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  #1  
Old 06-24-2015, 03:06 AM
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Default You and your practice regimen, come clean

This thread is all about practice. How often, the up/down cycles, what is practiced, why it's practiced, how hard you drive yourself at practice....everything you want to talk about....about practice.

Everyone has their own personal favorite way of practicing. Some people don't practice at all. Arguably, one of the most influential drummers of our time, Ringo, if I recall correctly, doesn't practice. I wonder if Levon Helm practiced drums.

I get personal satisfaction from practice. I go in cycles. I'm inconsistent as hell but when I do practice, I practice deeply not broadly. I work one thing as long as I can. I don't drive myself as hard as I could, that's for sure. I mainly practice the mechanics of playing and how to play not what to play. I decide what I feel like working on. Today it was corpus collosum strengthening, but for the last 3 weeks, I haven't had the urge to practice at all, bad me.
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I still do about an hour a day on a pad making sure I can still play. I drill ally of basics. If I have more time I open a book and read stuff, because that's a good thing to maintain.
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Old 06-24-2015, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

This is my first week without training wheels.

I've been drumming for around 2.5 years now, and have taken lessons until this week.

While taking lessons, I made sure that I got onto the kit at least once to practise the 'take home' from the previous lesson. I always wanted to go into the next lesson a step ahead from where I'd been the previous week. As you might expect, those steps got smaller and at the same time, more difficult as I progressed.

At the same time, the last 8 months or so have seen my band go from getting together every other week to struggle to remember what we'd been learning to getting together every week and adding new songs at (for us) quite a rate. And that has meant much more time learning songs.

All of which has meant less time practising for the sake of practising, and increasing time learning songs. I try and spend at least an hour on the kit ahead of each band sesh, working on what we've got lined up to rehearse. A prehearsal if you will!

It may sound odd, but my next Thing will be to learn the rudiments properly. Of course I've learnt the most rudimentary rudiments, like single stroke and double stroke rolls and the paradiddle, but I think the time is right for me to work more on my vocabulary.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:25 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I make myself do 20 minutes rudiments on the pad daily.
Kit time is about 2 - 3 times per week, maybe 1 hour each. Kit time is playing beats to a metronome, or working rudiments on the kit, or playing along to a fave song. Then there is 3 hr band rehearsal. I wish I could do more.

Levon Helm? ...did not have time to practice, for they toured so much when the Band was active up to 1975. I'm not sure about his later years. I heard Buddy or Bonzo never practiced either, but I would guess Neil Peart does.
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I haven't done pad work in ages. I like practicing on a real snare drum. Blessings counted.
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  #6  
Old 06-24-2015, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I'm sort of up and down with my practicing. Some days I'll practice for 3 hours. Some days I'll practice for 30 minutes and do nothing productive. I guess some of the time I just don't feel like practicing. Maybe the main reason for that is because I'm not part of any band right now. In school, I was in the jazz band, percussion ensemble, concert band, and pep band, but now that school is out I have nowhere to play except in my basement alone :(

Usually my practice consists of me warming up/improvising for the first 15 minutes. Then I work on rudiments and such for about 45 min. to an hour. Then I play along to music (specifically the Tommy Igoe groove essentials tracks and pep band songs). After that, I improvise for another 30 minutes or so.

I'm probably not as productive as I could be during practice, but I probably get enough time in weekly.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I haven't done pad work in ages. I like practicing on a real snare drum. Blessings counted.
I try to play the real thing as much as I can, but my weird work hours dictate the pad for the early morning and late evening hours. My neighbors are cool with hearing drums from 10am to 8pm most days, so I try not to aggravate them too much ;) So in between 10 and 8, yeah, I'm on the actual drums.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I have no practice regimen but usually play on kit and pad for a while each day.
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2015, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

Pretty much 100% of my "practising" is actually rehearsal with other musicians. Very occasionally, I'll have to try something new & take a little time to nail it down. Upshot is, I don't practice, & it really really shows in my lack of facility.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

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Pretty much 100% of my "practising" is actually rehearsal with other musicians. Very occasionally, I'll have to try something new & take a little time to nail it down. Upshot is, I don't practice, & it really really shows in my lack of facility.
But that's ok. You have wind chimes ;)
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
I have no practice regimen but usually play on kit and pad for a while each day.
Pretty much the same as me. There's a guy I follow on YouTube called the 80/20 Drummer and he has some pretty cool lessons on his channel which I dig.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

