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Old 07-25-2013, 09:24 AM
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Dre25 Dre25 is offline
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Default Drum set hand technique

I've been working on my hand technique for only about 2-3 years so maybe this is because I'm fresh but here's my question:

Lets say it takes me 1/2 a page or 10 minutes of stick control on a pad before my hands get that bouncing ball sensation, my fulcrum is relaxed and hands at the right angle, sticks at the right angle etc.

And on the drum kit I might play for an hour (without pad warmup) and feel as though I didn't find my hands or perhaps got a bit worse during practice..

Should I warm up with a pad and 'find my hands' before each drum set practice?
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:48 PM
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Dracovyrn Dracovyrn is offline
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

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Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
I've been working on my hand technique for only about 2-3 years so maybe this is because I'm fresh but here's my question:

Lets say it takes me 1/2 a page or 10 minutes of stick control on a pad before my hands get that bouncing ball sensation, my fulcrum is relaxed and hands at the right angle, sticks at the right angle etc.

And on the drum kit I might play for an hour (without pad warmup) and feel as though I didn't find my hands or perhaps got a bit worse during practice..

Should I warm up with a pad and 'find my hands' before each drum set practice?
So, you feel like you need the pad to warm up? I would think that any one person's way of warming up is fine if it is how they feel they get the "feel" better.

Others might tell you that you should be able to warm up on the real thing without the use of anything else, like a weightlifter not using steroids. I have never experienced this though, so I can only guess what you're feeling.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

The pad just allows you to focus on technique really well. I could just do it on the snare but where I practice I pay by the hour to use a kit so it wouldn't make sense if I wasted 10 minutes just playing the snare if I could warm up on a stool or practice pad before going in.

The answer is obvious I guess, I should do it. I'm gonna stop home after work and get on the pad before going to the practice rooms from now on. I was just fishing for opinions.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

When I first hop on a drum set, my hands need a little time and movement before they perform to my satisfaction. I think it's a good idea to "find your hands" before playing anything important. That said, I don't get the chance to warm up nearly enough. Best case scenario, I don't have to work before a gig and I can loosen my hands up. But still that's many hours before the gig. So basically I start cold. Not the best way to start, for sure.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

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Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
The pad just allows you to focus on technique really well. I could just do it on the snare but where I practice I pay by the hour to use a kit so it wouldn't make sense if I wasted 10 minutes just playing the snare if I could warm up on a stool or practice pad before going in.

The answer is obvious I guess, I should do it. I'm gonna stop home after work and get on the pad before going to the practice rooms from now on. I was just fishing for opinions.
I actually play my pad a lot. It's the closest thing I have to a marching snare. The only problem is, the pad doesn't rebound as much as the real thing so I have to warm up on the real thing to get the feel going. I think that practicing on the mar hung snare helps me play on the pad easily, and the pad helps play on the drum set snare. I agree that if it helps to practice on a pad, then do it.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

Hi Dre25, it's all about technique. You should find the "bouncing ball" feel on the very first note you play of stick control and all others. Check your free stroke approach and all of those notes should flow smoothly so long as you're playing it at an appropriate tempo. With dialed technique you can drum for hours every day with no issues.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:59 AM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

I think it's less technique and more conditioning and overall dexterity, adaptation to constantly playing and practicing. That's just my experience.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

When I first get behind the kit I'll play everything extremely slow and deliberate, paying close attention to the rebound. I find if I do that for 5-10 minutes, I have an easier time "finding my hands".
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:27 AM
iwearnohats iwearnohats is offline
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

I've found generally (most often in winter) that when my hands are totally dry that I can't grip the stick correctly, and I find myself tensing up, and unable to let my hands work correctly.

To get around this, I usually wet my hands from a water bottle (usually 3 - 4 times over the first 10 minutes) and then it's fine.

The opposite is true with lacquered sticks, as soon as you start sweating you can't hang on to those at all :)
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

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Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I think it's less technique and more conditioning and overall dexterity, adaptation to constantly playing and practicing. That's just my experience.
Yeah, hence me saying I'm a bit fresh. I think as I get more experience I'll be in better form all the time but it's just things like stick angle with my left hand (sometimes too straight)... favoring french grip on the hats (which isn't wrong I know) and not being as efficient as I've seen myself when I've had a good warm up on the pad. And I think the fact that I'm aware of it will make all the difference.

At band practice is where I notice it the most, I have a guitarist who likes to turn it up loud and so that's probably the place where my technique is tested the most. If I've warmed up on the pad beforehand I am alot more relaxed, can play faster for longer and harder, get more of the bouncing ball and slingshot effects, and you know what it's like when things go the other way.

Fool: that's a cool idea too.

