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  #1  
Old 07-11-2018, 04:44 PM
PickleRick PickleRick is offline
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Default How do you practice?

I have recently found myself in a position where I practice drums (my main focus), piano, transcription, and 4 mallet marimba technique. When it comes to drums, I also have several different things such as rudimental music, improvising, independence, etc.. Because of this, how (or when) I practice has been something I think about.

Specifically, do you or would you practice each thing each day for a smaller amount of time, or practice each thing on different days for a longer amount of time? Which do you think is better?
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:51 PM
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trickg trickg is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I'm probably not the best person to ask because I'm not the guy who works technique specifically. (I do on trumpet, but that's another matter) My practice is usually geared toward tightening my pocket, working on fluency, and working for consistency, and for that, I use a lot of backing tracks with a click.

Otherwise, my practice often revolves around my gigging - I work what I need to learn for the next gig. Since my "gigging" on drums is almost entirely church based where I'm playing contemporary Christian music, invariably I need to learn 3-4 new tunes on fairly short notice (often less than a week) so that they are performance ready by Sunday. That involves a lot of work just getting the tunes in my head - figuring out the base grooves, learning the song forms, working on transitions, and generally pounding the stuff into my head so that I know it well enough to execute it well on Sunday morning.

That's how I practice. Probably not ideal, but it is what it is.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:05 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Mix it up every day. Otherwise, your hands will have more trouble “switching gears”, so to speak. I try not to spend more than 5 minutes on any one exercise at a time, I usually play buzz rolls right after every exercise, to force my hands to switch gears, before I go on to the next one.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:10 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Whatever you do, do it to a metronome. A really great time/tempo sense is absolutely the #1 job of the drummer. If that's not down, the rest doesn't matter yet.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I do different lessons from michael schack for about a hour to 90 minutes a night and then play songs and have fun for another 60 to 90 minutes.. the hard part is making sure to practice and not just play.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:31 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I'm like trickg - my practice is centered on my working drumming. I play along to tracklists comprising the songs my bands play, and to learn new songs. I also have a tracklist that's songs that are fun to play, and another which is about 2500 songs from the last four decades that, placed on random, test my listening and "fly by instruments" abilities. I do a lot of metronome and click track practice.

When preparing for a theater gig it's equal parts playing with the soundtrack (if there is one), studying and noting the score, practicing instrumentation changes and/or electronics changes, and perfecting sticking for music not written by a drummer.

I make copious mental notes at gigs, and I will take bits of practice time to tidy up problem spots - to a click whenever possible.

Since buying LiveBPM I have incorporated it into my practice, rehearsal, and gigs 100%. It has been a great tool to understand my natural tendencies to rush or drag, and keeps me honest and on time.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:38 PM
Someone's Dad Someone's Dad is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PickleRick View Post
I have recently found myself in a position where I practice drums (my main focus), piano, transcription, and 4 mallet marimba technique.
I’m not sure I understand - are you asking how you should use your drum practice time or how you should spend your time practicing across all three instruments? Because I think the answers may be different. If you want to keep progressing on drums, piano and marimba, you should be aiming to pratice with each instrument every day. Of course life gets in the way and you may not have access to all three instruments at home, but regular exposure to an instrument is the best way to develop.

If you’re asking how to spend the time that you allocate to drumming, you may find that you make the best progress by concentrating on one or two aspects of drumming in a session and rotating what you concentrate on in each session. Really depends how much time you have. At some point you may have to drop focus on one of your instruments to concentrate on your main, but you should keep up all three for as long as you can.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:45 PM
motojosh motojosh is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PickleRick View Post
Specifically, do you or would you practice each thing each day for a smaller amount of time, or practice each thing on different days for a longer amount of time? Which do you think is better?
Similar to what Someone's Dad just posted, the literature on learning would say that consistent exposure to a topic or technique, even in smaller amounts, works better than large "study sessions" that are spread out. The average attention span for a given task is about 25 minutes (give or take), so the "best practice" for learning something new is to work on it for about that amount of time, then take a break and do something else. Two 25-minute sessions, separated by a different task or activity, will help a learner more than one solid 50 or 60 minute session.

Applying that to your situation, then, it would seem that practicing each thing (drums, piano, transcription, marimba) every day would be better than, say, drums on Monday, piano on Tuesday, etc.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2018, 07:53 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is online now
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Default Re: How do you practice?

If you are new, you should probably have a routine and a plan including all the basics.

The real answer is just that you should practice in a way that actually improves your playing. This will include practicing just a few specific things and working on music.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2018, 09:45 PM
PickleRick PickleRick is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someone's Dad View Post
I’m not sure I understand - are you asking how you should use your drum practice time or how you should spend your time practicing across all three instruments? Because I think the answers may be different. If you want to keep progressing on drums, piano and marimba, you should be aiming to pratice with each instrument every day. Of course life gets in the way and you may not have access to all three instruments at home, but regular exposure to an instrument is the best way to develop.

If you’re asking how to spend the time that you allocate to drumming, you may find that you make the best progress by concentrating on one or two aspects of drumming in a session and rotating what you concentrate on in each session. Really depends how much time you have. At some point you may have to drop focus on one of your instruments to concentrate on your main, but you should keep up all three for as long as you can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by motojosh View Post
Similar to what Someone's Dad just posted, the literature on learning would say that consistent exposure to a topic or technique, even in smaller amounts, works better than large "study sessions" that are spread out. The average attention span for a given task is about 25 minutes (give or take), so the "best practice" for learning something new is to work on it for about that amount of time, then take a break and do something else. Two 25-minute sessions, separated by a different task or activity, will help a learner more than one solid 50 or 60 minute session.

