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Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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Excerpt from Drum Twisters

If you’ve ever watched a drumline perform, you will have noticed some fellas (or bellas) carrying around a whole collection of drums in front of them. These are commonly known as “quads” or “tenors” and can be anywhere from 4-6 drums arranged in a semicircle. Now then, these talented drummers quite often have to perform using crossovers. It seems only fair that we should be getting in on that action as well ...

Before we start digging in and tying ourselves in knots, it’s important to think about our technique. Crossovers work best when our shoulders are poised high (imagine a tennis ball is under both armpits), but movement is limited to positioning the arms only, and not being used as part of the actual stroke. Our elbows should be relaxed and as low as possible, so that the forearms will have more room to maneuver over each other without clashing. (If you sit far away from your kit, it might be a good idea to move in closer.) Finally, keep your wrists nice and loose, and make sure that they both have full movement at all times. Try to avoid having one hand directly above the other when striking the drums.

Let us, then, play around with some warmups next so that we can better get the individual crossovers down (right-over-left and left-over-right). Here are some straightforward patterns where one hand remains stationary while the other circles around the kit in a clockwise motion. Please note that a stick performing a crossover (above the other) is written in italics:




Owen Liversidge - Crossover 1

Awesome sauce! Now, we can look into switching up our crossovers so that we are using both in a single exercise. To do this, we are going to follow a different sticking pattern, as well as moving around the kit in both directions:

Owen Liversidge - Crossover 2

Speaking of alternate stickings, how’s about toying with some regular paradiddle patterns using single crossovers:

Owen Liversidge - Crossover 3

And just like before, we can ignite that fire from deep within by trying out some paradiddles using both crossover patterns:

Owen Liversidge - Crossover 4

Okay then, now that the fun and games are over, let’s piece together some exercises. We’ve messed around with the basic paradiddles, so that leaves us with these other variations. The left-over-right patterns are on the left, and the right-over-left patterns are on the right ... and that leaves nothing left, right? Also, we’re going to keep the crossover hand stationary this time while the lower hand moves around the kit
(warning, severe cramping ahead):

Owen Liversidge - Crossover 5