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Old 12-12-2015, 07:02 AM
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Default Rudiment practice regime?

Hey guys, I have realized something since I started teaching and that's the need for me to devote one day to practicing rudiments/technique. Showing my students how to play rudiments at slow tempos has improved my technique a little bit and now I want to see more of those results.

I have done the Tommy Igoe great hands playalongs in the past (I couldn't exactly master the advanced one) and some stick control stuff, and I might use things from those but I would like to maybe try being a bit more systematic, as in start from the start, go through each rudiment individually at different tempos and different subdivisions.

So today I think I will sit down with a metronome and figure out what my max tempo is with various rudiments, I think I will do it with the feet too, probably just singles though, and use those max tempos as some sort of benchmark. Benchmark for what? Maybe a benchmark for developing speed but also so I know which tempos my technique is proficient at, and also to track my progress. I am aware of the Alan Dawson thing but right now I think playing a foot ostinato might make it harder for me to concentrate on my hands (maybe that's silly, not sure).

Any advice is welcome, and if you have a good system please share it with me.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I might log the results of my first test here if no one minds, feedback is welcome though.

So if there are 2 camps in drumming, perfectionists and guys that push hard, I am definitely in the former group. I am fairly slow, my double bass has dropped off noticeably since I've only really used it once a week for the past few years.

The tempos are counted as quarter notes and 16th notes are played. These 16th notes were probably sustained for 30 seconds to a minute or so (just long enough for me to analyse).

Singles on the snare - I could play 160bpm perfectly, 180 things started to get awkward - and I could play at 200bpm but my hands wanted to come closer together.

Doubles on the snare - limits were roughly the same as singles, with different technique issues.

Paradiddles on the snare - I could play 140bpm perfectly, at 160 my left hand starts to trail and up around 170-180 dynamics become a problem too, as in the downbeat accents become confused with the notes that should be quieter.

Singles on the feet (embarrassing really) - 150bpm I could play perfectly, 160 I had issues with dynamics, at 180 my left foot starts failing and of course there were issues with dynamics. The last time I did any sort of measuring was a few years ago but I could play about 185bpm for 1 minute straight so this is a fairly big drop in my double bass competency.

Doubles on the feet (something I've never practiced but can kinda do) - I could play 100bpm, things got untidy at 120bpm though.

I think I might print off those numbers so next time I look at it (maybe I'll make this a Friday thing) I have some sort of reference... but I don't know how I should go about improving... should I push (slighlyt or lots) beyond my comfort zone, or stay on the comfortable tempos? Or make it a duration thing, playing comfortable tempos for long periods?
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I think a log here would be a good idea. Others could benefit from your work and experience. Go for it.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:35 PM
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Jeremy Bender Jeremy Bender is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I think a log here would be a good idea. Others could benefit from your work and experience. Go for it.
Excellent advice. I've benefited from not only the Tommy Igoe "hands" DVD but also from John Wooten's video's on the Vic Firth website... https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...9F49C1322405E7

He has a book you may want to check out as well.

Last edited by Jeremy Bender; 12-12-2015 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I found Alan Dawson's rudiment ritual really helpful - I worked on 3 rudiments per week. I'd spend the first 2-3 days of the week just working on them back to back without the foot ostinato, and then the remaining 4-5 days working on them with the ostinato added. I also did them with brushes and then all over again with sticks. I kind of nerded out on it and every Monday I'd look forward to seeing which three rudiments were next up to tackle.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

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Originally Posted by geezer View Post
I found Alan Dawson's rudiment ritual really helpful
This^^

I'm backwards though. I find that working on a rudiment over an ostinato helps me understand the motions of the rudiment when playing them sans ostinato.

I also find that applying the ritual over the footwork to songs I am learning gives me a deeper understanding of what I can do with the song, and tightens up my playing by a fair margin.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

Ditto on keeping a log. It's kind of difficult to say what you should or shouldn't practice. And definitely write down how you felt after each session. "I felt great after practicing X." Or, "I felt tension in my right forearm." If you look back at your log after a month or two and see a recurring theme, things will start to reveal themselves.

There are times when you want to come out of your comfort zone- by how much is for you to decide. But you could mix it up: One day (or session) endurance; alternate days speed. And if you're working well inside your comfort zone, use that time to make sure your hands are perfectly balanced.

