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Old 12-22-2009, 05:15 AM
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vegassuper vegassuper is offline
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Default Speed related to reflexes?

I consider myself to be coordinated but not very quick reflexively. Am I doomed playing ballads and moderate tempo music or can coordination, technique and practice overcome, to some degree, slow reflexes? Are reflexes even related to speed around the kit or stroke speed? I ask not because I want to be the world's fastest drummer but because I want to have hope that with the right practice I can someday feel fluid enough to play a variety of tempos.
Your input is valued and appreciated.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

67 views and no replies... I'll try to help you out.

I've actually felt like this before too. Wondering if the ratio of slow-twitch vs fast-twitch muscle fibers has something to do with not attaining super-human WFD type of speed. I also race mountain bike endurance events so it's safe to assume I have more slow-twitch than fast-twitch muscle fibers... But back to drums, it's just a matter of consistently working at getting comfortable at a certain tempo and slowly increasing from there...even if it's 1 or 2 bpm at a time.

There are tons of topics on here regarding 'hand speed', 'fast singles', etc. It may help to do a search...

Why do you think you are so slow anyway? How fast can you play clean singles (in 16ths)? If it's like 50, then yeah, maybe you are slow. :-) But everyone starts somewhere, so start practicing single strokes (in front of a mirror helps me), watch your stick height-keeping them the same. Wherever your form falls apart, back it down a little and work there. Eventually, you will build muscle memory which will help you feel more comfortable. Then work on increasing tempo slowly and consistently (as possible).

Hope this helps. Just keep plugging away. In time you will notice an increase in speed and fluidity.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:03 PM
centralzeke centralzeke is offline
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Not related to natural reflexes at all. You can get wherever you want to go if you concentrate on your technique.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brady View Post
67 views and no replies... I'll try to help you out.

I've actually felt like this before too. Wondering if the ratio of slow-twitch vs fast-twitch muscle fibers has something to do with not attaining super-human WFD type of speed. I also race mountain bike endurance events so it's safe to assume I have more slow-twitch than fast-twitch muscle fibers... But back to drums, it's just a matter of consistently working at getting comfortable at a certain tempo and slowly increasing from there...even if it's 1 or 2 bpm at a time.

There are tons of topics on here regarding 'hand speed', 'fast singles', etc. It may help to do a search...

Why do you think you are so slow anyway? How fast can you play clean singles (in 16ths)? If it's like 50, then yeah, maybe you are slow. :-) But everyone starts somewhere, so start practicing single strokes (in front of a mirror helps me), watch your stick height-keeping them the same. Wherever your form falls apart, back it down a little and work there. Eventually, you will build muscle memory which will help you feel more comfortable. Then work on increasing tempo slowly and consistently (as possible).

Hope this helps. Just keep plugging away. In time you will notice an increase in speed and fluidity.
Thank you for taking time to respond.
I have always wanted to play the drums but never acted on it until a year ago. Prior to starting the journey of learning the instrument I had the idea in my head that my development would be limited due to my slow reflexes. Having been at it for a while now I know it won't happen overnight and that it requires time and effort I just wanted some reassurance from more experienced drummers that the right practice and technique could overcome certain physical limitations.
It appears through your post that, this is indeed the case.

I will "search" for additional information on the subject and try your suggestions. I feel dumb saying this but I have no idea how fast I can play clean singles. I guess that is an important benchmark to establish so I can chart my progress.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

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Originally Posted by centralzeke View Post
Not related to natural reflexes at all. You can get wherever you want to go if you concentrate on your technique.
Thanks, that is what I hoped to hear. My perception in regard to this has been working against me. Almost feeling defeated before getting to the fight.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegassuper View Post
Thank you for taking time to respond.
I have always wanted to play the drums but never acted on it until a year ago. Prior to starting the journey of learning the instrument I had the idea in my head that my development would be limited due to my slow reflexes. Having been at it for a while now I know it won't happen overnight and that it requires time and effort I just wanted some reassurance from more experienced drummers that the right practice and technique could overcome certain physical limitations.
It appears through your post that, this is indeed the case.

I will "search" for additional information on the subject and try your suggestions. I feel dumb saying this but I have no idea how fast I can play clean singles. I guess that is an important benchmark to establish so I can chart my progress.
Oh yeah...I should have mentioned this before. The most important tool you can use to help you increase speed is a metronome. Definitely get a metronome...and sticks and a practice pad...
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:10 PM
hunterde hunterde is offline
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Jojo Mayers DVD could help you tremendously.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:11 PM
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Geri Attrique Geri Attrique is offline
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

I am glad to read this thread. I am just starting out as well and find playing fast a little bit daunting (although I am really excited to learn drums)!
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

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Originally Posted by hunterde View Post
Jojo Mayers DVD could help you tremendously.
I just checked out some reviews on Amazon and it sounds like you are right. I had heard of it before but hadn't gotten around to finding out what it covered. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:51 PM
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Zumba_Zumba Zumba_Zumba is offline
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

If you mean reflexes as the involuntary deep tendon reflexes then, no, they do not determine speed of voluntary movements. Everyone is wired differently and some are naturally more able to transmit the "idea" of moving to the act of moving which involves several steps from central nervous system (brain to spinal cord) to peripheral nervous system (motor nerves to the muscles) and contraction speed of the muscles. Not to mention how fast each of those commands is recreated and refined as they happen. I have a feeling your speed has to do more with how fast the signal makes it from concept to "tap" kind of like a faster cable for transmitting pictures from a camera to a computer.

