Pad practice to music?

Jonesy

Senior Member
Like most of you, straight pad practice to a metronome doesn't really do it for me, even though I know it's important. So recently I've been practicing basic rudiments like singles, doubles, triples, and paradiddles to music on my ipod. I'm not sure if this is as effective as practicing to a metronome because you can't control the tempo, but I think it has advantages over the metronome.

Firstly, when I practice like this, I try to play the rudiment that best fits the music. This keeps me on my toes, especially when I'm playing to bands like Lamb of God where there's a lot of rhythm and "feel" changes. Switching between paradiddle combinations, left/right sticking, etc. all fit in here.

However, sometimes I like to play "against the grain", like playing triplets over a straight 4/4 tune. This really helps me get a feel for the rhythm that I'm playing.

And then sometimes I'll just play straight through a fast song with 16th notes, which is essentially the same as practicing with a metronome but a little more entertaining.


Have you guys ever tried this? Do you think it's beneficial? Do you thinks it's better/worse than metronome practice? Let me know!
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
I think this is an awesome thing to do. Nothing replaces sitting on the kit, of course, but yeah, this helps a lot. I used to hate pad practice, so when I would do it, it would be a forced 20 minute or so session with lots of pauses, etc. I found that by doing what you are talking about, and basically coming up with a spontaneous "marching band" arrangement for the songs (meaning that I would play more as a snare drummer in a marching band would, than a set player, just playing the hi hat and snare parts on the pad), and then applying different rudiments, I could practice and have fun for hours.

Although I have gotten quite into just regular pad practice, I still find I do this from time to time, just because it's fun. I also believe it helped me when I got into marching band instruction and had to write parts for my drumline.
 

Jonesy

Senior Member
I think this is an awesome thing to do. Nothing replaces sitting on the kit, of course, but yeah, this helps a lot. I used to hate pad practice, so when I would do it, it would be a forced 20 minute or so session with lots of pauses, etc. I found that by doing what you are talking about, and basically coming up with a spontaneous "marching band" arrangement for the songs (meaning that I would play more as a snare drummer in a marching band would, than a set player, just playing the hi hat and snare parts on the pad), and then applying different rudiments, I could practice and have fun for hours.

Although I have gotten quite into just regular pad practice, I still find I do this from time to time, just because it's fun. I also believe it helped me when I got into marching band instruction and had to write parts for my drumline.
Pretending to be a marching band snare drummer is a good way to look at it actually.

And yeah, I actually to force myself to quit practicing today, hahaha.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I watch TV, and drum to the music on a pad. Plenty of time changes, styles etc. I just zone out, watch the movie, show, whatever and play whatever is happening.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
My pad is never far from me when I am relaxing in front of the tube. I play to the music of the commercials and the shows. It is the best way that I know to use this otherwise wasted time wisely. My wife can't stand it when I sit downstairs and play my pad while watching TV. She yells from the other end of the house "STOP IT, THATS ANNOYING!" Even a low volume drum pad can piss someone off. Being a drummer isn't easy sometimes!
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
My pad is never far from me when I am relaxing in front of the tube. I play to the music of the commercials and the shows. It is the best way that I know to use this otherwise wasted time wisely. My wife can't stand it when I sit downstairs and play my pad while watching TV. She yells from the other end of the house "STOP IT, THATS ANNOYING!" Even a low volume drum pad can piss someone off. Being a drummer isn't easy sometimes!
Yea i always find just sitting there watching TV to be such a waste of time, even if its a show i really like. Half the time while im watching im thinking "dam, i could be practicing drums and getting better rather than watch this amazing show! (probably during house or 24 or smallville)" But then i just get up and start doing singles with my left hand while watching and suddenly i feel fulfilled. :)
 

drumhead61

Gold Member
I've not tried what you are mentioning about the music because the metronome has not annoyed me as of yet, but I certainly have been found playing on my pad while watching TV and to this point my wife just sits there along side me without muttering a word...I LOVE THAT WOMAN ;-).
 

Zorlee

Senior Member
Pad Practise while watching a great movie/tv-series is awesome!
Of course, you HAVE to practise behind the kit a lot, but for the pure technique work (ala Stick Control etc.) I find it very nice to watch a DVD-box of say Dexter or Heroes, when I'm finished with the drum-kit practise.
I can go on for hours and hours, while my technique gets better AND I'm entertained by great TV-shows. It's just superb...

Not too popular when friends are over, so usually I'm doing it alone, haha! :D
 

stasz

Platinum Member
Oh yeah, I love playing on the pad to music. Sometimes I try singing along to the song while paradiddling with a low success rate. But still pretty fun.
 

That Guy

Platinum Member
Yes sir, I have no beef with your idea cuz I do it alot. As long as you keep the time all is well.
 

gusty

Platinum Member
meh, i dont see the advantage in playing along to music for me, i feel like im getting much more out of it when its to a metronome. but it works for you and thats great.

i love sitting down for an hour practising singles then half an hour of one of pat petrillios exercises, roll in rhythm. watching a movie is a great way to get through that, time goes really quickly and its enjoyable.
 

Crusto 62

Senior Member
I love practicing rudiments along to any kind of music ,my favourite is the six stroke roll. You can sing along to the tunes while you play.,
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Like most of you, straight pad practice to a metronome doesn't really do it for me, even though I know it's important. So recently I've been practicing basic rudiments like singles, doubles, triples, and paradiddles to music on my ipod. I'm not sure if this is as effective as practicing to a metronome because you can't control the tempo, but I think it has advantages over the metronome.

Firstly, when I practice like this, I try to play the rudiment that best fits the music. This keeps me on my toes, especially when I'm playing to bands like Lamb of God where there's a lot of rhythm and "feel" changes. Switching between paradiddle combinations, left/right sticking, etc. all fit in here.

However, sometimes I like to play "against the grain", like playing triplets over a straight 4/4 tune. This really helps me get a feel for the rhythm that I'm playing.

And then sometimes I'll just play straight through a fast song with 16th notes, which is essentially the same as practicing with a metronome but a little more entertaining.


Have you guys ever tried this? Do you think it's beneficial? Do you thinks it's better/worse than metronome practice? Let me know!
I have never tried this and I think I should. It sounds like you have found a great way to motivate yourself and improve your technique and try new things - and enjoy the music you happen to be listening to, as well.

Typically, I will put on headphones to learn a specific song that I have to learn, and it may or may not have a drum part. It sounds like you just play along to whatever is in your mp3 player, just for the fun of it.
 
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