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Old 09-14-2018, 07:59 PM
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Mastiff Mastiff is offline
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Default Fast doubles for multiple measures

I've been spending a lot of practice time trying to dial in my doubles and have made a lot of progress in the last 6-9 months. One thing I have going on is that I can play good sounding doubles at reasonably fast tempos (for me, that means 180-200 bpm 16ths), but I tend to "lose it" if I try to keep it going for more than a few measures. I think it comes down to my hand/arm position not resetting exactly right so I eventually get into a slightly weird position with my wrist twisted or something.

I wonder if anyone even knows what I'm talking about and/or has a suggestion for how to work past it, besides just continuing to practice, which I am.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

16ths at 200 is a pretty good clip. All I can say is stay as relaxed as you can without losing the control you need. How do you play them? Mostly finger control?
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:31 PM
beatdat beatdat is offline
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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Originally Posted by Mastiff View Post
I've been spending a lot of practice time trying to dial in my doubles and have made a lot of progress in the last 6-9 months. One thing I have going on is that I can play good sounding doubles at reasonably fast tempos (for me, that means 180-200 bpm 16ths), but I tend to "lose it" if I try to keep it going for more than a few measures. I think it comes down to my hand/arm position not resetting exactly right so I eventually get into a slightly weird position with my wrist twisted or something.

I wonder if anyone even knows what I'm talking about and/or has a suggestion for how to work past it, besides just continuing to practice, which I am.
Tempo wise, I'm probably in the same place as you when it comes to speed. What I've done to improve my doubles are two things in particular:

1) Drop the tempo enough so that you can maintain clean doubles for at least one minute with absolutely no tension (some burning in the forearms is fine). Once you can do that, keep practicing at that speed until you can maintain it for 10 minutes - that's right 10 minutes! After that you can increase the tempo incrementally 1 or 2 bpms a week. I'm sure a lot of the respected drummers here will tell you how important developing control and endurance are when it comes to increasing speed. One of the goals is to develop muscle memory, but first you have to develop the muscles themselves (hence why you feel the burn); and

2) Do this leading with your weak hand all the time while practicing. Don't worry about your lead hand not getting enough practice - chances are it gets enough work in other parts of you practice routine and your playing in general. Your doubles (and singles for that matter) are only as good as your weak hand, so until it's as equal to your strong hand as it can be, you'll probably see very little improvement.

There are other things you can do as well, such as practicing really slowly (I'm talking 40bpm or even slower), accenting the 2nd stroke of the double or displacing the double by one stroke (i.e. RLLR RLLR or LRRL LRRL instead of RRLL RRLL or LLRR LLRR). Another one is to get a thick gel pad and play on that to help develop your wrists.

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

200 is still really hard to be honest. I can reliably do half measure spurts at that tempo. But yeah, fingers, no buzzing, press roll type stuff (had to unlearn that). At 160-170 it is finger plus wrist, then above that it needs to be arm motions plus fingers. At least that's how I've evolved. It's consistent with what I've seen Bill Bachman teach I believe, though in Tommy Igoe's video he demonstrates 230 or so with more emphasis on fingers - super impressive to me.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Good ideas, thanks. Sometimes it's painful to give up hard earned speed, even though I know it will pay off in the long run.

By the way, another good idea I've heard along the lines of second stroke accent is to start with a lone single at the start of the measure, so the the second double is on &2&3 (e.g. RLLRRLLRRLLRRLLR...) you will naturally not want to de-emphasize those, so it comes a bit more naturally than purposely trying to accent.

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Originally Posted by beatdat View Post
Tempo wise, I'm probably in the same place as you when it comes to speed. What I've done to improve my doubles are two things in particular:

1) Drop the tempo enough so that you can maintain clean doubles for at least one minute with absolutely no tension (some burning in the forearms is fine). Once you can do that, keep practicing at that speed until you can maintain it for 10 minutes - that's right 10 minutes! After that you can increase the tempo incrementally 1 or 2 bpms a week. I'm sure a lot of the respected drummers here will tell you how important developing control and endurance are when it comes to increasing speed. One of the goals is to develop muscle memory, but first you have to develop the muscles themselves (hence why you feel the burn); and

2) Do this leading with your weak hand all the time while practicing. Don't worry about your lead hand not getting enough practice - chances are it gets enough work in other parts of you practice routine and your playing in general. Your doubles (and singles for that matter) are only as good as your weak hand, so until it's as equal to your strong hand as it can be, you'll probably see very little improvement.