Good thing is, you can exercise your transmission speed like a muscle. Practice the exact movement required and over time you will get faster. Stop doing it, and you will lose it. Good luck.

Tom
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zumba_Zumba View Post
If you mean reflexes as the involuntary deep tendon reflexes then, no, they do not determine speed of voluntary movements. Everyone is wired differently and some are naturally more able to transmit the "idea" of moving to the act of moving which involves several steps from central nervous system (brain to spinal cord) to peripheral nervous system (motor nerves to the muscles) and contraction speed of the muscles. Not to mention how fast each of those commands is recreated and refined as they happen. I have a feeling your speed has to do more with how fast the signal makes it from concept to "tap" kind of like a faster cable for transmitting pictures from a camera to a computer.

Good thing is, you can exercise your transmission speed like a muscle. Practice the exact movement required and over time you will get faster. Stop doing it, and you will lose it. Good luck.

Tom
Interesting to look at it from a different angle. Encouraging that it is also something that would improve with practice. Thanks Tom.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

I don't know how quick my reflexes are, but I'm definitely not naturally talented for moving my limbs quickly. I mean, there's probably quite a few people without any drumming experience who could play single strokes faster than me. Still, I'm pretty content with my current speed, which is a lot better than when I started, and it's still improving. What got me faster is writing faster songs with my band, forcing me to try harder.
Besides technique, for me the most important thing is pushing yourself. Play songs that are outside your comfort zone, just barely within your capability, or even slightly beyond what you can currently achieve and then keep playing them until it becomes easy. Then find and play even faster songs, and so on.

Last edited by Fiery; 12-23-2009 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
I don't know how quick my reflexes are, but I'm definitely not naturally talented for moving my limbs quickly. I mean, there's probably quite a few people without any drumming experience who could play single strokes faster than me. Still, I'm pretty content with my current speed, which is a lot better than when I started, and it's still improving. What got me faster is writing faster songs with my band, forcing me to try harder.
Besides technique, for me the most important thing is pushing yourself. Play songs that are outside your comfort zone, just barely within your capability, or even slightly beyond what you can currently achieve and then keep playing them until it becomes easy. Then find and play even faster songs, and so on.
Thanks Fiery, I tend to fall into the trap of playing at tempos I can handle so it sounds like music. I need to push myself out of my comfort zone and continue doing so as the rough edges of each new plateau smooth out.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

i am not the worlds fastest drummer either. and I am not talking about just doing sixteenths on the pad at stupid rates, but playing basic beats and fills. So I went to a guy that trains kick boxers and asked how they improved speed. It does work but it takes time

he said training to co-ordinate at speed is similar to how drummers traditionally learn. Play it realy slow again and again till it is second nature and then speed it up a notch and play again and again, getting faster each day till you reach your limit. Once you are at your limit just turn it up fractionally each day, or even stay at that speed until you can.

but he said the speed you do a co-ordinated movement is only as fast as your slowest limb, so it helps to work on that limb. Perform the movement just using that one limb as fast s you possibley can 100 times, stop, stretch and do it again. He said 5 times was enough.(dont use a metronome)

I tend to do arms one day and legs the next



He also said being relaxed is important, tense muscles cannot work as fast as relaxed ones. so he taught me to rev, like you rev the accelerator of a car. Take the one limb again and perform the action slowly, then get faster and faster till you feel your muscles start to tense up, make a mental note of which muscle is tensing and slow down again, speed up again and as soon as you reach the tension point make a concious effort to relax that muscle as you slow down again. He said reving up and down like this can help you get faster and stop injuries.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default Re: Speed related to reflexes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannydrums View Post
i am not the worlds fastest drummer either. and I am not talking about just doing sixteenths on the pad at stupid rates, but playing basic beats and fills. So I went to a guy that trains kick boxers and asked how they improved speed. It does work but it takes time

he said training to co-ordinate at speed is similar to how drummers traditionally learn. Play it realy slow again and again till it is second nature and then speed it up a notch and play again and again, getting faster each day till you reach your limit. Once you are at your limit just turn it up fractionally each day, or even stay at that speed until you can.

but he said the speed you do a co-ordinated movement is only as fast as your slowest limb, so it helps to work on that limb. Perform the movement just using that one limb as fast s you possibley can 100 times, stop, stretch and do it again. He said 5 times was enough.(dont use a metronome)

I tend to do arms one day and legs the next



He also said being relaxed is important, tense muscles cannot work as fast as relaxed ones. so he taught me to rev, like you rev the accelerator of a car. Take the one limb again and perform the action slowly, then get faster and faster till you feel your muscles start to tense up, make a mental note of which muscle is tensing and slow down again, speed up again and as soon as you reach the tension point make a concious effort to relax that muscle as you slow down again. He said reving up and down like this can help you get faster and stop injuries.
Great stuff, thank you.
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