And for what it's worth in the World of free advice, here are some things to try:

1) Patterns of 1X and 2X speed. So if 16th note singles at 180 are awkward, play one or two bars at eighth note speed followed by one or two bars as 16ths. Or even alternate every one or two beats. Say, 20 reps before moving on. Do it at different volume levels. And do smaller increments on the metronome. 175, 180, 185 and so on. Maybe even one or two clicks at a time, especially as you're pushing to your limits.

2) Single handed exercises. The right or left hand half of a Paradiddle: L R L L, L R L L, etc. Also, with and without accents.

3) Mini Stick Control exercise: Alternate bars of Singles and Doubles with the goal of making them sound the same; i.e., don't throw the 2nd stroke of the double away. Eventually add in unaccented Paradiddles.

4) Doubles: Accent the 2nd stroke. Don't worry too much about speed. Just play clean up and down strokes. This will help with a lot of stuff, especially Flams later on.

5) Keep your feet going. Not necessarily an ostinato pattern, but 2 and 4 on the Hi-Hat and Bass drum feathering on all 4.
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:29 PM
andrewo615 andrewo615 is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I agree with geezer and KamaK. The Alan Dawson method has truly done wonders for my technique. I often play each set of rudiments (I'm almost through the swiss rudiments) at very slow tempos at first and also play them open-close-open, gradually increasing tempo through the week. I also try and review most of the previous sets by stringing together all of them at a single tempo, usually 100-120 bpm. I feel this will help with memorization of the Ritual once I get to it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

Log everything... It's the only way to tell if your getting better and to see progress. other than looking back and just knowing you've improved. but a few bpm is hard to notice.

I do most stuff like this to a click to measure it.

I also do rudiment warmups at the beginning of practice... its a good way to warm up your hands/feet which you should do any ways while getting some rudiment practice in. Include some singles and doubles in there then have some fun around the kit.
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Old 12-14-2015, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I broke the rudiments/hybrids into categories: Double Stroke, SS, buzz, paradiddles, flams, & drags. I've been going through each rudiment in the following cycle (2 times through each, then on to the next one): L lead at 300bpm, R lead at 300bpm, L lead s>f>s, R lead s>f>s (1 per day, then repeat - 8 day cycle per pattern). 20-30 minutes each. around the kit, accents moved, hands on different drums etc. It's been awhile but I am seeing good results.

Also, do them as both triplets and 16th notes.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

Hey guys, we have a video on practicing rudiments if you want to chek it out! Would love to get your feedback!

http://takelessons.com/blog/7-essent...-rudiments-z07
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

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Originally Posted by mproctordrums View Post
Hey guys, we have a video on practicing rudiments if you want to chek it out! Would love to get your feedback!

http://takelessons.com/blog/7-essent...-rudiments-z07
IMO, it was horrible. Sloppy, slow, uneven. Pretty much a "what not to do" video.
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Old 12-15-2015, 04:50 AM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Tape View Post
Hey guys, I have realized something since I started teaching and that's the need for me to devote one day to practicing rudiments/technique. Showing my students how to play rudiments at slow tempos has improved my technique a little bit and now I want to see more of those results.
Knowing your max BPMs is helpful, and playing the rudiments really slowly is essential. One of my biggest technique builders has been playing written snare drum solos. Its a real challenge to play them slowly and playing the unaccented notes very quietly. Snare solos are full of passages that require combinations of rudiments in unexpected ways, which can sharpen technique and touch. The real test is playing the solos on a snare (vs a pad)...
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I tried the Alan Dawson thing tonight... I dunno it's weird but when I add the kick + hi-hat it sort of becomes music and not an exercise (as in I start swinging it, messing with the dynamics and not really focusing on the hands enough). Thanks for the comments so far, I know it's a simple thing but my mind is a bit cloudy on the best of days and I'm a bit perplexed about choosing a method.

I started playing some singles tonight after practice and I picked out something wrong with my technique immediately and it made me wonder if I need to do even more work on my technique.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:48 PM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I practice them with a hihat and kick. I do the hihat splash open on the downbeat and then on the "ands" . The kick I use the tumbae pattern (...!..!.)

I have a tendency to screw up when I slow down the grove and do the rudiments in 1/32nds while keeping the feet in 1/16th.

