Alternate? Or do the same thing?

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
For practice schedules, is it okay to alternate practice materials? Or is it better to practice the same thing everyday?

For example:

Monday - Master Studies
Tuesday - Mastering the Tables of Time
Wednesday - Master Studies
Thursday - Mastering the Tables of Time
Friday - Master Studies
Saturday - Mastering the Tables of Time

The above is just an example, I have other practice materials. My point is that I'm wondering whether it's okay to alternate the practice material within a week.

For everyday stuff: I practice rudiments everyday as part of my warmup. I also plan to spend 25 minutes on Syncopation reading exercise, and another 25 minutes working through The New Breed exercises. And 25 minutes each working on my weak limbs (25 min for left hand, 25 min for left foot).

Of course, I have time allocated to playing along to music and other fun stuff, about 30 minutes to an hour for that.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
If I don't have time to practice everything I just rotate through them evenly (unless I feel like I WANT to do a particular one).

If I only have an hour each day... and I did double bass yesterday, I'll do coordination, and tomorrow I'll do subdivisions, and playing to music the day after that.

Reduces boredom.
 

shemp

Silver Member
My approach is to focus on learning music....songs that seem to have the most portable skills. The list of music is always evolving so that I'm being challenged to learn new skills. From that, I'm forced to isolate and work on practical techniques. One example is Immigrant Song which really led me down the path of exercises for single kick....

At night, I spend 30-45 minute on Stick Control pp 5-8
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
If I don't have time to practice everything I just rotate through them evenly (unless I feel like I WANT to do a particular one).

If I only have an hour each day... and I did double bass yesterday, I'll do coordination, and tomorrow I'll do subdivisions, and playing to music the day after that.

Reduces boredom.
Yeah, I'm just really trying to avoid stagnancy.

My approach is to focus on learning music....songs that seem to have the most portable skills. The list of music is always evolving so that I'm being challenged to learn new skills. From that, I'm forced to isolate and work on practical techniques. One example is Immigrant Song which really led me down the path of exercises for single kick....

At night, I spend 30-45 minute on Stick Control pp 5-8
Yes Shemp, I really like your 'songs' approach to learning the drums.
 
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jgvideira

Junior Member
I've been working on 3 books for a little while now and sometimes I skip a couple of days on one or another (or all of them), but no problem! I don't think its bad to alternate materials as long as you review the exercise(s) you did last time. Its actually better if done that way, as pointed (could be boring otherwise).

Some interesting content regarding practicing "philosophy" can be seen in this thread
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm an advocate of studying deeper not broader. Meaning if you have an hour, spend it all on one thing...as best you can.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
I've been working on 3 books for a little while now and sometimes I skip a couple of days on one or another (or all of them), but no problem! I don't think its bad to alternate materials as long as you review the exercise(s) you did last time. Its actually better if done that way, as pointed (could be boring otherwise).

Some interesting content regarding practicing "philosophy" can be seen in this thread
Yes, I've seen the link to that Hal Galper video all over everywhere but I finally took the time to check it out. Very interesting. Through self discovery, I found the bit about ' non - linear practice' to be very true. But I didn't know what was going on till I watched that video. When it would happen, I considered it to be a 'nice surprise'. Now I know how it works.

I plan to keep my practice material to a minimum, roughly around 3 books as well. I've acquired many books throughout the years and through unforeseen circumstances whilst moving, I lost my whole collection of books. But maybe it was for the better.. it's giving me the chance to really downsize and make smarter choices, it's also helping me focus a lot better.
 

whitecatcafe

Senior Member
I guess the conclusion I have made is that:

1) It's ok to alternate or switch things up regarding practice material.

2) Don't force yourself to practice things that you're not really interested in.

Thank you to everybody who replied for your input to my question!
 

Reggae_Mangle

Silver Member
Au contraire, I think it's important to practice stuff that might not be up your alley. It'll help you build up your drumming "vocabulary".

As far as alternating practice routines, I suppose mixing it up has its advantages and disadvantages. You can either learn to do one thing really well, or learn multiple things that could be applied to more areas with a bit more inconsistency. Of course, as time progressed, you should be overcome the limitations of either of these methodologies by doing the due diligence on whatever you're learning.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Au contraire, I think it's important to practice stuff that might not be up your alley. It'll help you build up your drumming "vocabulary".
Sure. Providing you actually might use it though. Otherwise it's just time spent fluffing around at the expense of something you might actually use.

There's tons of stuff I just flat out ignore. That's not to say that I'll never get round to it.....more so, I want to prioritise that which is useful to my own musical situation. And there's no shortage of that to work on.

We could spend years going down technical avenues that we're never likely to explore musically. If it doesn't really benefit where you want to take your playing, then I'd argue, for what purpose? Building vocabulary is important.....of that we are agreed, but not just for the sake of it. You actually wanna make sure you're gonna use that vocabulary in a musical sense. Otherwise, it's little more than time spent ignoring that which may be of far more musical benefit.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I guess the conclusion I have made is that:

1) It's ok to alternate or switch things up regarding practice material.

2) Don't force yourself to practice things that you're not really interested in.
Sure, but you have to be careful about that latter thing-- it would be easy to use it as an excuse to be undisciplined, or to feel that everything to do with learning to play is optional. The process of learning to do something you really want to be able to do may not be super-interesting or fun every step of the way. And remember that Galper was addressing college level jazz students in that video-- he wasn't telling them it was OK to not learn their major scales, or how to read music, if they didn't feel like it. There's a fairly large amount of fundamental stuff that anyone who is ambitious about their playing needs to learn whether they're excited about it or not. I do think you should be professionally competent-- or very near it, like the people Galper was speaking to-- to be completely free to take that approach to your practicing.
 
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