Sacrificing concepts during practice.

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I know you've promoted 1/4 notes at 40bpm for 40mins. I find the longer I practice one simple exercise (drumming or otherwise), the better I'm able to focus in general. Do you see any correlation between the two?
Most definitely.

I regard the 40 BPM thing as a meditation exercise, to clear my mind. Not an easy thing to do, clearing the mind. Everyone practices differently. When I am trying to open up to a new concept or trying to play a new thing for me, I try to turn it into a meditation exercise. It works for me, but I'm a little wacky.

IMO it's the clearing of the mind that is the real key to easier absorption. Kind of like a wet rag, you have to squeeze out the existing water so it can pick up new water.

All drumming...everything actually, starts in the mind. The state of mind is everything when it comes to life. It can propel you forward, beat you back, or allow you to remain unaffected. It mainly comes down to operator skillfulness.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
But I find that I have approx 2 hrs daily.
You lucky SOB!!!

Not in that order......but I feel I'm missing out on heaps of other stuff.
You are! In general, if I were your teacher, I'd suggest the following:

1. Get a gig. Any kind of gig playing music with other people, in front of people, is best. A casual "jam" or group "practice session" is cool, too, but real gigs are preferred.

2. Substitute a Wilcoxon book for Stick Control. Learn how to used rudiments together to make musical phrases. I like All American Drummer; the first few solos are challenging, and sound cool once you can play them at a decent tempo.

3. Instead of working on grooves from Groove Essentials, pick one or two of the play-along tracks and work on that. You may need to simplify the groove a bit (that's ok), but definitely follow the chart as you play the tune. Play the song from beginning to end without stopping.

4. Instead of "Song Challenge", try a "Transcription Challenge"! Pick one or two fills or grooves from a song, slow it down via YouTube or other software, and write out every note. Post it here if you want it proofed for accuracy.

5. Instead of buzz rolls, I'd suggest Rudimental Logic by Bill Bachman, to challenge how you work on your stick technique. Focus on exercises and warm-ups that use singles, buzzes, doubles, and paradiddle family rudiments.

6. Work from Syncopation, and apply it to the basic jazz ride pattern. Get that swing independence happening! The Art of Bop Drumming has a similar approach to swing independence, and explains itself more thoroughly.

7. Work out the Fat-Back exercises in Time Functioning Patterns. Start with simple 8ths on the hi-hat (right hand).

You don't need to go in a specific order. In fact, it's good to try a new thing every 5 or 10 minutes, and return back to something two or three times in a practice session.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Probably your problem is your general approach, it is hard for me to explain you what I mean with this, not because I don´t know how to explain you, it´s because you will have an impossible time to understand what I know, "from where" I´m telling you this...

When I read about rutines like yours, that are kind of usual, normally means YOU CAN´T READ MUSIC (the most important basic skill to play good).

Reading constant eights is not reading music, playing rock rhythms with constant 1/8 or 1/16 on the hi-hat is not READING MUSIC..., etc

I might be wrong, but let´s analise...(I will alter the order):

3) You are currently not working over "rudiments" you are just practicing doubles and singles...TRIPLETS are not rudiments (that´s a big alarm because it gives up your theorical knowledge)

1) Usually means you practice the first 3 pages (at most) which is playing constant eighths

2) Usually means you watch THE VIDEO and play a rhythms FROM there, or at most you have/copied the book and you read a few ROCK rhythms...no chart reading envolved (and if you do you´ll be the first in hundreds I know that do that), none of the "more sophisticated rhythms", that require some minimal reading.

That book is not an encyclopedia of rhythms, is some basic rhythms to be played along with the arrangement...

Best!

Alex.........thank you for your very detailed and clear analysis of my routine.

Your advice has been acknowledged. I have seen your skill level on YouTube and I am very grateful for your feedback.

It is very kind of you.

Yes........I need to change things.

Kindest regards Ben.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
You lucky SOB!!!



