Mind Matters: Overcoming Mental Barriers in Drumming - Anybody?

kettles

Gold Member
I can't stand most modern drum sounds.

I love the old 50 and 60s jazz records.

Well I guess the remasters of thos records.

Drum sounds are all sounding the same these days.

Too polished and nothing that when you listen,you can actually smell the wood of the drums.

I mean when does an audience all put their heads 2cm from the head of each drum?

LMAO.

Drums sound farking awful now.

Love those old jazz records and Bonham ,well noone will touch his drum sound.

P.S. in a miserable mood from practicing the same old shit so a bit gnarky lol.
Agree totally.

And go practice some new shit. I learned to do some semi-complex foot ostinato shit recently and it's the most fun I've ever had drumming.

When I say semi-complex, I mean it took my brain a good two or three hours just to play the ostinato with my feet and then play some of the simpler stick control patterns over top. it sure wasn't easy. I then spent another couple of weeks trying to do Syncopation exercises over top. So all up it has taken me at least a month to get comfortable with it. Now I can improvise fairly freely while keeping the feet going. From here I need to keep working on the same stuff, introducing new ideas, and approaches to actually playing a solo as opposed to just wailing aimlessly. I'm by no means a 'master' but I am slowly getting closer to where I want to be. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would be playing this stuff I'd have told them that it sounded like too much hard work. Which was exactly right, but for some reason I decided I needed a serious challenge and did it.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I have the book but things have been a bit crazy of late so I have started it yet.

Kettles, if you want something that digs into the psychology of playing in real time, go to YouTube and search on this:

hal galper masterclass

He's great.
 

kettles

Gold Member
I f I was born positive,I'd have a wife,kids and live happily ever after being a session musos with gigs every week.

Anyone else like me or am I the only one in this forum?
Setting goals and positive are also covered in the book.

While you can find that kind of info anywhere, this book relates it to drumming, something tangible that we understand.
 

kettles

Gold Member
I have the book but things have been a bit crazy of late so I have started it yet.

Kettles, if you want something that digs into the psychology of playing in real time, go to YouTube and search on this:

hal galper masterclass

He's great.
Thanks Pol I'll check that out :)
 
Agree totally.

And go practice some new shit. I learned to do some semi-complex foot ostinato shit recently and it's the most fun I've ever had drumming.

When I say semi-complex, I mean it took my brain a good two or three hours just to play the ostinato with my feet and then play some of the simpler stick control patterns over top. it sure wasn't easy. I then spent another couple of weeks trying to do Syncopation exercises over top. So all up it has taken me at least a month to get comfortable with it. Now I can improvise fairly freely while keeping the feet going. From here I need to keep working on the same stuff, introducing new ideas, and approaches to actually playing a solo as opposed to just wailing aimlessly. I'm by no means a 'master' but I am slowly getting closer to where I want to be. If anyone had told me a year ago that I would be playing this stuff I'd have told them that it sounded like too much hard work. Which was exactly right, but for some reason I decided I needed a serious challenge and did it.
Can only practice with my pad.

Never had a proper room to practice in.
Get so envious of all the kids with rooms.


I have no car so I can't go anywhere.

My drumkit is at my gf's place.
It's pretty beat up and the hardware is effed.

Pearl Maple shells Masters Custom.

But it's seen better days and my cymbals are all heavy and sound lousy.

Lost the seat to my drum stool so am sitting really low on a plastic step up.

Used to have a Brady before that .

I get on the drums and play the same old beats.

Usually Brand X type stuff Phil Collins style but without the musicality.
I just throw in adrandom fills from the top of my head..
Can' tdo the stuff Vinnie does in a million years.

But drumming is the only thing I'm good at in life even though I'm not great just good.

Might selll myself at Grey street to get a new Gretsch Catalina kit.

THe only kit I could actually remotely afford.

LIfe sucks.
 
I have the book but things have been a bit crazy of late so I have started it yet.

Kettles, if you want something that digs into the psychology of playing in real time, go to YouTube and search on this:

hal galper masterclass

He's great.
I just noticed one of his comments"the technique is in the brain" which is what I've been preaching in here.

If you're born with the lucky dip ,you will go much further.
The rest of us can go jump from a bridge.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I just noticed one of his comments"the technique is in the brain" which is what I've been preaching in here.

If you're born with the lucky dip ,you will go much further.
The rest of us can go jump from a bridge.
Dude, you're clinically depressed, as you probably already know. Have you seen a Dr?
 

eric_B

Senior Member
There is some interesting free stuff around on the net. I've been reading this guy's stuff recently. It's meant for classical musicians, but the principles apply across the board

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/how-to-make-performance-anxiety-an-asset-instead-of-a-liability/

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/how-many-hours-a-day-should-you-practice/
Starting at 36 years old 3 years ago, I also have trouble finding time to practice, to improve and to use my time as efficiently as possible.

That Dr Noa posted some interesting articles. Among others, she says to practice deliberately, stay focused on every note you hit.

However, being a more logical kind of person, I often find (and was told) my problem is I think too much about what I play, over analyze it and therefore don't play as relaxed and 'groovy' as I can, have some timing problems and miss certain fills, quick doubles with the kick, etc.

So I still don't know what is better: trying to stay very focused while playing or not at all.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
eric,
it's like many things in life - it's the balance which matters.