I also try sometimes to do them with a mambo clave on the left foot but I'm not even close to that!!!

Basically, I do them and practice my independence at the same time (2 birds with one stone).
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Old 12-18-2015, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

John Wooton's book, Dr. Throwdown's Rudimental Remedies is something that I would look into. The book is to be used with the mp3s, so you are playing along with a track. It forces you to work on a rudiment (or rudiment) pattern for a specific duration of time. Each exercise has about 7 tempos, so you can gauge your improvement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5R8QHodkK8


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Old 12-20-2015, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

Thanks Jeff, and thanks everyone.

Tonight I tried the Dawson thing again, I think it took me a whole hour to go through just a handful of things. I realized I was being a bit silly when I said it didn't suit me, I should have actually tried it as an exercise and aimed for a little finesse first. It's not easy to make it sound good but I improved on my first attempt. I tried singles, doubles then paradiddles starting at 80bpm, then 100, 120, 140, 160, first leading with the right, then leading with the left. At the end of the session I realized I should have kept my elbows by my side and wrists turned in towards the center of the drum. I also noticed my fingers are not very active at speed so I might finally go and work on those finger technique exercises I've seen so many times.

I've got a bone to pick with the kick + hi-hat pattern... I don't know if I'm practicing something I'll ever use in music and it feels like I'm sort of binding my feet to my hands in some psychological way. Like if I go to play one of these rudiments in a different context, are my feet going to want to play "boom tish boom tish?"

Anyway moving onto the double bass I did a basic 16th note double bass rock beat at the same tempos, first leading with the left, then the right and then I realized something was missing.. I should be practicing other subdivisions too, so I did some triplets on the double kick and then went back to the hands to play some triplets. Man I felt the burn, I like that feeling. Triplets are 3/4 as fast as 16ths so I started with 130bpm and went up from there. I don't know if the Alan Dawson thing touches on triplets, I'm sure it would. Moron this later.
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Last edited by Duck Tape; 12-21-2015 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck Tape View Post
I've got a bone to pick with the kick + hi-hat pattern... I don't know if I'm practicing something I'll ever use in music and it feels like I'm sort of binding my feet to my hands in some psychological way. Like if I go to play one of these rudiments in a different context, are my feet going to want to play "boom tish boom tish?"
I wouldn't worry about binding your feet to your hands. Look at it this way: If you work on rudiments all day with just your hands and then get on the band stand, are you automatically going to play endless Paradiddles throughout a song? Hopefully, it'll just become part of your internal library and you can draw from it at will. Once you get a command of any pattern, whether it's hands, feet or some combination, you'll have the control to put it when, where and how you want in the music. More often than not, you'll just find you have better facility, can reach notes and tempos you couldn't before and just be able to articulate things better. I love rudiments but even if it's a snare score or tude, I'm thinking more about the flow of the piece and dynamics than about individual hand motions. That's all taken care of with exercises. If I'm thinking about mechanics during a piece of music, it means I probably haven't worked on them enough and have no business practicing that piece (with the possible exception of going through it once to find where I need work).

And get comfortable playing the hi-hat 2 & 4 while feathering the bass drum on all 4's. Don't slam the beater; it should be the lightest tap; basically felt more than heard. You can even tap your heal on the BD pedal if you don't want the sound. And do it when you play in time as well as doing it as a breakdown (slow-fast-slow). If you decide later to play a different ostinato, you will find all of that work will transfer over. But I'd recommend getting comfortable with the simplified version first.

As far as the progression of rudiments go, it's hard to say without having a teacher to guide you. But certain key rudiments cover the basic hand motions you'll need in order to play others and it's important to nail them before moving on.
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Last edited by JohnW; 12-20-2015 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

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Originally Posted by drum4fun27302 View Post
IMO, it was horrible. Sloppy, slow, uneven. Pretty much a "what not to do" video.
Looking at the bio on the web page ,I really can't fathom how one could get a degree in music and not have a higher level of competence than is being shown in the video.

This isn't a joke ,right?
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Rudiment practice regime?

I am going to do this twice a week, I've decided.

Last nights observations:

My left bicep was tensing up which made me realize my arms aren't generally relaxed. My fulcrums don't really stand up to playing long rolls either.

It is sounding better each time I do it though, so I'm looking forward to seeing some real results.
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