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Old 04-21-2016, 11:22 PM
Chromatic Chromatic is offline
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Default Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

Hey guys,

I was the typical "born to play drums" kind of person,.. banging rhythms out from basically birth. Father was/is a drummer and eventually bought me a full size ludwig kit at the age of 7,.. Didn't have any lessons, thus self taught (essentially put on music and learned by ear as many do). Fast forward to my early 20's,.. I finally got 'serious' with a great group of musicians and formed a band, where we rented a large place to rehearse/practice and played some local gigs , primarily covers,.. for 2-3 years - Then a typical lead singer argument and poof goes the band. After this, the drums went into storage and I didn't really play anymore.

I've always wanted to get back into it -- but couldn't play a live accoustic set due to noise where I live -- and I researched electronic kits until I found the one I thought was best for my purposes.

So a week ago or so my Roland TD-25KV came in and I added DW equipment to it, hi-hat, double bass pedal, etc.

Here's my dilemma. I want to 're-train' my stick technique primarily. As my technique I have always used was just random -- worked fine, but I know it's limiting my drumming.

So I've been forcing my left hand to hold the stick between the index finger and thumb only while playing to build strength and control with it. The right hand can already do this quite easily. When I mirror my two hands and practice what I consider a 'good' technique the right hand is already fairly adept at picking it up, left hand will take some work.

So any of you been in similar circumstances? Have advice? For the 'quickest'/'best' stick technique learning style have any links/advice?

It's hard for me not to jump in and start shaking off the rust more and more with my already existing style, like riding a bike. So, for anyone who has chosen to do this yourself -- What things did you do to keep it interesting? How long did it take for the proper technique to take hold to where it felt natural and you could play at full speed without having to *think* constantly about your hands?

My intentions now are to enjoy myself,.. and I have other musicians around the world who are going to collaborate with myself to write songs and I'll provide the percussion/drums. So nothing too serious, but I would like to really raise my level of play and I think going back to fundamental stick technique is really the first step to allow this.

Thank you for any advice, tips, personal experience etc.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:56 PM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is online now
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

All of us that came back after a break have experienced this. Dom Famularmo, teacher, clinician extraordinaire, has a book out, The Weaker Side, which is designed to help with the off hand and foot. check it out. And nothing comes fast
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:33 AM
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newoldie newoldie is offline
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

Bill Bachman's Extreme Makeover and website is one of the best, clearest and easy to follow sites on the web for lessons in hand/stick technique.
You can never have too much of that in your collective abilities.

http://www.drumworkout.com/
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:36 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

+1 to the Bill Bachman recommendation.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

Along with the things others have said, when I started playing after 30 years off I started just as others suggest but used as many Youtube videos as I could find from real professionals. Dave Weckle and Ian Paice were two that helped me a lot.

But I would also suggest spending up t half of the time behind the kit playing to music you like. Do your technical work for half the practice and then try to apply what you were working on while playing to songs you enjoy. Keep it fun!
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:44 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

For technique, you're better finding a teacher that specializes in technique.

They are the most hands on lessons ever and you'll have someone watching you and making adjustments to your hands/fingers/wrists and arms but with practice your technique improves.

When you reach that point when you don't grip the stick but control it, it's an achievement but it takes years to get there. If you've ever seen Jim Chapins holding a fledgling speech.......

I was self taught technique wise until I was 19, doesn't sound so bad but I learnt at 4 so you don't really remember the basics. When I learnt Moeller it transformed my playing.

From personal experience when you start, technique releases more speed but in the long run and more importantly it stops all the aches and pains.
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:05 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

One last recommendation.

You mentioned that you work on online lessons and you have an eKit. The single greatest $30 purchase I have made is a gooseneck clamp for my iPad.



You can watch the online videos while you sit at the kit.
You can play along to drumless tracks
You can use it as a transport (logic remote) to your DAW.
You can smoke a blunt, set your module to some futuristic laser kit, and practice over hypnodrone

The most important part is that you're seated at your kit with your sticks in your hands while taking an online lesson, and do not have to move about to stop/start/pause vids.
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromatic View Post
My intentions now are to enjoy myself
Others here much more qualified than me can advise you on technique acquisition, but enjoying yourself and listening a lot are two sure fire foundations for progress. I came back to playing after 20+ years away. It didn't take too long to get the mechanics working again, but it sure took a while to get my feel & choices lined up in a good way.

Welcome to the forum :)
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:17 PM
Chromatic Chromatic is offline
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Default Re: Need Advice/input on Seasoned Drummer returning to play after 10 years.

I didn't expect such a great response! Thank you guys.

I played my longest "session" last night (sat down to play a single song before bed.. and I ended up there for 3 hours .. woops.)

Anyhow I noticed a few things.

As I said before I'm primarily adjusting my grip/hand / stick technique. So I am starting off by forcing my left hand (and to a lesser extent right hand) to be able to full, quickly, and strongly control the stick with two fingers. The index at the fulcrum point and thumb.
This with my right hand I can already "flick"/roll the stick forward quite well and it doesn't deviate side to side or feel like it's getting out of control etc. The left hand not so much.
But! It's amazing how quickly the brain/body learns. With no more than a few hours over the last 5-6 days my left hand is at least 75% better at this grip. Astonishing to me.

Anyhow -- I just threw a bunch of songs I had on a drive on this computer at random on a USB flash drive to plug in and play to. So I ended up playing to Sara Bareilles, 311 (Chad Sexton), and then hit an album of Dave Matthew Bands (I love Carter Beauford because he's so challenging to me) --

I found with the really relaxed arms due to the stick gripping that quite quickly I was able to do some things I had never been able to do before.. get into some off timings, weird speeds, hi hat syncopation work etc .. (All Carter Beauford signature sounds). It was a GREAT feeling. A surprising feeling. Now, I wasn't hitting Beauford note for note.. but I wasn't falling out of his timings on certain songs like I had before (and I haven't played this stuff for 10+ years).

Just thought I would share that with you guys -- I also got into that "zone" you get into after playing for an hour+ and just closing your eyes and really loosening up your hands -- Then for some reason you get into what I call a "zone" where things just start working.. you're doing things you couldn't do when you came to the set initially (I don't even mean speed necessarily).

I also played with my footwork on the doublebass.. I've been taking what I *can* do with a single foot fastly and breaking it apart with two feet, combining that with the new grip really feels like effortless drumming which seems like I'm eventually going to be able to accomplish more (get much better) with less effort if that makes any sense at all.

I thank you for the suggestions so far -- I plan on somehow mounting a laptop to the kit stand (and good links to an inexpensive mount for a laptop 15.6" screen)?

Take care!
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