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  #1  
Old 05-11-2013, 04:30 PM
tcollins412 tcollins412 is offline
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Default Beginners practice regime

Hey there!

I'm relatively new to drumming. I used to play when I was younger, and then I couldn't play anymore. But now 6 years later, I'm picking it up again. I've been playing snare this year in school. An hour a day five days a week. I go to an art school so we practice a lot. I've been playing the set for about two or three months. I can read music pretty well. And I can play rock beats. I can't do fills to save my life, and my speed leaves a lot to be desired. I can't play and jazz or swing which I'm very interested in.

I have this practice regime that I'm going to start daily, with the occasional day that I might be a bit too busy:

Drum warm up (working from: http://www.onlinedrummer.com/forum/i...th-andy-ziker/) - 5 minutes

Excersises/reading
(working from: Ultimate Realistic Rock by Carmine Appice) - 25 minutes

play with time/reading drum charts/working with variations (working from: Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials 1.0 book) - 25 minutes

Fastest way to get faster (working from: http://www.drumeo.com/) - 25 minutes

Jazz (working from: The Art of Bop Drumming and Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials 1.0 book) - 20 minutes

100 minutes total practice time.

If anybody has any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. Thanks to all of you!
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2013, 06:12 PM
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Magenta Magenta is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

Hi and welcome :)

You really are serious about drumming, aren't you? I like that - good for you!

Now, I'm not a very experienced drummer myself, but I have spent a large part of my life teaching and learning, so I know a fair bit about that, and what I'd say is that I'm glad you are going to such lengths to educate yourself, but beware of being too rigid. Go with the flow a bit, depending on what is going well/badly on the day. Some days you'll find yourself playing beautifully and when that happens, why stop when you've done your allotted time? Or if you've done everything you wanted to, in half the time you expected, why carry on? Other days you'll struggle with something and when that happens, sometimes it's better to work it through and other times it's far, far better to leave it and come back another time.

I wouldn't be too hung up on the amount of time you spend doing certain things. Ten good minutes are worth more than a rubbish hour.

And don't worry if you don't manage to play every single day. I almost always manage to find at least a few minutes a day, but some days it isn't possible and other days I simply don't feel like playing. As far as I know, nobody has yet died because of it!

Re fills: forget about them. They'll turn up one day when they - and you - are ready, and the less you plan them and worry about them, the better they are because they'll play themselves. Trust me: I used to lie awake at night fretting because I couldn't do them. I can now.

Re speed: yes, of course you want to build your speed, but accuracy comes first. Don't be afraid to play slowly and perfectly. The more time you spend playing slowly and perfectly, the quicker you'll be able to play fast and perfectly.

Happy drumming!
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2013, 10:37 PM
MSPaintClock MSPaintClock is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

Hey man I'm chiming in with the last guy about fills, they'll come eventually with experimentation and learning how to groove.

When you learn how to groove a beat, the fills will come naturally because in order for a fill to be effective, they must also groove!

Learning to groove will take a long time, the best way to learn how to groove is to put yourself out there and go to open mics and ask questions, all the questions.

The best advice I can give you is that, even with the stuff you think you know, is take whatever it is slowly to a metronome and build it up. If your foundation is strong there's no way for your top to be shaky! It's like making a building, you don't build it on a bog and expect it to stay up forever. It's just going to sink and crash!

Lastly, get a teacher! If you do all this stuff, and have a teacher, you're putting learning on drums on basically easy mode.
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2013, 10:56 PM
mandrew mandrew is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

Generally it looks like a good regime. If you don't have a copy, get Stick Control by George L. Stone. Find a way to work it in, even if you have to replace something on your list for a while. Also, some days just make time to play what you like, without a book. Just let loose and work with what you have learned already. That keeps it fun! when it stops being fun, you will hit the wall.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

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Originally Posted by mandrew View Post
Generally it looks like a good regime. If you don't have a copy, get Stick Control by George L. Stone. Find a way to work it in, even if you have to replace something on your list for a while. Also, some days just make time to play what you like, without a book. Just let loose and work with what you have learned already. That keeps it fun! when it stops being fun, you will hit the wall.
^^^ Every word of this!

And I'll add, try not to rely too much on books. For the first 18 months or so, I couldn't play anything that wasn't written down. My playing was correct but sterile. It's much more fun to play correctly AND from the heart.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:20 PM
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lowdowner lowdowner is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

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Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
^^^ Every word of this!

And I'll add, try not to rely too much on books. For the first 18 months or so, I couldn't play anything that wasn't written down. My playing was correct but sterile. It's much more fun to play correctly AND from the heart.
This is an interesting comment.

As a beginner, I rely on both books and a teacher and i think my playing *might* get a bit sterile, but I don't know how I will learn enough technique to be free enough to play from the heart without the groundwork first?

Genuine question by the way - not a judgement or dig :)
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

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Originally Posted by lowdowner View Post
This is an interesting comment.