There are other things you can do as well, such as practicing really slowly (I'm talking 40bpm or even slower), accenting the 2nd stroke of the double or displacing the double by one stroke (i.e. RLLR RLLR or LRRL LRRL instead of RRLL RRLL or LLRR LLRR). Another one is to get a thick gel pad and play on that to help develop your wrists.

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:58 PM
beatdat beatdat is offline
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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Sometimes it's painful to give up hard earned speed.
If you can only last a measure or two at a particular tempo, can you really say that you've earned that speed?

I get what you're saying, but sometimes a little self assessment and humility can do wonders for improvement.
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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in Tommy Igoe's video he demonstrates 230 or so with more emphasis on fingers - super impressive to me.
I'm currently working through the Advanced Lifetime Warmup in Tommy's Great Hands For A Lifetime and I'm finding it's great for building up endurance with rolls. Even at 180 bpm, long rolls are the thing that joins all the different exercises, so it's a good workout. Plus the triplet rolls are really fast and one of the hardest things for me to get clean at that tempo.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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If you can only last a measure or two at a particular tempo, can you really say that you've earned that speed?

I get what you're saying, but sometimes a little self assessment and humility can do wonders for improvement.
Agreed. It's the self assessment and humility that is painful... And the admission that I've spent the better part of a year on this and can only do 160 persistently.

On the other hand, I'm not trying to be on a drum line. I want this stuff for fills and flourish, which seldom requires more than half a measure. I'll keep pushing the top end for this purpose and the slower persistence for general proficiency.
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Old 09-15-2018, 03:11 AM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Slow down, play relaxed, and if you get sloppy or tense slow down some more... if 180-200 is your "MAX" that means you are probibly clean and precise at 140-160 I bet.

I play CLEAN perfect doubles much slower than my max, work on muscle memory at those speeds and increase by 1 bpm every few days/week. even at that rate you will be flying in a year, and playing good for long periods.. EVERYONE, myself included tend to practice too fast when we learn stuff.

"perfect practice makes perfect"

also record yourself with your phone on video and play it back, you'd be amazed how your technique looks when you play it back. Even when I feel i have things dialed in, when I play it back you can really hear it from an outside perspective and it is quite humbling.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2018, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Thanks for the input. The only kind of concern I have is that I think the technique for doubles needs to subtly (or not so subtly when transitioning from wrist strokes) change as you speed up. If I sit back at 140 or 150 I might be practicing something that is a bit different from what needs to be done at 180. Kind of like jogging a lot when you want to learn to sprint.

I'm not saying it's not good advice. And I intend to work on long durations with control among other techniques. In the context of working up to fast singles I've heard the advice of doing little sprints from 16ths and gradually increasing their length, maybe on a Drumeo video. That's the other tack I've been taking to speed up my doubles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beyondbetrayal View Post
Slow down, play relaxed, and if you get sloppy or tense slow down some more... if 180-200 is your "MAX" that means you are probibly clean and precise at 140-160 I bet.

I play CLEAN perfect doubles much slower than my max, work on muscle memory at those speeds and increase by 1 bpm every few days/week. even at that rate you will be flying in a year, and playing good for long periods.. EVERYONE, myself included tend to practice too fast when we learn stuff.

"perfect practice makes perfect"

also record yourself with your phone on video and play it back, you'd be amazed how your technique looks when you play it back. Even when I feel i have things dialed in, when I play it back you can really hear it from an outside perspective and it is quite humbling.
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Learn Three Camps and play it five or more times a day. In a few months whatever you're trying to accomplish will sort itself out.
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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Learn Three Camps and play it five or more times a day. In a few months whatever you're trying to accomplish will sort itself out.
Looks like a great exercise, thanks.
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:34 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Solos like Three Camps are great. Keep in mind while youíre working for a faster tempo: CONTROL + ENDURANCE = SPEED. Playing slower than your max tempo will give you the control to play evenly and execute your strokes correctly and cleanly. Playing just below your max tempo for an extended period, will give you the strength/endurance to eventually up the tempo.

