Your practice time...pleasure to work ratio

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Meaning do you play to recorded music (pleasure) or work from a book or on your technique for instance.

I learned to play from records, but now all I do now is work on stuff. I haven't played to recordings in about 15 years.

My practice schedule...I don't have one. I just practice when I get the urge.

You?
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Although I have a nice drum kit set up ready to go, I never play it at home. I only practice when with other people which will either be at a practice studio for band #1, a guy's house for band #2, and at church. When band #3 was actually doing things, we would all practice at my house, but that doesn't happen much anymore. BTW: Band #1 practices every week for 2-3 hours. Band #2 only practices maybe once before a gig which isn't very often. I practice at church for a couple of hours every other week.

I never play with pre-recorded music anymore, but I enjoyed it when I did.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I'm getting old and been through a lot.

Playing along to records actually isn't all that fun for me. I put on a play-a-long once in a while, but it's usually for a very specific purpose or instead of a metronome.

I work on very specific things I want to learn or improve.

I never go through a list of things anymore. I work on only that one exercise on the list that I'm having trouble with.

Setting up a small practice kit has had many benefits for me, but the main thing is being able to focus on those things in short and more effective burst throughout the day. I make even my TV practice count by doing stuff that isn't wasted by that type of practice. It's just a pad and a ride on the left now to work on my left hand matched grip.

I sort of organize my practice in styles and work within a certain frame for a while. It's been swing + basic odd time stuff, mostly in 5 & 7 for a while. Upping my game inside those frames I feel has benefit all over as I can't just blow, I have to be present.

I always had a plan to get more into classical snare drumming, but finally I'm really motivated, so there's gonna be a great focus on that for a while.

Things that should be done on a real kit to be effectice I don't do elsewhere unless I have no choice.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Depends on my mood. Music is always playing, or at least a click (more OCD). Sometimes I will just jam out, and other times I will incessantly run patterns I want to learn over and over using the music as a time keeper. Sometimes it's incredibly frustrating. I've almost got the disco beat and sprang-a-lang jazz beat hybrid down, but that damned train beat is killing me.
 

Macarina

Silver Member
I practice practically every evening to heavy song rotation. My USB stick will only allow 99 songs, so I pretty much go through those songs in a couple of weeks and then replace them with a completely different set of songs.

Now these are my songs I've collected my entire life. So every song I enjoy in some respect vs. just playing random songs on the radio, I may not have heard or care about.

IMO, most songs play the same, but I do typically find something unique in a song to concentrate on. Many times, I've heard these songs plenty in my life time, but now I uncover something I didn't notice before.

This keeps me entertained and motivated for the last few years.
 

philrudd

Senior Member
If I'm honest, probably about a 10:1 ratio, pleasure over work.

I play with bands in rehearsals or gigs several times a week lately, which has provided a good amount of kit time, but at home I'm almost exclusively on drum pads (one for hands, one for foot).

Currently I'm having lots of fun with all the drumless tracks available on YouTube. I don't often seek out popular tracks with the drums removed; usually I just find an original track that I haven't yet played along to (god bless all those folks who record their own music and provide them as drumless play-alongs). It forces me to listen, to suss out the proper groove for each piece, and try different tempos/signatures/genres than those in my comfort zone.

I fit rudiments in regularly, but certainly not as often. Some days...well, dammit, I just don't feel like practicing, but I know I SHOULD. And those days, I just find a random drumless track, turn it on, and away I go. Before I know it I'll have spent a half hour in front of the pad, when originally I didn't even feel like picking up the sticks.

I figure just doing SOMETHING is immeasurably better than avoiding practice altogether, just because I'm not in the mood for drills...
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Almost 100% work these days. I have a routine of exercises I do every day. It changes over time, depending on what I'm trying to fix or work on. I make a point of going through that routine whether I feel like it or not, even if it's late at night or when I'm tired. It's like going to the gym, just pushing through it. I see more results when I repeat something every day over a period of time.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I'm about 90 % work. I love playing along with recordings, and that's how I learn some things. But I need to focus on exercises and coordination.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
All about the pleasure.

And 100% work.

I play along to songs that my band has recently added to our repertoire and songs that need to be kept well oiled, either because they contain techniques that challenge me or have a structure that I don't want falling out of RAM.

Occasionally, very occasionally I will slow a song down or use a metronome if a groove is not coming to me like I think it should
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I don't have a practice 'schedule' but when I practice its 95% work on a list of things i keep track of.

