Endurance for single-stroke rolls

JJKK

Member
So I'm doing endurance runs with a pad, trying to learn better rebound utilization as I increase the bpm on the click. I use a tabata app (it's for exercising as far as I know) and do 4 minutes at a time, 5 minutes breaks in between. The tabata app can be set to whatever amount of work time, but I use 20 seconds at the moment with a 10 second break, then 20 seconds work etc.

I can feel the weak hand work and start struggling after the 6th or 7th run, then I lower the bpm after I get fatigued. I started doing 20 minutes total today, hopefully to increase endurance, speed and control.

Are there better ways to go for the same goals?
 

Jonathan Curtis

Silver Member
Hi JJKK,

Firstly, you might consider watching the following two videos, which specifically address the topic of single strokes:

Developing Finger Control:



Single Stroke Technique



Secondly, you might also consider a book of technical studies that utilise the techniques you are learning, as opposed to simply repeating them on a bad. This book includes many single-stroke studies that apply the technique in a variety of ways, specifically designed to engage the fingers (as the videos above show), and to improve control, which itself includes speed. The Long Form studies in that book ensure consistent repetition of the motions for every subdivision between 8th notes and 9-tuplets.

Thirdly, in my experience, you are not repeating for long enough. I would suggest slowing the tempo slightly, and aiming for a minimum of one minute per run. You might consider the following exercise:

1. Choose a 10 bpm tempo range. This might be something lower like 120-130, or something faster like 170-180. The upper number needs to be about 90% of your max. If your goal is 200bpm and you are nearly there, you might start with 170-180, for example.

2. Set the metronome to the lower number, so 170 in this example, and play the singles at a consistent volume as 16th notes for one minute.

3. If you successfully complete the minute, increase the tempo by 2 bpm (172), and go for another minute. If you fail to complete the minute, reduce the tempo by 1bpm (169). So +2 for a success, -1 for a fail. Your goal is to get to the upper tempo within a single practice session. In theory, this can be achieved by performing five successful one-minute runs in a row. However, if you are working at the upper range of your control, you will likely go up and down a few times during the session.

Your own definition of success and failure will dictate whether you count each run as successful or not. You might just about scrape through the minute, or you might just feel the control wasn't quite there, or you may find the whole minute easy. But the overall goal is to encourage focus during the repetitions. You need to be actively engaged and providing yourself with analytical feedback over longer periods. 10 or 20 seconds simply isn't long enough for the feedback loop to take place.

Ideally, you would do the above exercise for larger periods - perhaps 2.5 minutes or 100 bars of repetition. In all cases, you need to be focused, providing yourself feedback, and correcting the errors through evaluation of technique.

Speed will not result from simple sprint drills. You have to assess the technical weakness, fix it, improve the control, and build it up gradually.

Good luck!
Jonathan

EDIT: Sorry, I reread your post and might have misunderstood. It sounds like you are doing longer periods of repetition, not just 10-20 seconds at a time.
 
Last edited:

JJKK

Member
I just tried your approach for a while. Felt much more intense than the 20-second runs, but I had to lower the bpm a lot.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
yeah....start slowly and then speed up

I use the Tempo app, and it has a settign that allows you to assign it to speed up slowly over period of time.. I use this all the time for all of my practice: rudiments; double bass; marimba etc...

the system I have used over the years is:
1. set Tempo app to speed up the way I want
2. play event up to a tempo where I feel tension; note that speed. Thhis is my "trouble tempo"
3. slow down 10 clicks, and then do timed reps at that speed > usually 2 minutes on, 30 seconds off, repeated 10 times

the next day, I do the same process to see if my "trouble tempo" has gotten any higher. From session to session, I feel like I can add about 3-5 beats of speed....

garnted, you have to keep this process going to maintain the speed/endurance. If I take weeks of in between sessions, or din't utilize the speed, it goes away, just like any other kinesthetic activity
 

Caz

Senior Member
yeah....start slowly and then speed up

I use the Tempo app, and it has a settign that allows you to assign it to speed up slowly over period of time.. I use this all the time for all of my practice: rudiments; double bass; marimba etc...

the system I have used over the years is:
1. set Tempo app to speed up the way I want
2. play event up to a tempo where I feel tension; note that speed. Thhis is my "trouble tempo"
3. slow down 10 clicks, and then do timed reps at that speed > usually 2 minutes on, 30 seconds off, repeated 10 times

the next day, I do the same process to see if my "trouble tempo" has gotten any higher. From session to session, I feel like I can add about 3-5 beats of speed....

garnted, you have to keep this process going to maintain the speed/endurance. If I take weeks of in between sessions, or din't utilize the speed, it goes away, just like any other kinesthetic activity
Hi, do you mean the Tempo app lets you start at one tempo then speed up after an amount of time to a new tempo? I use this app but didn’t know it could do that, would be helpful

Thanks,
Caroline
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
Hi, do you mean the Tempo app lets you start at one tempo then speed up after an amount of time to a new tempo? I use this app but didn’t know it could do that, would be helpful

Thanks,
Caroline

yep...if you go to the upper left corner, you will see 2 dashes split by a slash - looks like this -/- Tap on that, and then a menu drops down that allows you to set tempo increase by time and bar. I like to use 3 bpm every 4 bars usually. It speeds up just enough to not make it noticeable
 
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Caz

Senior Member
yep...if you go to the upper left corner, you will see 2 dashes split by a slash - looks like this -/- Tap on that, and then a menu drops down that allows you to set tempo increase by time and bar. I like to use 3 bpm every 4 bars usually. It speeds up just enough to not make it noticeable
Thanks - I've just had a look and don't see this on my Tempo app.. the top left just has options for switching between basic, setlists etc. There's a bit called Automator though, maybe it's this, will have a play around with it.

