Approach to voicing/practicing a new sticking around the drum-set?

Lukey G

Member
If there is a topic on this please direct me... a case of myself over-thinking again perhaps??


Anyway my question is with this process when you have a new pattern/sticking you want to practice around the drum-kit how methodical does this approach have to be to expand vocabulary, or is it just a matter of time actually playing the pattern? When you find a voicing you like is it good to stick with that one for a fair while, then find another one and mix it up with that? Then start a groove... play your ideas... etc etc.

Does anyone tend to write their best ideas down on paper? Or does that make the process all a bit too mechanical. Like when I play a new pattern/sticking and learn it.. the aim is eventually feel free with it and be able to express yourself when the time is right, maybe in that musical scenario or in a drum solo?? Writing best ideas down just seems all a bit too predictable when you come to play the pattern and it just doesn't seem right for drumming which is like an art form, not saying it's wrong, just my opinion, I'm curious if people do this though?
 

Grumpyone1

Junior Member
Don't let this bog you down dude... there is no right or wrong answer. You seem flustered over something that doesn't need to be flustered over!

Basically with experience (I don't know how experienced you are), you can tell before playing a pattern where it might sound best, with which particular dynamics (accents).

The logical way to start with a pattern is to just take one note and take it to a floor/rack tom... then the second note and so on. But that's just something you could do. Basically it's just a matter of experimenting and eventually you will naturally play the best things that pattern creates.

Obviously don't forget to use accents/dynamics... as that is where you often get the most joy out of any pattern and where it sparks to life.

As regarding to writing ideas down on paper.... it's really personal preference.... I can see how you might think it is a bit mechanical because you're almost pre-playing the pattern.

For me personally it's not a case of writing the best ideas down for a particular pattern.... you can memorise them... especially with experience like I mentioned earlier, you almost will know as soon as you see the pattern the best ways to play it round the drums.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
If there is a topic on this please direct me... a case of myself over-thinking again perhaps??


Anyway my question is with this process when you have a new pattern/sticking you want to practice around the drum-kit how methodical does this approach have to be to expand vocabulary, or is it just a matter of time actually playing the pattern? When you find a voicing you like is it good to stick with that one for a fair while, then find another one and mix it up with that? Then start a groove... play your ideas... etc etc.

Does anyone tend to write their best ideas down on paper? Or does that make the process all a bit too mechanical. Like when I play a new pattern/sticking and learn it.. the aim is eventually feel free with it and be able to express yourself when the time is right, maybe in that musical scenario or in a drum solo?? Writing best ideas down just seems all a bit too predictable when you come to play the pattern and it just doesn't seem right for drumming which is like an art form, not saying it's wrong, just my opinion, I'm curious if people do this though?
If there isn't a clear answer, you're probably not asking the right question.

No, drummers, for the most part, don't voice a particular sticking on the kit in thousands of different ways to find what works, while writing them all down. There are some common, more practical approaches, though.

1. Most rudiments are played with accents (although it's not required). Place the accents on to different sound sources (toms, crashes, hi-hat, ride), and play the remaining unaccented notes on the snare.

2. Split the hands. Use a different sound source for each hand. Perhaps add some bass drum to what the right hand is playing, listen for groove potential.

3. Take advantage of singles. Practice moving all single strokes in a rudiment to a different surface.

4. Split the doubles. This is rather difficult to accomplish at high rates of speed, but it's often done. Try it with Swiss flams.

5. Study other drummers and their licks. Definitely, definitely write those down on paper, so you can see the sticking, voicing, and dynamics.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Edit to #4: Splitting doubles, when playing flam rudiments "flat" (i.e. play a unison instead of a flam) is a good move. Splitting the double of a paradiddle, for example, is quite difficult, and not usually that useful or sonically pleasing (never say never, though).
 
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