Time to confess, I practice a lot! The company which I worked for the last 15 years went bankrupt 6 months ago, and I still haven't found a new job, so I have plenty of time. (Well, I have a wife, two small children, an old house, a couple of old motorcycles and a sailing boat to take care of, but still I have some spare time.) About the same time as I lost my job I started in a rock band with friends I haven't played with the last 25 years and it's great, some of them make a living playing their instruments so they are quite good. It is very inspiring. And challenging.
I have joined Bill Bachman's Drum Workout, and I start my daily practice with this to get my hands in shape 20-30 min, then I work on some endurance builders for the feet, maybe 5 min. Then some Stick Control, 15 min, and then a finish with coordination, right now I'm using "Funky Primer". And it's fun like never before. I hope this will last, then I will be a great drummer by the time I turn 100 :)
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2015, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

Confession time. I dont practice at all, I just play. I play through the band set list at home and if a new idea comes to me I go with it and find out if it works for the song. New songs I listen to till I know the structure and the vocals and then play along to it till I nail it, but I am always looking to refine my part if It fits with the song.

I dont own a practice pad, never liked them, and I cant see the point as I have an Ekit for quiet(ish) practice and an accoustic kit for everything else.
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2015, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I love to practice today as much as I did when I started. Don't have the time like I used to but I generally manage 30-45 minutes / 5-6 days per week.

Haven't owned a pad in probably 20 years, so zero time goes into that.

I generally have two books going. One focuses on coordination and another focuses on rudimental solos which are orchestrated on the set. One page / concept in each book can last me a month or even more, depending when I feel like I've extracted from it what I want.

Flow / musicality / time are applied to both books. Almost everything is worked on with a click.

30-45 minutes isn't much so I try to make the most of it.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2015, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I practice on the pad approx an hour a day. Since working with Bill Bachman after my injury my technique is really coming along.

Kit time ranges from 0-3 hrs. Much more on weekends.

Total hrs/week about 10-15 hrs weekly.

Kit time is spent playing with music and working on specific issues required for the gigs I'm doing. At age 48, I have to keep on top of the double bass as well or it all goes south quickly. Books include: Working the Inner clock by Phil Maturano and Extreme Interdependence by Marco Minneman.

A note about practice pads. They will show you things that the snare won't. You can hear variances in the stick sound due to technique issues much more easily. A half-ass sounding roll on a pad will sound decent on a snare. A great roll on a pad sounds perfect on a snare.
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2015, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I practise most days, geography and time permitting, sometimes just for a few minutes, sometimes for hours, cumulatively: I might do 40 minutes or so, have a cup of tea and a quick DW catch-up, then play again for another 40 minutes, rinse and repeat.

I love practising, and I rarely have to make myself do something because I generally want to do it. I'll usually pick one or two things to work on, either because I'm good (relatively!) at them and it's nice to get better at them, or because I'm not good at them and it's nice to get better at them.

I hate using a pad so I don't. I'm lucky that we don't have any close neighbours so I can use my whole kit whenever I like - when Mr Madge is away, I have been known to play my drums in the middle of the night if I can't sleep. When our daughters are home, I try to be considerate and I don't play before 11 a.m., but I don't know why I bother because it takes a damn sight more than that to wake them up!
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2015, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I am in 3 bands (drummer in 2 guitarist in 1) so between rehearsals and gigs I play the drums at least 5 days a week. That being said, the only time I "practice" is when working out parts for new songs. Any difficult sections, transitions or fills get some attention before rehearsal, but that's about all I have time for. I wish I had more time to take lessons and actually learn how to play the drums but between bands work and family that is an impossibility.
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2015, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

All dependent on gig schedule, if I'm all over the country with the band I practice less usally because I'm knackered from doing the 9-5 as well.

Majority of the practice I do is on a mesh head drum in front of the telly, length of time is dependent on how quickly the missus gets annoyed with it. I just tend to do my rudiments, not really going full out but just to get my hands, wrists and arms flowing.

I do spend the odd hour at my unit on a full kit but I find air drumming with a pair of sticks is just as good, plus you hear the sound of the stick in your hand which is good for technique.
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2015, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I have been getting super lazy in practicing.. i used to use the pad at work for about a hour a day.. then at home play for a few hours a night..