You are! In general, if I were your teacher, I'd suggest the following:

1. Get a gig. Any kind of gig playing music with other people, in front of people, is best. A casual "jam" or group "practice session" is cool, too, but real gigs are preferred.

2. Substitute a Wilcoxon book for Stick Control. Learn how to used rudiments together to make musical phrases. I like All American Drummer; the first few solos are challenging, and sound cool once you can play them at a decent tempo.

3. Instead of working on grooves from Groove Essentials, pick one or two of the play-along tracks and work on that. You may need to simplify the groove a bit (that's ok), but definitely follow the chart as you play the tune. Play the song from beginning to end without stopping.

4. Instead of "Song Challenge", try a "Transcription Challenge"! Pick one or two fills or grooves from a song, slow it down via YouTube or other software, and write out every note. Post it here if you want it proofed for accuracy.

5. Instead of buzz rolls, I'd suggest Rudimental Logic by Bill Bachman, to challenge how you work on your stick technique. Focus on exercises and warm-ups that use singles, buzzes, doubles, and paradiddle family rudiments.

6. Work from Syncopation, and apply it to the basic jazz ride pattern. Get that swing independence happening! The Art of Bop Drumming has a similar approach to swing independence, and explains itself more thoroughly.

7. Work out the Fat-Back exercises in Time Functioning Patterns. Start with simple 8ths on the hi-hat (right hand).

You don't need to go in a specific order. In fact, it's good to try a new thing every 5 or 10 minutes, and return back to something two or three times in a practice session.

Brentcn..........you have given me some real food for thought.

I'm a very lucky chap to be able to get advice from people on this wonderful forum.

Just a few things though

1) I am in a gigging band currently. I've played to some enormous crowds. But I think you are right about one thing. I need to get into a VARIETY of bands that play different styles.

2) I currently work out of the book of Groove Essentials and use the play along tracks. I'm on the Jazz section of the book and I refer to the poster to get the initial groove sorted, then I use the book and the play-along tracks to consolidate my learning.

3) I've just bought Todd Bishop's 13 Essential Sticking which has some fantastic rudiments and accents.

You have given me some real good advice.

Thank you to everyone.

Kindest regards Ben.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Something that works well for me is to stop every 3-5 minutes and do something completely different for about 30 seconds or so. Usually this is just buzz rolls going from soft to loud, but it can be something rudimental too.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Something that works well for me is to stop every 3-5 minutes and do something completely different for about 30 seconds or so. Usually this is just buzz rolls going from soft to loud, but it can be something rudimental too.
That's a great thought.

You know what?..... I'm going to try that tomorrow.

Thanks!
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Benthedrum, just curious, CAN you read music?
I can read and understand the grooves on the Groove Essentials 1.0 poster.

My proficiency is very poor.

So I can't just be given any written piece of music and play off the cuff straight away.

You can call me Ben BTW.

But I understand note values etc.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Can I just ask you something push-pull?

What do you mean by "it works for you"?

Thanks.
It’s easy to make slight changes to your grip/stroke/posture to make a specific kind of technical issue easier to play. However, the more extreme you make these little adjustments, the harder it becomes to “keep it all together” when you’re playing something that requires you to change things up a lot very quickly.

For instance, you’ll see a lot of folks change their grip to play buzz rolls, very noticeably. The same holds true for all kinds of stuff, though.

Switching between different things every 3-5 minutes helps you avoid this as much. Videoing yourself helps, too.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Push-pull....

I've just finished practice.

Something quite interesting has happened.

Mate, I was just doing some half time shuffles at about 60bpm.......

So I tried some spontaneous buzz Rolls, just off -the-cuff.

It didn't really make sense musically as they were all over the place.....

BUT......as I returned to the groove, my grip, something happened to my grip and control.

I actually felt 2 things change, albeit very subtle.

First......my sense of timing through the buzz roll really locked in to the click

Second.......I felt my grip become more relaxed but I had more control of the stick.