I like using musical solos to work on this stuff - itís easier to apply what youíre working on, to a real world situation when youíre on a gig. And, you can create exercises within the solos, to pinpoint problems or challenge yourself. Try taking that first measure of Three Camps - play it really slowly before gradually moving up the tempo. When you max out, note how long you can play at that tempo. Drop the tempo and play it over and over for a much longer duration - eventually youíll be able to raise your max tempo...
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Yeah, working on stuff more musically certainly helps me. I find it harder to do exercises that require extended machine like repetition, which is probably part of the reason I "lose it" when trying to go on and on. The mind just kind of wanders off.

Lots of good ideas in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornelius View Post
I like using musical solos to work on this stuff - itís easier to apply what youíre working on, to a real world situation when youíre on a gig. And, you can create exercises within the solos, to pinpoint problems or challenge yourself. Try taking that first measure of Three Camps - play it really slowly before gradually moving up the tempo. When you max out, note how long you can play at that tempo. Drop the tempo and play it over and over for a much longer duration - eventually youíll be able to raise your max tempo...
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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The mind just kind of wanders off.
After a point, this is actually a good thing. Let the body take over and just do it. Sometimes thinking just gets in the way.

I don't know if you have seen the movie Tin Cup, but it's about a pro golfer who all of a sudden can't hit the ball straight. At one point his caddy tells him to put all his change in his left pocket, untie one shoe, and turn your hat sideways. Now hit the ball. He did and the ball went straight. When he asked why, the caddy said it was because you are standing here looking like an idiot. You aren't thinking about the ball, you just hit it. I'm paraphrasing of course, but there is truth to not overthinking things.
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Old Yesterday, 03:42 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

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Originally Posted by Mastiff View Post
Thanks for the input. The only kind of concern I have is that I think the technique for doubles needs to subtly (or not so subtly when transitioning from wrist strokes) change as you speed up. If I sit back at 140 or 150 I might be practicing something that is a bit different from what needs to be done at 180. Kind of like jogging a lot when you want to learn to sprint.

I'm not saying it's not good advice. And I intend to work on long durations with control among other techniques. In the context of working up to fast singles I've heard the advice of doing little sprints from 16ths and gradually increasing their length, maybe on a Drumeo video. That's the other tack I've been taking to speed up my doubles.
I see your point. But every bpm is very subtle. Yes the difference between 140 and 200 is different, but the difference between say 160 and 162 wouldn't be much. so as you increase and get it tight at the next step for a while continue going up and it WILL come.

practicing at a speed where it isn't consistent is going to cause bad habits, and start using a bounce instead of a stroke. (I did this while learning everything too fast) In the last few years I went back to zero and started practicing slow and what a difference I have in clarity and precision.

Don't get me wrong. after a long practice session I'll still rip for a bit because its fun, I just don't practice at my max tempo. It all helps, but if you are getting tense or sloppy by the end drop it down.
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Old Yesterday, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Try spending some time practicing on a towel. A towel draped over a practice pad will eliminate some rebound (but not all rebound) and force you to work that much harder. You can fold the towel to increase resistance.

Here's a routine to try utilizing this approach, but be warned - this is grueling work and is just as much of a mental exercise as physical:

Play doubles on a towel (folded twice) for 5 minutes. You should start at a comfortable, yet challenging tempo (try 160-180+). Once you can complete the given tempo (doesn't need to be perfect. We're chasing the effort) bump the tempo up 5 BPM. If you fail to complete 5 minutes, do as long as you can. You may repeat this routine up to 3 times per day, but start with just 1. Your goal is to find your problem tempo and work on that until you can do 5 minutes. Again, don't chase perfection here, but rather intensity.

This workout should fatigue the fingers in forearms (primarily the forearms). Do not allow your upper arms or chest to tense up (lower the tempo if need be). Give it a try for three weeks and let us know your results!

Best,
Connor
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Old Yesterday, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Practice exactly what's hard. Longer duration in contex....at various tempos.
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Old Yesterday, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Fast doubles for multiple measures

Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?
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