Lately i do 1 or 2 drumeo lessons (love Pat Petrillos warmup routine) Then i play along with songs off youtube for 1-2 hours every night. so 3-4 hours a night...

I mainly work on whatever takes me that night.. right now it has been speed around the kit..
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

Try to get in about 2 hours daily. Due to having a new baby and a wife who can't stand the sound of drums (imagine that!) my practice routine is essentially composed of practice pad + dw practice pad kit. I get on a real kit about 1-2 times per week.

Lots of my daily routine is on rudiments (stick control + Wilcoxon solos + one of the PAS rudiments) , plus I try to refine my reading skills (Bellson's Modern Reading Text is great) and I will have one major focus area for the day where I spend at least 30 minutes.

I try to finish off by practicing to songs that are part of my jamming band's set list.
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  #21  
Old 06-24-2015, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I spend 12 hours on the pad, 7 days-a-week. I work out of Stick Control, practice snare solos and push my speed and endurance limits with rudiments.

My practice on the set is limited because I live in an apartment. Most of my practice on the set happens during band rehearsals. Which isn't nearly enough. When I do practice set, I work out of Syncopation, the John Riley bebop books and the Steve Houghton Ultimate Drumset Reading Anthology. Since cymbal riding is less disruptive to the neighbors than stomping bass drums and backbeats, I work a lot on uptempo stuff like bop at > 350 bpm.

Bottom line: I would practice more if I could.
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2015, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I'm another one who doesn't really practice. I've been playing about 10 years, very late starter, and I came to the conclusion a while ago that there are some things I will never be able to do (a double stroke roll mainly) so I gave up trying. It still grieves me, but I decided to stop beating myself up and just do what I can do.

Since I've been playing with bands, five years off and on, I get no satisfaction from playing on my own, and don't honestly think I can stretch myself any further with speed, chops or whatever. So my personal development is all band related - listening to what's going on, getting the feel right, watching for cues, supporting the others and the song.

After band practice, I work through anything that that wasn't quite right, perhaps a tricky fill or transition where my timing felt not quite right, and before a gig I work through the set list (beginnings and endings and transitions mainly). And I work on new numbers that are being brought in. But that's about it.
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I wouldn't say that I have a set practice regimen per se, as in practicing with Stick Control exercises or something. But as an apartment dweller, when I do get to play my kit at the practice space, I like to play for about an hour or two. I just joined a funk/jazz band, so I've been practicing getting as many variations as possible for eighth note beats between snare/bass/hats/ride, with tasty fills that flow. I've also been practicing the swing pattern at slow, medium, and fast tempos with snare comping and bass drum bombs and setups. Again, not really a routine or set of exercises, but more creative exploration and musical practice with a goal in mind. Not the most organized routine, but it works for me, and I enjoy it!
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I like practicing, but I have to want to do it. I never force myself to sit at the kit. Sometimes, yea, I'd rather be here. I don't beat myself up for that. Because when I do want to practice, I like doing it a lot. So I wait until I really want it.

Lately I've been bad, but my workload is way up too. So my energies have been going into being Mr. Electrician lately. This last down cycle (practice-wise) lasted about 3 months, where I only practiced maybe a half dozen times.

But I love practicing when I am in the mood. I try and find something that trips me up (pretty easy to find) and circle around that for a while.

Does this sound familiar? You're practicing something hard, it's not happening, and you feel like a clutz. The phone rings and you answer it, you come back and all of a sudden you're playing what you couldn't pull off just 3 minutes ago.

I love that.

Your brain keeps working the problem in the background.

That's a useful tactic actually.

If you get frustrated, take 5 and come back and everything is butterflies and rainbows.
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Old 06-24-2015, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I've never really practiced anything formal, like exercise type things. I just sit at my kit and go for whatever seems interesting. Fortunately, it's rare that I can't think of something interesting to play, and even then, I can put on headphones and find something to play along to that engages my brain. I treat it like a metronome in that I'm working out interesting bits and fitting them in.

These days, with apartment living, I only get to play drums at band practice, but I'm typically there a couple hours before anyone else, so that's where I get my "me" time in. Sometimes I'll stay after practice to get some more time in. The problem I have is stopping once I get on a roll, so that cuts into sleep time more often than is probably healthy.

On non practice days, I spend a lot of time at home with either guitar or bass, which is a daily thing more often than not. For every hour I put in on my drums, I'm probably doing three on guitar/bass at home. There too, my problem is stopping. Today I'm paying the price for staying up way too late last night. Oh well, good times!

