How To Play Clean – Drumline and Ensemble

Now I get COUNTLESS emails and messages daily from members and instructors looking how to get their Snareline to play clean or how to get their Ensemble to play clean.

First, without hesistation I ask what is their “Cleaning Process” or “Cleaning System” and in return I get a bunch of half-attempt answers.  Someone even replied saying that they just keep repeating until it’s “Clean.”


Look, there is no way to MAGICALLY play clean.  It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to clean up a Snare solo or you’re trying to clean your entire Percussion Ensemble, and take your playing seriously, like I know you do, then you always need some type of “System” or “Formula” in place.  Some sort of reference for when you’re not sure what to do ya know?

(BTW, STOP DOING THIS..Whether you’re an instructor, tech, or member, DON’T EVER just repeat for the sake of repeat or to just get another rep in.  Stop, address the issue during the rep, then try again.  I can’t believe some people think that actually works…)

So to put it straightforward and clear: if you don’t have a PROVEN and CLEAR system or formula, then chances are you’re WASTING A LOT of rehearsal and practice time.

You gotta have a system put into place that EVERY member can refer to.  Whether it’s your bottom bass or your 1st marimba, if you want to play clean, EVERY member has to be on the same page and understand HOW to play clean.

Does this make sense?

Anyhow, here’s my basic cleaning process and it goes in order of priority – meaning you can’t work on number 2 if number 1 isn’t established:

  1. Tempo
  2. Rhythmic Accuracy
  3. Balance

Each of the members in my ensemble KNOW that if we want a to play clean and successfully present our musically

correctly, then we have to have a system in place.

Each member knows that we HAVE to play in time, each count and bar for bar. Tempo is most important:  Period.

From there, each rhythm must be demonstrated properly not just from player to player but section to section.  If your drumline is playing 16 notes and your pit is playing 16 notes, shouldn’t those line up?  – Wow, genius!  ha. jk.  But seriously, keep a mental note of that.

And finally Balance.  What I mean by Balance is how well everyone blends their sound together.  If we are all playing roll, then ideally it should all be the same height and same volume right?  Again, not just from player to player but section to section.  You can have all the blend in the world but if your snare volume isn’t balanced with the quad volume, the part will NOT sound clean.  This was so hard for me to grasp at first but trust me, the more you experience blend, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Remember, in this activity we’re graded on how well we LOOK together visually and how well we SOUND together audibly and you can reach that perfectly if you follow the top 3 steps I just provided to you.

Last, if you want more info on how to play clean or how to get your section or ensemble to play clean, then go ahead and take a look at the top right of this page.  Right now, I’m offering one of my super close World Class – cleaning-done-for-you formula for FREE.   It’s a product of mine but I thought it’d be way cooler just to give it to you. :) In the guide, you’ll get a more in-depth breakdown of each factor in the how to play clean process and more thorough explanations and examples.  This is definitely some HIGH QUALITY material and I’d only recommend it if you’re totally serious about cleaning up

 your parts.

So look at the top right of this page, enter your best EMAIL address (a legit one, you do have to confirm ;)…) then click the YELLOW “Instant Access”  button to receive your FREE download of my Clean: Formula 20.0.

Like I said, this is an actual product of mine and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be offering this for free so take the 2 seconds, enter your best email and you’ll be all set for a FREE download.  How to play clean and totally broken down for you.  After you read it, you’ll be wondering why you were searching for “How To Play Clean” in the first place.  ;)

And after you download your FREE copy clean, let me know what you think by dropping me an email or comment.

Hope you got a ton of info from this quick blog post and even more from my Clean: Formula 20.0

Dedicated to cleanin yo parts,

Anthony Huerta


P.S.  Don’t forget to add your email to the top right of this site and click the get instant access button up top to get your free download.  :)

Also, have a cleaning technique or suggestion? Leave a comment below either by this site or via Facebook.

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