Where did you get that idea from?
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Push-pull....

I've just finished practice.

Something quite interesting has happened.

Mate, I was just doing some half time shuffles at about 60bpm.......

So I tried some spontaneous buzz Rolls, just off -the-cuff.

It didn't really make sense musically as they were all over the place.....

BUT......as I returned to the groove, my grip, something happened to my grip and control.

I actually felt 2 things change, albeit very subtle.

First......my sense of timing through the buzz roll really locked in to the click

Second.......I felt my grip become more relaxed but I had more control of the stick.

Where did you get that idea from?
I read about a study that found people progressed faster musically if they changed what they were practicing every couple of minutes. I am still testing it out, 2 years later. So far, so good.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Actually push-pull, this study that you've read, did it mention anything regarding the disparity between the concepts?

For example, as you've suggested, a buzz roll is vastly different than a half time shuffle at 60bpm.

Compare that to say playing a samba pattern spontaneously while laying down a basic jazz pattern.

I wonder if it's the degree of difference in concepts that improves musicality.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
You have to give yourself permission to focus on one thing at a time,
This is the main thing.

Marathon workouts are for people with nothing else to do and even then it's not something you want to do all the time.

Keep a log. That's not just about a daily routine. It's more for you have an overview and being able to make an informed decision on what your time would be most well spent working on.

Static technical exercises that require no thought are useless once you start being able to do them. You then want to introduce mental and musical components. Challenge your musicality, your time and feel during your practice. Takes very little adjustment to do.

Many fear of loosing things when they don't do a certain warm-up or routine they've been doing forever, but reality is that there's tons of overlap. If you want to improve at one aspect you have to put all your effort and attention towards that one thing. Most likely it will even improve your skills at those other things.

2 hours is plenty of time for a daily routine on any instrument, especially if you already have a lot of miles on the instrument. Make it a focused session and stop spending time on stuff you already know how to do.

As a note; I think it's well worth it to lay away play-a-longs and even the metronome for a time. Work at a tempo that you need to play something well and don't add any element that takes away your ablility to focus on exactly how your playng sounds and feels.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Odd-Arne Oseberg..........thank you for your time and consideration. Your advice is important to me.

Now it's just a matter of reviewing some of the replies, formulating a different approach and starting again.

I'm not sure if the feedback is going to just confuse me more...........but I posted this topic for a reason.

Looks like I've got some soul searching to do.
 

TMe

Senior Member
...So I tried some spontaneous buzz Rolls, just off -the-cuff... ...I felt my grip become more relaxed but I had more control of the stick.
I find the same thing when I'm working on roll rudiments. Things seem to go better if I alternate between playing them clean and playing them buzzed. I suspect the buzzed rolls force my hands to relax, and that reinforces a better grip.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I find the same thing when I'm working on roll rudiments. Things seem to go better if I alternate between playing them clean and playing them buzzed. I suspect the buzzed rolls force my hands to relax, and that reinforces a better grip.
This is spot on!

Marching bands will use "check" patterns -- a simple measure of, say, single-note triplets -- in between attempts to play flam accents. You'd play one measure of triplets (accenting the downbeat), then a measure of flam accents, then triplets again, and so on. During each "check pattern", you "check" your posture, grip, technique, which helps you to relax and maintain proper form, as you play the more difficult skill.

Any rudiment you attempt to improve, should be played alternately this way, with a check pattern. Bill Bachman's fantastic book Rudimental Logic, has lots of "builder exercises" that function this way.

In a larger sense, it's better to practice a skill for 2-10 minutes, then try another skill for a while, then return back to the first skill. If you have, say, five skills to practice, skip around every 5 minutes or so. Don't go in the same order, or stay on one skill for too long. Returning to a skill, fresh from a different skill, reinforces muscle memory and familiarity. Essentially, you will learn the skills faster, than if you have simply gone in order.
 
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