The idea is stay musically active and productive, and these days I'm not seeing that it matters so much what instrument is getting all the playing time. Anything I do off the drums at home seems to have a noticeable benefit to my drumming. If you want to develop a sense for playing for the song, I can't think of a better way than playing other instruments and hearing drums from that perspective.
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  #26  
Old 06-24-2015, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I usually just sit down for an hour or two and mainly play along to stuff on my iPhone. Once I get bored with that, I work on grooves or fills that give me problems and work out how to do them until I'm comfortable.
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

Like a few others, I live in a condo situation, so no drum set in the house. I practice rudiments on an Offworld V3 practice pad (so sweet) and use some Johnny Lee Lane marching sticks. This keeps my wrists in shape. Also, I listen to music almost constantly and that really helps keep my mind sharp and keeps the creative juices flowing.

I typically gig anywhere from 3 to 5 times a week with different groups, but it's rare that I would rehearse with a group. I charge a lower rate for rehearsals than for gigs, but I might get hired for 1-2 rehearsals a year.

I've been looking into renting a practice space where I could set up a cheap 4 piece and some hardware, that way i could just bring my cymbals, sticks, and snare. However, the practice spaces around boston are fairly expensive ($400-$800 per month for a small practice space), and those are spaces that are in shady neighborhoods or far away from the city. If you get something in fenway it could easily be double. Even though it's a business expense for me, it's pretty steep...
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Old 06-24-2015, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
A note about practice pads. They will show you things that the snare won't. You can hear variances in the stick sound due to technique issues much more easily. A half-ass sounding roll on a pad will sound decent on a snare. A great roll on a pad sounds perfect on a snare.
Completely agree! My work/living situation doesn't allow me to go with a full kit around the house, so I beat the hell out of my practice pad.

I definitely find that if I can execute something that sounds good on the pad, it's going to sound awesome on the kit. To that end, I don't just use a pad for my hands; I've set up a bass drum pad using an old throne cushion: there's no real rebound, so it makes me work harder to get quick, precise beats. Then, on the real bass drum, the boom and bounce make it so much easier. To me, it's like sparring with the big gloves, then moving to the 8-oz. gloves for the fight: speed and stamina come so much easier after over-preparing your muscles. My playing has really improved using this method.

Unfortunately I don't get to practice nearly as much as I'd like. I try to get in 30 minutes of padwork every day, which usually works out to 3-4 times a week. I run through the few rudiments I know, then play along to drumless tracks for a while (it's fun and it's really helped my timekeeping). Beyond that, I rehearse with a group one or two times a week, and that's pretty much the sum of my practice. I'd like to do more but I'll take what I can get.
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  #29  
Old 06-24-2015, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I'm lucky in that I'm able to play my kit in my apartment - sometimes late at night I'll get the urge to play and just grab a practice pad and work on rudiments and stuff out of Wilcoxon. I play about 2 hours a day, more if it's a day that I have band practice. Generally the two hours breaks down to about an hour of practicing specific things: I take lessons with a focus on jazz every other week, so I'll be working on stuff that my teacher has given me to do, and then I also try to work on stuff in Syncopation, Stick Control, Complete Drummer's Vocabulary, Bass Drum Control, Master Studies, Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer. With the other hour of playing time I'll be working on parts for the songs in my band's set list (all originals) I'll also just bash away on the kit, working on different beats, or playing along to music.

Back in the day my bands would always practice 4 times a week and be gigging regularly too, so I didn't practice a lot unless I made time to get to the practice space before the others and put some time in. Nowadays everyone's schedules are a lot busier so band practice happens once a week and I need to play more often than that - the only time I wasn't motivated to play was when I was laid low with a bad virus for a week, but as soon as I was better I was back at the kit.
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:06 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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... it's like sparring with the big gloves, then moving to the 8-oz. gloves for the fight: speed and stamina come so much easier after over-preparing your muscles.
This is why I love practicing with marching sticks, I feel like practicing on huge sticks makes it easier to play on the smaller sticks. If I can get a certain speed with marching sticks, then imagine a smaller 2B, or 8Ds...
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

When I can really

Busy patch at the moment so until recently it was an hour on the pad each weekday evening and then a few hours on the kit at the weekends working on Advanced Techniques for the modern drummer/general free playing.

