restart from the beginning?

bigA415

Junior Member
so recently I have become more and more into technical and dynamic drumming. i have been drumming for a few years now and while i would say that my technique is decent, its not amazing. iv been working on stick control and rudiments but im overwhelmed by the amount of material and i am concerned that i might not be practicing ever exercise correctly. I can obviously play single strokes and paradiddles at a pretty decent speed but i never learned to practice them at an extremely slow speed like many people recommend. the question is, should i go back and relearn everything at an extreemly slow pace, or can i get buy just slowing it down to a moderate speed, in hopes of increasing my clarity and percision?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The slower you go the more precision you will develop. If you have to ask...."Can I just..."
just figure NO. It's not easy, it's not supposed to be. That's what makes it great. Start over from the beginning and do it slow. If you can't play it slow, you can't play it fast, cleanly.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
If you can already play them, then aim to apply them musically. This way you'll play them through a range of tempos depending on what the application is.

Newer players are encouraged to practice slow so as to learn the action and memorise the pattern. Quite often the tendancy is to 'run before you can walk' and the desire to rip them out at speed is too much of a temptation.....this means often times control can be sacrificed in an all out assault to play them faster.....just like their favourite drummers do.

It never hurts to revist slower tempos etc to ensure they are clean. But it seems pointless to go back to 50bpm and stay there just for the sake of it. If you've already got even and controlled singles, doubles and diddles happening then practice at different tempos (slow, fast and everything in between), practice them through different subdivisions and above all....make them musical.
 

bigA415

Junior Member
thanks! thats what i was thinking but the problem is that i feel like my overall playing could be cleaner and i feel like my initial learning process was sped up. i guess im just wondering if i can make them "cleaner" without starting from square one.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
i guess im just wondering if i can make them "cleaner" without starting from square one.
Maybe not all the way back to square one.....but back up a few paces and see how they sound.

Personally, once I can play them (this goes for any rudiment or pattern) then I try to practice them through a variety of tempo ranges and subdivisions. That way, when I want to employ them on the kit, (hopefully) there is little thought put into it....I want 'em to just flow.....whatever the tempo.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Maybe not all the way back to square one.....but back up a few paces and see how they sound.

Personally, once I can play them (this goes for any rudiment or pattern) then I try to practice them through a variety of tempo ranges and subdivisions. That way, when I want to employ them on the kit, (hopefully) there is little thought put into it....I want 'em to just flow.....whatever the tempo.
+1 on the different subdivisions! You might be able to rip paradiddles at a good clip, but can you think in triplets while this is happening? To quote Jojo Mayer: how fast can you hear? When practicing different subdivisions, keep time with something (your right or left foot, a metronome, song on the radio, etc.), and practicing shifting from one subdivision to another without stopping (eighth notes to triplets, for example).

Also, move the accent through the paradiddles, to gain even further control over your stick movements. By this we mean play the paradiddle with the accent of the first note for one measure, then with the accent on the second note of each paradiddle, then the third, then the fourth, at a slow tempo without stopping. Pay attention to upstrokes, downstrokes, taps, and full strokes as they occur.

It's cool that you can play paradiddles, but can you also play through all of the paradiddle family of rudiments (single, double, and triple paradiddles, and paradiddle-diddles) in various combinations? Practice switching from one paradiddle rudiment to the next without stopping. Note where the accents fall in relation to the quarter note pulse; can you make up a musical exercise by combining paradiddle rudiments?

I agree that slowing down for its own sake is a necessary first step, but after that, you should slow down so that you can focus on different aspects of your technique, or add challenges to things you can already play at a decent speed. Also, you can see how your technique must change subtly when playing the same thing at different speeds.
 

bigA415

Junior Member
thanks for the responses!brentcn- i am rather fluent in the ruidiments (i just posted those few as an example) and i can play many different variations of them, however, i was more concerned with the clarity as i may have rushed the initial learning process. how long would you recommend spending on say a paradiddle variation before you work it up to speed?
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
how long would you recommend spending on say a paradiddle variation before you work it up to speed?
As long as it takes! When I was learning rudiments, I focused so much on basic rudiments (singles, doubles, flams, and paradiddles) that it took far less time to get accustomed to say, the triple ratamacue, than it did for the "basics". Same with the paradiddle inversions. When there's some overlap between the exercises, you'll pick them up quicker, and as your technique grows, so too will your ability to acquire new skills.

Now if you're asking if you should slow down because you're not happy with the quality of your playing, then you should record yourself and listen back. Practice on a pad with a mirror and see if your stick heights are consistently where they should be. If there's any room for adjustment, slow down until you can make that adjustment, and then push the tempo a bit. No need to play at 50 bpm if you can fix what you need to fix at 70 bpm. Just be as objective as you can be.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
If you can play something really slow, perfectly and relaxed then tempo is often just a mental thing, so in that regard I personally recommend playing things slowly and at different tempos all the time, both new and old material.

Different dynamics and tempos often rquire a change in technique and it's nice to be able to change that effortlessly and you do that by targeting eg. tempos where it might be hard to choose one or the other and see what fits musically.

I don't really go for speed, I go for dound and feel and have a long standard routine that is sort tied in with my morning and evening meditations. As a part of this, I don't play anything faster than I can really hear and feel and I put twice as much attention to leading with my weak hand.
 
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