is there a skill that you need your students to develop? Let me know and we can talk about making a video for them!

~Sabrina Silva

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