Work on the pad is normally Stick Control or Charlie Wilcoxon modern swing solos, practicing both trad and modern stickings. Both great for general conditioning with a pad.

Hoping to get back to old habits ASAP. Not played for 4 days and it's getting to me!! ....not that I'm counting days or anything.....
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:00 PM
tcspears tcspears is offline
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practicing both trad and modern stickings. Both great for general conditioning with a pad.
That's the second time I've heard about modern sticking today, what is it? Is it a hybrid matched (French left, German right) grip or something?
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:13 PM
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That's the second time I've heard about modern sticking today, what is it? Is it a hybrid matched (French left, German right) grip or something?
It's just what I call matched. No fancy new sticking I'm afraid, could shift some DVDs if so.
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  #34  
Old 06-24-2015, 09:48 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I'm not a regiment kind of guy but I do play almost every day.

I always play with some kind of music. I have a ton of things I've recorded so I can simply mute the drum track and play along.

If I feel like doing rudiments, I have some recorded tracks that work really well with paradiddles/rudiments. Without musical backing, I lose interest in practice in about 5 minutes.
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  #35  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:10 PM
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KnuckleBuster KnuckleBuster is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I've been a bit hit and miss lately and it was starting to show in my playing, so now I'm trying to get at least 45 minutes/4 to 5 nights a week in. I'll either practice rudiments/stick control at various tempos, parts from cover songs I find difficult or jam on the e kit to drumless tracks or cover tunes the band does so I can work on grooves or fill timing. I'm finding that short focused consistent practice seems to work better for me than hours of practice in one sitting then nothing for a few days.
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  #36  
Old 06-24-2015, 10:20 PM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

When I was a teen, and in my 20's I had busy practice routines.

Now as a 40-something with two kids and running my own business, my practice routine consists of me looking at my drum kit while I'm busy writing reports and doing marketing.
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  #37  
Old 06-26-2015, 05:21 AM
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Numberless Numberless is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I'm trying to get 4-6 hours a day for 6 day a week, I like a day off, that day I might mess with the pad for a bit or work on transcriptions. It's not always possible tho, today I only got two good hours and after that I had to leave for rehearsals. I'm using books less and less, I think after a certain point you know what you want to work on and you can figure it out yourself. Right now my practice routine is focused on improving dynamics and time. I saw Jonathan Blake recently and his dynamic control was absolutely stunning, so I'm working on playing grooves, comping and practicing technical chops as low and soft as possible. Someone mentioned the 80/20 drummer, he has the whole "putting metronome in weird places of the bar" nailed and I'm giving that a try, mostly practicing the same grooves and technical chops with the metronome on the last 8th note of the bar. If I get tired at some point of that then I'll throw records on and play along for a while or work on a transcription, right now I'm working on a Roy Haynes solo.
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  #38  
Old 06-26-2015, 01:59 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Numberless View Post
I'm trying to get 4-6 hours a day for 6 day a week, I like a day off, that day I might mess with the pad for a bit or work on transcriptions.
So far you win lol


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  #39  
Old 06-27-2015, 07:06 PM
Friedmett Friedmett is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I am one of the lucky ones to have the kit available in a house and setup 24/7 and the time despite being 40.

So any time I want to play/practise I do. Usually I practise my weak spots and with the 20 odd + years of being a guitarist I know how I learn the best.

My ears are well developed and time is always getting better as do have and use my Tama rhytm watch when I mainly practise something to get in the groove.

Earlier today I went through single stroke for hands and feet which is currently at a stable 130 bpm.

I also went through the first page of the song One by Metallica. The more I sit and learn the quicker it gets in.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:16 PM
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Acidline303 Acidline303 is offline
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Default Re: You and your practice regimen, come clean

I try to get to the rehearsal space at least once or twice a week without the band there. Some days I get 4-5 hours in, other days I'm done after 45 minutes.

I know in truth I should have a bit more of a structured use of time when I'm there. Practice just seems more satisfying if I let my mood tell me where to go. I tend to do 5-10 min of hand and foot warmups. I don't use books or sheets, it's more just the same loosening exercises I'd go through at a show.

Then I retune meticulously, smoke a couple cigarettes, listen to a little music or the sounds coming from other practice rooms until I get inspired enough to devote 20 min to figuring out a new pattern to add to the vocabulary.

If frustration sets in or it's just a day I can't access any creativity, the PA comes on and I play along to new music I like or run through the parts of new songs the band is writing.
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