Sure technical stuff has to be practiced in isolation to make it happen and incorporate into one's playing, but (at least in drums) relaxation is also very important. I know some people don't agree with this but as soon as some technical stuff starts to work for me I would practice while watching a video or the TV often times (has been working for the el. guitar for me for the last 21 years, and also for drums for the last 14 months). In fact, practicing several hours a day is quite challenging to avoid getting bored so being distracted (or entertained) to a certain degree isn't detrimental, maybe the opposite. Doing multiple stuff keeps my mind busy enough to _not_ pay attention to every note, but there's still my ears so part of my mind is monitoring what's going on sonically and I have immediate feedback on wrong notes/dynamics/grip etc.

A huge part of learning an instrument is automatisation/muscle memory. In my experience learning the correct motions has to be done with a focused mind. AFTER that the process of speeding up and getting the hang of technical stuff can be done on a 'lower mind level'.
 
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Alex Jadi

Member
I know some people don't agree with this but as soon as some technical stuff starts to work for me I would practice while watching a video or the TV often times (has been working for the el. guitar for me for the last 21 years, and also for drums for the last 14 months). In fact, practicing several hours a day is quite challenging to avoid getting bored so being distracted (or entertained) to a certain degree isn't detrimental, maybe the opposite. Doing multiple stuff keeps my mind busy enough to _not_ pay attention to every note, but there's still my ears so part of my mind is monitoring what's going on sonically and I have immediate feedback on wrong notes/dynamics/grip etc.

I don't agree. Our number 1 focus is our playing while we practice and perform. Everything else (TV for instance) is just distracting and makes you play not as well as you should. I engage you to read Rythm Knowledge 1. Great book which deals about crucial practice tips for every musicians.
 

Liebe zeit

Silver Member
I don't agree. Our number 1 focus is our playing while we practice and perform. Everything else (TV for instance) is just distracting and makes you play not as well as you should.
I don't agree at all. Practicing, or at least the part where you;re trying to get things right, should be concentrated and conscious. But as you move towards performance you should strive to make it unconscious and relaxed. Practice and performance should be treated quite differently
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Alex,
in real life I just don't have the time to do those things consecutively. Call it time management, multitasking. I practice double bass several hours a day while working at the PC. I'd never have the time to fill in those, say, 3 hours as a separate focused time block, it's just impossible. As I said, this 'TV practice' approach is working great _for me_, and for _21 years_. (That is, 21 years electric guitar, and 14 months of drumming.)

Didn't Todd Sucherman say on his 1st DVD that he practiced like mad to get his chops down while watching the tv, doing phone calls, whatever...? Just to put in practice time whenever possible. I can 100% understand that. It takes an awful practice time to acquire technique. I've gone through this on one instrument, mentally I can't stand investing another 10-15 years to learn drums, it would simply kill me. I want to learn motions to a degree to 'fire them away' automatically. I like shredding on the guitar. Much of this is automated motions. Do you have to be concentrated to perfect automation? BTW, I'm an autodidact and I LOVE being flexible with when and how to practice. I'm doing this intuitively. Sometimes whether I'd grab a pair of sticks or the el. or acoustic guitar is a matter of mood, not of some practice schedule.

I've watched a few of your videos... Man I admire your dedication to focused learning. This is just not exactly the way I prefer or which works for me. Although the time spent is similar, the structure differs though.
 

kettles

Gold Member
Is there a distinction between practicing for precision, and actually 'working out' ie, practicing for speed and muscle development and maintenance? I mean if you're going to work on a complex rudimental piece, or some 4-way polyrhythmic magic, then focused, undistracted practice is how it should be done. But if you're purely working out your hands on a pad so you can play blastbeats or fast single strokes, I think watching TV while doing so is fine. If I understand correctly, that's where Arky is coming from.

My teacher and I talked about this and he feels the same way. He watches rugby while doing his daily hand workout, which is just that - a workout. (He also can't fit his marimba and tympani in his living room !)
 

Alex Jadi

Member
There are no rules. Do what you want and if you're happy with that it's all good.

As I said, focus is crucial and I know some tips to fight boredom (which is the number 1 practice killer, so we have to have good weapons, heh). I seriously doubt Mike Mangini and Virgil Donati (for example) practice with TV or computer or whatever ;) .

I just trust the RK philosophy because I know it works.
 

kettles

Gold Member
There are no rules. Do what you want and if you're happy with that it's all good.

As I said, focus is crucial and I know some tips to fight boredom (which is the number 1 practice killer, so we have to have good weapons, heh). I seriously doubt Mike Mangini and Virgil Donati (for example) practice with TV or computer or whatever ;) .

I just trust the RK philosophy because I know it works.
What are your tips to fight boredom?

I'm really keen to get hold of this RK book too.
 

Alex Jadi

Member
- Incorporate as many senses as you can.
- Focus on click and timing
- count out loud (not only the time but also the reps...we need serious concentration to count 100 reps accurately, nope ? )
- Focus on technique and motion and sound.
- Even if I focus on my hand technique (for example) I try to incorporate my feet (easy pattern suffice) just to keep them busy.

All these tips make the reccord process more efficient.

But before that you have to know why you practice to keep up the motivation and the hardwork. I'm maybe not the best example but check out Travis Orbin who stick with RK philosophy for years in his daily routine, his results are more than obvious ;-) .
 
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