Only 1 of 7 -10 practices plays along to any song. I mostly only play along to songs with the band.
 

blinky

Senior Member
Work? I spend 99% on the pad, though I think I would benefit from playing to recorded music, which I only do when I have to learn a new song. I am about to put together a list of standards in jazz and rock and get som kit practice. I do believe that it's a good way to learn, used to do it all the time when I was young.
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
ALL practice is pleasure! I don't really work on anything "for fun" haha. I thrive on a more discipline routine, and get great pleasure out of working within that construct.

Mon-Fri 3-4 hours between Breakfast and Lunch

30 min working on one quarter page of Stick Control. Each Monday I switch to the next quarter, 4 week = 1 page. Once I do the book cover to cover I start over, increasing metronome speed.

30 min doing exercises & grooves to work out my hands and both feet. Lost of double kick stuff with the intent of getting both my feet on par with one another and not favor one side vs. the other.

2-3 hours typically learning/rehearsing material for upcoming gigs/session. I seem to always have a batch of songs from 2-3 bands on my plate at any given time. Currently I think it's about 30 songs split between 4 bands. Deadlines determine priority and time spent on each song.

Weekdays after 1pm and Weekdays 10-6 I teach lessons. Currently I have about 45 regular students spread out over 6 days a week.

Evenings after 9pm I'm typically locked into a 2-3 hour rehearsal or playing a local gig. Maybe an average of 1-3 gigs a week and 2-3 rehearsals mixed in. Sometimes with the bands I'm gigging for, and sometimes not.

This is my schedule on average. Obviously it doesn't account for times that I'm out on tour or booked on recording sessions.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
I'm of the opinion that every practice session should end with something fun. Because when you walk away from the kit you should be feeling good--that way you're more motivated to come back.

So imagine you're practicing some complicated technical exercise, and it's coming along, but you know it will be a while before you've really nailed it. You feel a bit frustrated because it's so hard, and maybe you're annoyed at yourself for not picking it up faster.

If you end your practice there, you'll probably feel lame at best, and possibly much worse.

But if, after that oh-so-hard exercise, you just play a little solo with no rules just for fun, or maybe you play along to a couple of your fave tunes, and then you end you practice, you walk away with a smile and a warm and fuzzy feeling about your drums.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I try to switch up what I’m doing a lot, whether I’m having fun or not. I don’t do anything for more than about 5 minutes.

Also, as time passes, I’m finding value in learning new stuff that is challenging to me. I still work on the old stuff too, but I really enjoy the challenge of learning new grooves, technical challenges, etc.. And I think they improve my playing overall as well. Plus it keeps me from getting stuck in a rut.

If something I’m having trouble with is really getting on my nerves, I’ve learned to slow it waaay down until I hit a tempo I can control it at.
 

vxla

Silver Member
Lately I'm at about a 15-20% success ratio in terms of having a good practice experience. I'm working through a lot of technical things across various instruments that I've ignored and decided to fix and it pays off, but I usually leave my studio more annoyed than before I got there.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Re: walking away from a practice session annoyed...

This is my goal. I know I was working hard if I come away frustrated.

When something is frustrating me, sometimes I will take a 5 minute break from the drums and try again. My subconscious mind is still working out the coordination block I'm having even when I am taking a break. When I come back to the drums, most times the block I was having is not as big of a block or is mostly gone.

So when practice feels good, awesome. If it felt bad, even more awesome is my attitude.

I'm in the camp of practicing the same thing for an hour. My mind will naturally stray in that hour, but I try and reel myself back in after I get whatever it is out of my system.
 

trickg

Silver Member
90% or more of my time is spent prepping something that I have to play, and very little time is spent on things that I like to play. I wish it wasn't like that, but I get paid for my efforts, so it is what it is.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I’ve been doing a mix of things. I’ll work on a technique, then apply it to a song, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

Been working on shuffles as an example. What better than to play along to songs with shuffles. If a drumless track exists, I’ll then move to that. Thought I had Roseanne in the bag, till I found the drumless version and learned how not to play the song.

Been working on a lot of feel and timing stuff too, so drumless Police songs have been the latest I’ve been dabbling in.

There have been other things too, like playing to gap clicks, sometimes just the beat and other times a big long mixed up fill to see if I come back on 1.

I do it all for fun and to clear my mind after a stressful day. No gigs at this point, hopefully some in the future
 

BruceW

Senior Member
Sadly, I don't practice nearly enough these days. Its all on me, anything else is just making excuses. I am busy with work and other outside interests, not even counting our gig time. I should be finding a way to squeeze in more actual practice time.

Nowadays the only time I really "practice" is when I need to learn new material for our bands. Not a terribly frequent occurrence. And that's not really practicing drums, that's learning new material.

Must do better.

To answer the question posted, if I practice at all, it's to recordings primarily. Probably should work on stuff from YouTube instructional videos, there are so many great ones out there.
 
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