Planning out your practise routine

burn-4

Senior Member
Hi guys,

Trying to really hit practising hard this year and improve my drumming as much as possible!

Problem I'm having is how to plan out my practise time.

I know what I want to practise (bass drum technique, independence, shuffles, jazz and left hand + foot strengthening) and I have various exercises for improving each (bass drum for example; playing a samba pattern with the feet at various tempos or shuffling with the bass drum and moving around the placement of the 2 triplet partials) but I struggle to have some cohesion to it all.

Basically I do say a samba for 5 or 10 minutes then think "yeah this is sounding ok" then sort of leave it at that- it's not like I'm aiming for something and once I reach it I am like "YEAH ok I made some real progress on that!"

Also once I have done one thing like the samba I then don't know should I play the triplet thing for another 10 minutes say? I have loads of things to practise but can't seem to get a structured programme where I am doing x minutes on this exercise then x minutes on the next and making steady progress on all fronts.

In the end I just start playing to covers and trying out new fills (a valid part of practise I know but not great at moving forward technically).

Anyway sorry to ramble just curious to see if any of you guys have the same problem and what sort of ways you have counteracted them?

Thanks in advance,
Ben
 

burn-4

Senior Member
I've just realised when I notate fills I like and learn them I love the satisfaction you get from finally nailing them!

I guess that's what I need to try and replicate throughout working on the other things that need attention!
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
That's why I prefer to practice using books, practicing exercises from books gives you clearer, defined goals and you get a big sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you actually get the exercises down. I supplement books with play alongs to various recordings so I can expand the concepts and apply them in musical settings.

The best way to plan out a routine is to get a teacher, he'll put you on the right path so you can adress your weaknesses and work on them.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
The best way to plan out a routine is to get a teacher, he'll put you on the right path so you can adress your weaknesses and work on them.
+1 on the teacher :)

You can also do a "shopping list"...

You write down what you want to improve on a short term basis, long term basis and routinely, and stick to it, with a timescale dedicated to each topics, however, you don't necessary need to work all the items from your list at each practice session, you can define different topics on different days, it will give a more in depth approach to each topic you wish to work on, you can of course add new items to the list. :)

Hope this helps.
 

drumkat

Senior Member
My time is limited as I work 12 hr shifts in Intensive Care Medicine...so, my routine is usually based on 1) the kit and 2) individual components. Allow me to explain:

I spend about half an hr taking some rudiments and playing them to a metronome SLOWLY....these rudiments are played incorporating the bass drum...so my foot gets a work out and steadily improves my facility around the kit using rudiments.

Every exercise I do I lead with my left hand...any exercise written with a right lead, I reverse it.

I spend the next half an hr working out of stick control, paradiddle power or master studies and play them around the kit...again with a metronome and slowly.

After that hr is finished....I go downstairs and fold up my daughters blanket over my practice pad/stand and spend the next few hrs mixing up some basic sticking patterns while watching a documentary, The Simpsons or Scrubs.

I get my "feel time" and "musicality time" from jamming with mates around the place.

Personally, I feel personal practice time is better spent working on technique
 

burn-4

Senior Member
Thanks for the replies. As for the teacher it's kind of difficult because I'm already making a living from drumming and to find someone REALLY good I would most like have to travel to London which is a good 4 hour drive each way from where I am situated so unfortunately that's not really an option.

Books are a good idea, so too the shopping list thing- I suppose writing it up helped me realise where I was going wrong!

Are there any particular books you would recommend for improving the techniques I mentioned below?

Thanks
 

drumkat

Senior Member
I have found that STICK CONTROL has so many applications. The first few pages (5-11) really gets you going.

You can use the patterns for your feet as well.

If you are a single pedal player, the L notation can be done with the hihat.

You can also break the patterns between hands and feet.

It can be a real challenge.

I play 'em slow with a metronome.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
+1

It took me a while to understand why many keep posting "Stick Control" recommendations, now I'm a believer, too. Depending on which hand/foot/drum element you're assigning to the L/R notation, but also the playing speed of course, the exercises in "Stick Control" will be anything between ultra easy and extremely difficult/challenging. Just a handful of those exercises keep me busy for quite some time if I'm experimenting with various ways of implementing them. This book lets you learn/practice a whole lifetime - if you let it.
 

G-2

Senior Member
I have found that STICK CONTROL has so many applications. The first few pages (5-11) really gets you going.

You can use the patterns for your feet as well.

If you are a single pedal player, the L notation can be done with the hihat.

You can also break the patterns between hands and feet.

It can be a real challenge.

I play 'em slow with a metronome.
+1 on STICK CONTROL, works for hands and feet.
 
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