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  #1  
Old 08-30-2014, 11:22 PM
apechto apechto is offline
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Default I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

So I have been playing for about 6 years now. And right now I am realizing how bad I am. I can't keep a steady beat at a slow tempo and my foot is still weak. What happens a lot during my playing is that I end up sitting at my kit, thinking that maybe I just wasn't meant to play drums. It seems I never make any progress. Now I have only "seriously" been playing for the past 2 years. Or so I thought, because now reflecting on it, I would usually practice maybe 4 times a week for an hour, and through all those practice sessions, it never seemed like I was getting better. What am I doing wrong? I feel really lost because It now feels like I don't enjoy playing anymore. It feels like a chore. Whenever I'm not playing, I always wish to be playing, but I sit down and get frustrated and give up. I'm sorry if this seems like I'm just rambling. I need help.
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2014, 12:08 AM
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Ollie Bonugli Ollie Bonugli is offline
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

I've also been playing for 6 years, and realised I couldn't keep time very well. What I started to do is practise to a metronome (if you have a smartphone there are loads of free ones that can be downloaded). Also, if you never meant to play drums then you wouldn't still be playing.
As for bass drum work, experiment with different techniques, find one that is comfortable, and stick to that, and play something simple at say 120bpm, then as you feel comfortable, bump it up by 5 or 10bpm. I use a combination of the Heel-Toe and Slide technique for my right foot, and Heel up for my left (double pedals). I found that a few months after getting double pedals (got them in January) my right foot had improved loads.
Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm only a year younger than you, I felt the same way as you do now, but then realised that if I don't think positively than nothing will be achieved. When you get frustrated, watch you favourite comedian, or do something that makes you laugh, then try again.
Remember, all professionals were at this stage at some point.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Are either of you studying with anybody? Sometimes a good teacher makes all the difference in the world.

What I do when I feel 'in a slump' - and I've been playing professionally for almost 30 years now - is to just take a break and don't force it. When I come back, I'm refreshed and I want to tackle alot of new things. One of my main gigs is working with schools - so from November 'til the top of May I'm out doing my thing with the kids (among other playing I do). So when they take a break for summer, I tend to also take a break. I continue to practice sporadically, but it isn't anything intense. When September rolls around (like now) I'm ready to jump in again.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

I had this problem, and it went on for longer than 6 years.. It was really down to unfocussed practise, "distracted" practise, and practising the wrong things. I usually ended up just playing along to songs I found comfortable to play.. Sound familiar? Maybe.. maybe not.

I was an okay drummer and often got complimented after gigs, but I was inconsistent and deep down I knew I was a hack.

Anyway, the only thing I can suggest is finding a reputable teacher with proven results who can devise a programme for you. I did that a few years ago; it's taking a lot to break bad habbits but things are improving, and I can see it all going somewhere finally.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Ruts, I hate ruts... But I'm a multi-instrumentalist so I just switch over to something I have been neglecting for a while and come back to what ever I left.

Another thing I do is lay off the kit a bit and play the djembe or conga for a while, or even the frame drum.

It's all good... until I pick up the Trombone... which I have neglected longer than anything and it is just terrible until I start getting back into the groove. Terrible, my dogs used to bark and growl and it didn't help that I was chasing them around the house making race car noises or horsey noises on the bone. In fact I am pretty good and making horsey and race car noises on the bone... I need to buckle down and re-learn some actual material...
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoB View Post
Ruts, I hate ruts... But I'm a multi-instrumentalist so I just switch over to something I have been neglecting for a while and come back to what ever I left.

Another thing I do is lay off the kit a bit and play the djembe or conga for a while, or even the frame drum.

It's all good... until I pick up the Trombone... which I have neglected longer than anything and it is just terrible until I start getting back into the groove. Terrible, my dogs used to bark and growl and it didn't help that I was chasing them around the house making race car noises or horsey noises on the bone. In fact I am pretty good and making horsey and race car noises on the bone... I need to buckle down and re-learn some actual material...
But for now you'll settle for getting all the horsey sounds and race car noise gigs in town, eh?
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:52 PM
apechto apechto is offline
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Bonugli View Post
I've also been playing for 6 years, and realised I couldn't keep time very well. What I started to do is practise to a metronome (if you have a smartphone there are loads of free ones that can be downloaded). Also, if you never meant to play drums then you wouldn't still be playing.
As for bass drum work, experiment with different techniques, find one that is comfortable, and stick to that, and play something simple at say 120bpm, then as you feel comfortable, bump it up by 5 or 10bpm. I use a combination of the Heel-Toe and Slide technique for my right foot, and Heel up for my left (double pedals). I found that a few months after getting double pedals (got them in January) my right foot had improved loads.
Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm only a year younger than you, I felt the same way as you do now, but then realised that if I don't think positively than nothing will be achieved. When you get frustrated, watch you favourite comedian, or do something that makes you laugh, then try again.
Remember, all professionals were at this stage at some point.
I think i'm just going to lay off the kit for a bit and just sit with my pad and metronome for a little bit.
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2014, 05:54 PM
apechto apechto is offline
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoB View Post
Ruts, I hate ruts... But I'm a multi-instrumentalist so I just switch over to something I have been neglecting for a while and come back to what ever I left.