Thanks all for the responses.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

I always warm up on the kit. I have tried pads and knees and it doesn't work for me. At a gig, it takes a couple of songs to get going. Which is horrible in a jam situation !! You get 3 songs and the 1st 2 are "wasted".
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:43 PM
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Jeff Almeyda Jeff Almeyda is online now
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

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Originally Posted by BillBachman View Post
Hi Dre25, it's all about technique. You should find the "bouncing ball" feel on the very first note you play of stick control and all others. Check your free stroke approach and all of those notes should flow smoothly so long as you're playing it at an appropriate tempo. With dialed technique you can drum for hours every day with no issues.
Guys, at the risk of stating the obvious, this man's opinion outweighs all others on this subject. Bill is the best hand technique guy around.

I would trust the man whom Modern Drummer magazine uses wouldn't you?
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:17 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

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Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I think it's less technique and more conditioning and overall dexterity, adaptation to constantly playing and practicing. That's just my experience.
It's all technique - Like Bill said, you're first stroke on the pad should rebound right back with no effort.

Actually, I should elaborate a bit more - it's not all technique - there's also the mental side. Warming up can sometimes help you get centered mentally before playing - but on the physical side you shouldn't need to warm up to get that ''bouncing ball'' feel...
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:06 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

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Originally Posted by Jeff Almeyda View Post
Guys, at the risk of stating the obvious, this man's opinion outweighs all others on this subject. Bill is the best hand technique guy around.

I would trust the man whom Modern Drummer magazine uses wouldn't you?
All respect to Bill, there's just so much wrong with this post. :D
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2013, 03:21 AM
DustinB DustinB is offline
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

I know what you mean dre, I've been experiencing this too. And I sit here all the time watching SC2 streams or movies late at night playing 8 on a hand for a long time starting and stopping each stroke at 12" trying to find that bounce (especially with my left hand, my right usually takes only a couple minutes). I DO have one or more of carpel tunnel/tendonitis/i know i have arthritis already, though never had it diagnosed. When I sleep, I often curl my wrists for some reason ( i think because i also have bad anxiety all the time), and this probably has the largest effect on how I play : \ All the males in my family do this though, so I dunno, but they also all have carpel tunnel/tendonitis/arthritis *shrug* gotta <3 my bloodline...Been thinking maybe this has something to do with why I have trouble finding that bounce.

I recently came across the exercise "Book Report Thing" that I have been practicing religiously, and I practice it in what i think is referred to as a grid (where you just add techniques to the basic sticking pattern, i.e paradiddle 4 bars then add a diddle to the first stroke, and then add a diddle to the last stroke of the original diddle, in the paradiddle... if that makes sense)

Everytime I sit behind the kit I try to start with 8 on a hand, sanford double beat, book report thing, and then playing what i have memorized of the alan dawson rudimental ritual. It takes me about 10-15 minutes myself usually to get to where i consider myself warmed up. It is hard to do this though when you play with people, unless they themselves like to warm up first too with techniques...I know I do when I play guitar, but then the drummer I play guitar with doesn't warm up lol...

If i don't get a chance to warm up properly with both feet and hands, I can not play everything I want to play.

I haven't had any proper lessons since I was about 10 years old, and i only had them for maybe a year (I vaguely even remember them) so everything I know has just been pieced together between teaching myself music theory/guitar/drums.



I don't know how popular this is, but if you are paying by the hour, at least where I live there a few storage units that allow people to play music, in fact almost all the storage units in this place we call "the archery studios" (which isn't actual studios at all, just storage buildings), are occupied by bands. Maybe 1 or 2 units are actually used for storage lol. But might try looking into something like this. Then you could play as much as you wanted for a flat fee. Plus when my friend had a place out there, after the bars we'd go jam there till 5 or 6 in the morning lol. Was pretty awesome.

But if it helps you play better, I can't think of any reason to not warm up on the pad first.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:28 AM
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Ian Ballard Ian Ballard is offline
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Default Re: Drum set hand technique

I highly encourage all of you guys, if you aren't already, to subscribe to Drumchannel.com. One Masterclass in particular that I think it ESSENTIAL, is Chad Wackerman's on the Murray Spivack method. This method, is a very effective way to play in a very relaxed way, regardless of the intensity, tempo and dynamic of the music. I was lucky enough (well, I paid $80 so it wasn't luck I guess) to have a private lesson with Chad Wackerman years ago. That hour changed my playing forever. Before that, I was playing in a very strict German grip with the gap between thumb and forefinger closed and my technique was very tense and stiff (I was actually taught this by a very respected teacher). He got me to loosen my grip and have a gap in between, allowing the stick to move freely. He showed me amazing exercises that, to this day, make playing very loud and fast music easy and prevents pain, blisters and injury. One cool example is instead of "pressing" a closed roll, as is widely taught, you practice triple-strokes and gradually increasing speed, you eventually can produce very nice-sounding closed rolls without your hands clamping up. This also allows a very smooth transition from a closed to open roll without changing your hand technique or grip.

I have a genetic disposition towards arthritis and I can honestly say at 35, I have zero issues with pain in my hands and I have to give some credit to Chad for showing me the light, so to speak.
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:48 AM
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