Applying that to your situation, then, it would seem that practicing each thing (drums, piano, transcription, marimba) every day would be better than, say, drums on Monday, piano on Tuesday, etc.
You guys answered my main question, I think I'll practice in sessions of about a half-hour in a sort of circuit. I am in highschool and once summer ends I'll likely drop piano and focus on marimba, drums, and transcribing, so that should help some in managing time.
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2018, 01:57 PM
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Ben Tama Ben Tama is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Most important thing for me is to get at least 30mins of practice each day. Above all else, this has helped me the most. Doesn't matter what I practice, as long as I consistently practice each day, that matters the most.

During practice I'll always practice different things and mix it up, as long as I can loop it at least three times perfectly, then I move on. I play grooves in between to loosen up.
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2018, 03:13 AM
AngusWilliams AngusWilliams is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I think the biggest thing is just sitting down and playing. Even somedays when I'm only able to sit down for 5 or 10 minutes, I've found myself having small "breakthroughs" in just a short amount of time.

From a bit of a theoretical perspective, I think drumming and all music is like language and is best learned in context, when possible (drumming lends itself especially well to this). So I think listening to music is important because it builds some sort of a catalog of possible sounds, rhythms, and patterns to play (just like a child begins to assemble a set of rules about language by listening to and interacting with caregivers).
Then, playing along with all of this different music is incredibly important. Picking random albums to just play along to has been one of my best learning strategies, and the more you are exposed to, the larger the repertoire you will build for yourself.
THEN, all of this listening and interacting (playing along with or jamming with friends) focuses any technical aspects you might need to have specific practice on (e.g., spacing of single stroke rolls, etc, foot independence, whatever).
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:50 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I don't practice unless there are tricky drum parts I need to work out before band rehearsal. Otherwise, I never practice. I learn about 3-4 times as much playing with others as opposed to sitting there and practicing fills and grooves that I'll never use. I need to practice my playing and singing at the same time more than anything, and I can only do that when playing with other people (or look and sound like a complete moron...or Wailin Smash).
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2018, 04:10 PM
rummy rummy is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I usually do the pad work fro 15 to 30 min, and spend the rest behind the kit.
I usually have 30 min to an hour each day to practice.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2018, 06:48 AM
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CommanderRoss CommanderRoss is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Gigging mainly as I play a lot with a few different bands. I love doing practice pad work as it keeps the hands fluid.
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2018, 01:30 PM
satisfiedwimp satisfiedwimp is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I usually warm up with just beating and synchronizing my feet and arms for about 5 minutes and start listening to every beat and make it work!
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2018, 04:30 PM
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No Way Jose No Way Jose is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

Last couple days I've been playing along with Bernard Purdie videos on Youtube. Just playing along. I always learn something from that guy.
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  #18  
Old 07-26-2018, 04:58 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I don't sit down with too much of an agenda when I practice. I just practice whatever comes to mind.

Practice is very personal. You have to find your own way that makes sense to you. Some people like to keep a log, I couldn't be bothered. I like focusing on just one thing at practice. For me, this is better than focusing on 3 different things in 1 practice session. I've become completely immune to repetition. Nothing to it. An hour straight on one thing is easy. Some people will cite scientific studies about how if you do work on multiple things, it's better. Well no one ever did a study on me. I've found that for me, sticking (pun) with one thing brings the best results. For me. YMMV.

Mainly my approach is to work on my hands, so there is as little loss between my brain and the actual sound as possible. I don't practice the songs I gig. I get more than enough practice on them at my gigs.

I'm not trying to steer you one way or the other. I'm just saying what works for me, so you can throw it in with all the other practice approaches.

Really anytime you play drums, it's a form of practice. Even when gigging. I'm practicing performance at gigs.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: How do you practice?

This changes all the time for me. Currently, here's my routine. I do this seven-days-a-week.

Play along with two chapters of the Great Hands For A Lifetime DVD, both of which are the group sessions where he and his students are all playing on pads together. The two chapters I play are Accents and the Intermediate Lifetime Warmup. That's probably almost 30 minutes of work right there.

I do about 10 minutes of sight-reading using the Syncopation book. I pick a random page, use the "random mute" setting on my metronome and pick a tempo. Why the random mute for a reading exercise? I find the reading can be a distraction when the metronome is off, so the random mute helps ensure my time isn't suffering while I concentrate on the reading.

I spend another 20 minutes "fun time" just working on my drum pad set. This can vary from day to day, including double bass and different musical styles depending on my mood. I sometimes play a jazz feel and trade fours with myself between playing time and soloing. I also use the random mute metronome during all of this.

This changes pretty often, but I've been doing the above for a few weeks now.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: How do you practice?

I like the mantra of "You should sound bad when you practice".

Wavering time, sloppiness, struggling with the coordination and so on.

You truly grow when you tackle your true weaknesses.

They should always take priority over the stuff that is 90% there and just needs a bit of polish.

Forget the blues song that you can almost play in your sleep, pay more attention to the jazz co-ordination exercises where you have to know when the snare and ride cymbal are played on their own and the points at which they play in unison. (Just an example I pulled out of my ass).
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