Mental exercises

Adcc

Junior Member
Hi gus,

Do you know any brain exercises on the drumset or without a drumset, probably exercises that need a large amount of focusness, that will make me a more focused player and be more aware of what i play as well as what's happening around me when i play with others?

One that i just started practicing is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XI2aHSBTnU
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
Truthfully any exercise should be given the proper focus it needs to me internalized. This is harder than it sounds but at the same time, there are many that do not even realize they are not focusing,

That being said there are many exercises that challenge you to focus. I don't know what style of music you are into but if you are into playing Jazz, the Jim Blackley material is well known and developed for this. I've just begun working on this and it's definitely a game changer as everyone who has been through it says it is.

Here's one I use for warmups and it may seem easy but focusing on everything you are doing is part of the exercise. The trick is to play very, very softly and be sure to let go of any tension.

Starting with click at 40 working up to say 110 bpm, play quarter notes on bass drum & 2+4 on hi hat - softly

Then play at least 16 measures of each without stopping:
* Whole notes
* Half notes
* Quarter notes
* Quarter note triplets
* Eighth notes
* Eighth note triplets
* 16ths
* 5 note groupings
* 16th note triplet
* 7 note groupings
* 32 notes

- Concentrate on the time and when moving from each note value - the transition should be as seamless as possible

- Play just on the snare drum at first then let your arms voice them around the entire set while maintaining the exact same volume - soft

Sounds easy but when done properly, can be a challenge.
 

Talismanis

Senior Member
If you can't join a wind/concert band and get experience reading charts, try getting a groove essentials book and following the charts in there, paying attention to timing and dynamics.
 

wsabol

Gold Member
On the subject of charts.. If you at least know how to read music, and have so blank staff paper, it a really good exercise to listen to some Mel Lewis orchestra or Count Basie or something and write out your own drum chart. You don't have to do notes/melodies or anything, but notate all the hits, kicks, places from fills, rests, crescendos, etc, so you could have something to drum by.
 

Talismanis

Senior Member
I should also note that if you get an opportunity to play in any band where you have to follow a conductor, take it. It may be hard at first (unless you already have experience, in which case sorry to belittle you!) but you'll learn a lot about paying attention to the music, the conductor's instructions to you AND his/her instructions to other sections, and about listening to the other sections.
It'll help you learn the place of percussion or drums in a musical environment, and how you can best add to the music.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Dave DiCenso has a book called universal rhythms. It involves counting while you play but the catch is you are have to count rhythmically using accents whilst playing beats and fills that either work with or against the rhythms. It's not easy!
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Hi gus,

Do you know any brain exercises on the drumset or without a drumset, probably exercises that need a large amount of focusness, that will make me a more focused player and be more aware of what i play as well as what's happening around me when i play with others?

One that i just started practicing is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XI2aHSBTnU
That was the one I was going to recommend. It's a powerful exercise.
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
One that i just started practicing is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XI2aHSBTnU
I like that - setting up a clear set of rules. So simple and obvious ... and so rarely comes to mind.
They say that imposing limitations is freeing, and it's true - limitations create structure, which creates clarity. Clarity reduces doubt ... so once you are clear in your aim you can go for it - freely :)

I'm fairly sure that made no sense at all.
 
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