Another thing I do is lay off the kit a bit and play the djembe or conga for a while, or even the frame drum.

It's all good... until I pick up the Trombone... which I have neglected longer than anything and it is just terrible until I start getting back into the groove. Terrible, my dogs used to bark and growl and it didn't help that I was chasing them around the house making race car noises or horsey noises on the bone. In fact I am pretty good and making horsey and race car noises on the bone... I need to buckle down and re-learn some actual material...
I just bought an acoustic guitar so I'm going to be fiddling around with that for a bit
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2014, 06:06 PM
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Ollie Bonugli Ollie Bonugli is offline
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Are either of you studying with anybody? Sometimes a good teacher makes all the difference in the world.

What I do when I feel 'in a slump' - and I've been playing professionally for almost 30 years now - is to just take a break and don't force it. When I come back, I'm refreshed and I want to tackle alot of new things. One of my main gigs is working with schools - so from November 'til the top of May I'm out doing my thing with the kids (among other playing I do). So when they take a break for summer, I tend to also take a break. I continue to practice sporadically, but it isn't anything intense. When September rolls around (like now) I'm ready to jump in again.
My teacher is Dave Neal, the drummer for Suzie Quatro (look her up if you don't know her)
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2014, 09:40 PM
GetAgrippa GetAgrippa is offline
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Well a good teacher always seems the correct default answer, but if you'd rather go it alone then I suggest play along to music-all kinds of music such as that you like and even that you dislike too and record yourself as you play. Some genre are easier to play than others-like I personally think jazz is difficult, but a drummer should be able to play any genre (pop,rock, latin, funk, jazz, country, etc. to some degree too. After a while you will improve on the songs and can see your progress. weaknesses, and strengths. Enjoy yourself and don't sweat it so much-it takes time and practice which just takes time and practice. LOL.
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  #11  
Old Today, 01:30 AM
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Griffman Griffman is offline
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Default Re: I think I might have been practicing wrong for a long time..

Quote:
Originally Posted by apechto View Post
So I have been playing for about 6 years now. And right now I am realizing how bad I am. I can't keep a steady beat at a slow tempo and my foot is still weak. What happens a lot during my playing is that I end up sitting at my kit, thinking that maybe I just wasn't meant to play drums. It seems I never make any progress. Now I have only "seriously" been playing for the past 2 years. Or so I thought, because now reflecting on it, I would usually practice maybe 4 times a week for an hour, and through all those practice sessions, it never seemed like I was getting better. What am I doing wrong? I feel really lost because It now feels like I don't enjoy playing anymore. It feels like a chore. Whenever I'm not playing, I always wish to be playing, but I sit down and get frustrated and give up. I'm sorry if this seems like I'm just rambling. I need help.
The solution may be more psychological than technical in nature. You have to enjoy practice or progress or both to perpetually put in the time needed for growth. However the most direct technical practice to address you concerns or weaknesses may not be the best. Practice is in a sense rehearsal for performance. When you perform you of course want to be focused happy and motivated to give your best. The other suggestions so far are money. I only add this. Find practice goals, exercises, etc that are FUN. Perhaps focus on your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Practice grooves to minus drums music and have fun. When I started recording some of my practice work I got very down on myself. I had some of the problems you mentioned but exaggerated them in my mind. Recently I listened to one of those old recordings not knowing it was me. It wasn't perfect but it was way better than I thought when I first recorded it. I think it kind of like when you had a little zit in high school it looked like a giant mutation in the mirror.

Find a way to practice with joy and have fun at any cost. If you can't you will be miserable and quit or be miserable and no fun to play with. A teacher, more user friendly practice material, more fun songs, whatever it takes. A very small break enjoying other things than drums may help as well. You will be fine!
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