Cheers,
Caroline
 

wellnow

New Member
single stroke hmm?......Buddy Rich....Watch!....Listen!....Learn!.....lots of videos watch them slow them down and most importantly LISTEN
 
You might consider the following exercise:

1. Choose a 10 bpm tempo range. This might be something lower like 120-130, or something faster like 170-180. The upper number needs to be about 90% of your max. If your goal is 200bpm and you are nearly there, you might start with 170-180, for example.

2. Set the metronome to the lower number, so 170 in this example, and play the singles at a consistent volume as 16th notes for one minute.

3. If you successfully complete the minute, increase the tempo by 2 bpm (172), and go for another minute. If you fail to complete the minute, reduce the tempo by 1bpm (169). So +2 for a success, -1 for a fail. Your goal is to get to the upper tempo within a single practice session. In theory, this can be achieved by performing five successful one-minute runs in a row. However, if you are working at the upper range of your control, you will likely go up and down a few times during the session.

Your own definition of success and failure will dictate whether you count each run as successful or not.
I’ve tried this exercise today, though not with snare singles (but a maracas “stroke” I’m working on, if you want to know). It was interesting, revealing in more than one way.

First, it was a reality-check about my perceived “max” BPM. I started 5 BPM below the bottom of the range calculated as described, yet I first went down and down and down, as far as 10 BPM below starting point (i.e. 15 BPM below the supposedly already conservative starting point…). I really struggled to climb back up and for a while I thought wouldn’t be able to hit my goal tempo at all. Eventually something clicked and I quickly went back up and up (and sometimes down…) and up, all the way to my goal tempo. It took about an hour of focussed drilling (is that excessive?). By the end I had really good sound and kinetic feelings in my hands, at the goal tempo.

There was another (unexpected) positive outcome for me. I tend to have unrealistic expectations when I record myself, focusing on whether every hit is “in time” much more than on the overall feel of the take. Micro vs macro kind of thing. I very much had to challenge my notion of acceptable/passable throughout. There’s also definitely something to be said about focus. I caught my thoughts wandering off a lot more at the start, when I was going downhill tempo-wise. At some point, I just seemed to get in the zone: my mind became more and more focused on my movements, kinetic feelings, and quality of sound, etc. for longer periods. At some point I was able to maintain that focus for the whole required minute and that’s when I started going back up the tempo range steadily. It was quite mindful. I reckon practising in that way will help me find that zone more easily when I record and better recognise when a take has good feel and sound as a whole. Hopefully I’m right because it would be a great learning outcome for me.

A few things clicked doing this and I’m really pleased I saw it through. I will be doing it again regularly. Thanks Jonathan.
 
Last edited:

Jonathan Curtis

Silver Member
I’ve tried this exercise today, though not with snare singles (but a maracas “stroke” I’m working on, if you want to know). It was interesting, revealing in more than one way.

First, it was a reality-check about my perceived “max” BPM. I started 5 BPM below the bottom of the range calculated as described, yet I first went down and down and down, as far as 10 BPM below starting point (i.e. 15 BPM below the supposedly already conservative starting point…). I really struggled to climb back up and for a while I thought wouldn’t be able to hit my goal tempo at all. Eventually something clicked and I quickly went back up and up (and sometimes down…) and up, all the way to my goal tempo. It took about an hour of focussed drilling (is that excessive?). By the end I had really good sound and kinetic feelings in my hands, at the goal tempo.

There was another (unexpected) positive outcome for me. I tend to have unrealistic expectations when I record myself, focusing on whether every hit is “in time” much more than on the overall feel of the take. Micro vs macro kind of thing. I very much had to challenge my notion of acceptable/passable throughout. There’s also definitely something to be said about focus. I caught my thoughts wandering off a lot more at the start, when I was going downhill tempo-wise. At some point, I just seemed to get in the zone: my mind became more and more focused on my movements, kinetic feelings, and quality of sound, etc. for longer periods. At some point I was able to maintain that focus for the whole required minute and that’s when I started going back up the tempo range steadily. It was quite mindful. I reckon practising in that way will help me find that zone more easily when I record and better recognise when a take has good feel and sound as a whole. Hopefully I’m right because it would be a great learning outcome for me.

A few things clicked doing this and I’m really pleased I saw it through. I will be doing it again regularly. Thanks Jonathan.

Great to hear. What you described is exactly the point. The point isn’t the tempo, but the focus and the repetition. Focused repetition is the only way to qualitatively improve a physical motion, and thus approach is intended to encourage as much focused repetition as possible. The time period and tempo movements are simply there to aid in the focus.
 

JJKK

Member
That’s quite telling. Speed come from control, and control over sustained periods. Don’t worry about the bpm, focus on the control. It will be worth it longterm.

Finger involvement in my left hand is limited a bit, can't push beyond some speeds because my right is so much faster. Any tips on working the fingers on my left?
 
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