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Old 01-16-2019, 10:03 PM
beatdat beatdat is offline
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Default A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

For the past year, I've been working through the first 3 pages of Stick Control and Mastering the Rudiments for Snare Drum on a regular basis. The results have been noticeable, but, like some, I still struggle with clean singles and doubles at faster tempos.

As such, I've come up with an exercise that I've found helpful for developing my singles and my doubles. I'm sure that most of you have done these exercises before, but I've found that it's the order and the tempo at which they're practiced that has been helpful.

It goes like this:
1) Set your metronome to a tempo at which you can comfortably play unisons (eg. 60 bpm), and play 16th note unisons for 3 minutes. After this, bump up the tempo a bit (eg. 66 bpm). and playing unisons for another 3 minutes. Keep bumping up the tempo every 3 minutes until your unisons begin to get sloppy (eg. 82 bpm);
2) Start at the tempo where your unisons began to get sloppy (eg. 82 bpm) and play 16th note inverted doubles for 3 minutes. Again, bump up the tempo until your inverted doubles begin to get sloppy;
3) Start at the tempo where your inverted doubles began to get sloppy and play 16th note singles for 3 minutes. Continue bumping up the tempo until they begin to get sloppy; and
4) Start at the tempo where your singes begin to get sloppy and play 16th note doubles for 3 minutes. Again, continue bumping up the tempo until they begin to get sloppy.
I do this about 3 three times a week (it takes about an hour each time), and I do it leading with my WEAK hand. In doing so I've noticed gains in my speed and control, which seemed to have plateaued until I started this exercise.

I think the reason this exercise works is because I find doubles easier to play faster than singles, singles easier to play faster than inverted doubles, and inverted doubles easier to play faster than unisons. By ordering the exercises in this way (ie. unisons to inverted doubles to singles to doubles), each exercise starts at a comfortable tempo and ends at a tempo where it no longer is, at which point the next exercise starts at a comfortable tempo.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Did it help?
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:01 PM
Craig J Craig J is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

this seems cool. what is an inverted double?
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:16 PM
beatdat beatdat is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

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this seems cool. what is an inverted double?
Instead of the normal double stroke roll sticking (ie. RRLL or LLRR), an inverted double puts the double in the middle (ie. RLLR or LRRL).

Check out Ex. 45 and 46 of Stick Control to see them written out in 2 bar phrases.

They are tricky to start, but are very helpful in developing the second hit of the double stroke to sound as close to the first hit as possible.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:23 AM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

Interesting. I haven't done this, but something I used to do was this:

Pick a tempo that is just about at your limit. Using only one hand, do singles for a minute. As soon as the minute is up, switch to your other hand. Repeat this as necessary until you can't keep up at all. Your forearms should be burning at the end of the minute. The rest period for the non-working hand gives recovery time, but not enough. Your hands will fatigue pretty quickly, but it helps build speed and made fast singles easier for me.

I don't have the patience to run rudiments for hours on end. This helped me a bunch. You can do it with doubles, triples, whatever you want. Just make sure you are controlling the stick and using full strokes.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:51 PM
JOKERRRR JOKERRRR is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

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Originally Posted by beatdat View Post
Instead of the normal double stroke roll sticking (ie. RRLL or LLRR), an inverted double puts the double in the middle (ie. RLLR or LRRL).

Check out Ex. 45 and 46 of Stick Control to see them written out in 2 bar phrases.

They are tricky to start, but are very helpful in developing the second hit of the double stroke to sound as close to the first hit as possible.
I'm sure that's called an inverted paradiddle?
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:40 PM
beatdat beatdat is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

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I'm sure that's called an inverted paradiddle?
An inverted paradiddle starts the same way, but alternates hands every 4 notes (ie. RLLR LRRL RLLR LRRL, etc.); inverted doubles repeat each 4 note pattern without alternating hands (ie. RLLR RLLR RLLR RLLR).

See Ex. 6 of Stick Control for inverted paradiddles.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:08 PM
JOKERRRR JOKERRRR is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

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Originally Posted by beatdat View Post
An inverted paradiddle starts the same way, but alternates hands every 4 notes (ie. RLLR LRRL RLLR LRRL, etc.); inverted doubles repeat each 4 note pattern without alternating hands (ie. RLLR RLLR RLLR RLLR).

See Ex. 6 of Stick Control for inverted paradiddles.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:58 PM
TMe TMe is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

I gotta say, I spent a ridiculous amount of time with Stick Control and learned to play all the exercises cleanly at tempos I was happy with.

Didn't make a speck of difference to my playing.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

Just saw this thread, gonna give it a try. Been meaning to get back in the woodshed and work on my speed.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:41 AM
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wipekitty wipekitty is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post

Pick a tempo that is just about at your limit. Using only one hand, do singles for a minute. As soon as the minute is up, switch to your other hand. Repeat this as necessary until you can't keep up at all. Your forearms should be burning at the end of the minute. The rest period for the non-working hand gives recovery time, but not enough. Your hands will fatigue pretty quickly, but it helps build speed and made fast singles easier for me.

I started doing this a few days ago - amazing. I'm already noticing an improvement in speed and technique. The idea seems to be the same as high-intensity intervals that athletes do as training exercises, but for drumming!
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:40 AM
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MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
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Default Re: A conditioning exercise I've found helpful for developing speed and control

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I started doing this a few days ago - amazing. I'm already noticing an improvement in speed and technique. The idea seems to be the same as high-intensity intervals that athletes do as training exercises, but for drumming!
That's pretty much it. The thing I found that really helped a lot was it helped focus on the single hand, making it easier to notice any weaknesses. Doing both hands at once is great too, but instead of focusing on evenness of both hands, you can analyze each hand individually.
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