As a beginner, I rely on both books and a teacher and i think my playing *might* get a bit sterile, but I don't know how I will learn enough technique to be free enough to play from the heart without the groundwork first?

Genuine question by the way - not a judgement or dig :)
Fear not, I only go into middle-aged schoolmarm mode when I'll spontaneously combust if I don't.

I'm just about starting to acquire "feel". It bothered me enormously when I absolutely could NOT play anything unless it was written down, and my comfort zone was limited to rudiments. My teacher offered me plenty of opportunities to be less mechanical about things, but uptight is my middle name so I carried on trying to get my technique as good as I could, in the hope - like you - that one day I'd be able to play with more genuine facility.

And something did start to happen: I began to listen to the music, and I began to PLAY MUSIC rather than play drums, and even when I play rudiments they are much more nuanced. When I played grade pieces, I began to play what WASN'T written down: the interpretation, rather than the translation, of the dots on the page. One of the triggers, I think, was realising how rigid my right wrist was on the hi-hat: all the hits were even, there were no accents at all. I spent time slowly teaching my wrist to accent the downbeat, and now it does it by itself most of the time.

I play best when I let my limbs and kit get on with it and don't interfere. I'm much more confident now, and I play better, which makes me more confident, which makes me play better ... I also only play music I like, that I want to be part of, that is technically, musically and intellectually rewarding to me.

Gosh, that got a bit long! In summary, doing the groundwork was essential for me because I couldn't approach playing in any other way, but it did have its drawbacks and a less anal person may well be able to do the groundwork AND be freer at the same time.
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  #8  
Old 05-12-2013, 07:34 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magenta View Post
Fear not, I only go into middle-aged schoolmarm mode when I'll spontaneously combust if I don't.

I'm just about starting to acquire "feel". It bothered me enormously when I absolutely could NOT play anything unless it was written down, and my comfort zone was limited to rudiments. My teacher offered me plenty of opportunities to be less mechanical about things, but uptight is my middle name so I carried on trying to get my technique as good as I could, in the hope - like you - that one day I'd be able to play with more genuine facility.

And something did start to happen: I began to listen to the music, and I began to PLAY MUSIC rather than play drums, and even when I play rudiments they are much more nuanced. When I played grade pieces, I began to play what WASN'T written down: the interpretation, rather than the translation, of the dots on the page. One of the triggers, I think, was realising how rigid my right wrist was on the hi-hat: all the hits were even, there were no accents at all. I spent time slowly teaching my wrist to accent the downbeat, and now it does it by itself most of the time.

I play best when I let my limbs and kit get on with it and don't interfere. I'm much more confident now, and I play better, which makes me more confident, which makes me play better ... I also only play music I like, that I want to be part of, that is technically, musically and intellectually rewarding to me.

Gosh, that got a bit long! In summary, doing the groundwork was essential for me because I couldn't approach playing in any other way, but it did have its drawbacks and a less anal person may well be able to do the groundwork AND be freer at the same time.
I still think this is the right approach, though. Learning the fundamentals in this manner might come across as sterile and unoriginal but for the first few months at least, you're not necessarily in the position to express yourself and you're still learning the mechanics of basic playing.

I used to teach in Primary Schools and there is a difference between mechanically learning to write and being able to express through writing. You have to be able to mechanically write before you can start composing a story, right? That's not to say you shouldn't teach expression or encourage it at the earliest possible time - far from it - but if you're being hindered by your mechanical inability, then you need to solve those problems before you express ideas.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:03 PM
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Magenta Magenta is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
I still think this is the right approach, though. Learning the fundamentals in this manner might come across as sterile and unoriginal but for the first few months at least, you're not necessarily in the position to express yourself and you're still learning the mechanics of basic playing.

I used to teach in Primary Schools and there is a difference between mechanically learning to write and being able to express through writing. You have to be able to mechanically write before you can start composing a story, right? That's not to say you shouldn't teach expression or encourage it at the earliest possible time - far from it - but if you're being hindered by your mechanical inability, then you need to solve those problems before you express ideas.
That is an excellent analogy. But I couldn't "scribble" and I think that was a shame. I'm only scribbling now after I've learned calligraphy!
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2013, 03:44 AM
tcollins412 tcollins412 is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

Thank you all for your replies! I'll definitely work on this!
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2013, 06:05 PM
CCdrummer CCdrummer is offline
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Default Re: Beginners practice regime

Again, like others have said, get a teacher.

Your practice regime looks pretty good to me(but I am just relearning drums myself). A teacher will give you proper guidance and direction with the tools you have at your disposal.

For instance, I had stick control but other than just practicing the patterns in there, I didn't really have much of an idea to do with it other than start moving the patterns around the kit. My teacher now has me working on the first page, keeping time with left foot on 2 and 4, and playing straight fours on my foot. Then once I have mastered this, he suggested I gone on to using a bossa nova pattern on my right foot. I never even knew what a bossa nova pattern was before.
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