Entry into rudiments.

Hey gang,

So I've been thinking about this topic for awhile and I thought I'd run it by you. I'm 23 years old, been drumming off and on since my early teens. I've played on a few different albums and played in a house band for a few years off and on. I think I'm a decent drummer but I also acknowledge the fact that I'm not great. I took lessons from 12yrs old to about 17. I can hold time and play solid grooves, but I don't play anything too complex.

One of the issues I've ran into is my inability to play rudiments. When I took lessons, my teacher gave them to me. That was it. We never practiced them but I knew they existed. It wasn't until recently that I realized how much I needed them.

So my question is what is a good routine to get into them? How did you start? How do you learn to develop speed with them? I started working on paradiddles a month ago and am very confident with them. I can play them with ease, but I've struggled to play double stroke rolls or six stroke rolls. A lot of this is because my off hand is fairly weak. I think that will improve as I work on rudiments, but what are some drills you guys practiced to improve your off hand?

-Fish
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So my question is what is a good routine to get into them? How did you start? How do you learn to develop speed with them? I started working on paradiddles a month ago and am very confident with them. I can play them with ease, but I've struggled to play double stroke rolls or six stroke rolls. A lot of this is because my off hand is fairly weak. I think that will improve as I work on rudiments, but what are some drills you guys practiced to improve your off hand?

-Fish
You start by starting. And you go slow until your muscles are used to the motions. And then you put in the time, one, two hours a day, daily. When I was a kid, I spent hours with a pad in from to the TV drilling stuff to build up my hands, then when I was in a drum corps, it was the same thing, with a bunch of other people outside doing the same thing.

Maybe you'd like to enlist the services of a teacher to make sure your hands aren't doing anything weird while you're working out? I've met a lot of guys who can lay down great grooves but don't have great chops, so visiting with a teacher would be good just to make sure your motions aren't hurting you. Other than that, sit down and put in the time. There's a few guys on this forum who say they still put in about six to eight hours a day, which is great. But as you start working and paying bills, that's not a big option for a lot of us, which is why I recommend a teacher to quickly check yourself and set you on your way.
 
You start by starting. And you go slow until your muscles are used to the motions. And then you put in the time, one, two hours a day, daily. When I was a kid, I spent hours with a pad in from to the TV drilling stuff to build up my hands, then when I was in a drum corps, it was the same thing, with a bunch of other people outside doing the same thing.

Maybe you'd like to enlist the services of a teacher to make sure your hands aren't doing anything weird while you're working out? I've met a lot of guys who can lay down great grooves but don't have great chops, so visiting with a teacher would be good just to make sure your motions aren't hurting you. Other than that, sit down and put in the time. There's a few guys on this forum who say they still put in about six to eight hours a day, which is great. But as you start working and paying bills, that's not a big option for a lot of us, which is why I recommend a teacher to quickly check yourself and set you on your way.
I've been looking around for a good teacher, and haven't had a ton of luck. There are a few solid guys but they're an hour plus away. But ironically I've had a few producers in the studio who said they liked what I play because I don't over play. I mostly don't over play because well, I can't. Haha but I think I could improve on my groove with rudiments by adding more intricate ghost notes by using rudiments.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've been looking around for a good teacher, and haven't had a ton of luck. There are a few solid guys but they're an hour plus away. But ironically I've had a few producers in the studio who said they liked what I play because I don't over play. I mostly don't over play because well, I can't. Haha but I think I could improve on my groove with rudiments by adding more intricate ghost notes by using rudiments.
That's a delicate balance to maintain, because usually when someone has good hands, they have this tendency to show them off a bit too much.

However, learning how to better execute things will only be beneficial in the long run. It's all about being able to execute what's in your head. Of course, if you're happy with where you're at, and people who hire you are, then only you can answer if you want to get better. Being able to execute is one thing, knowing when to execute is another.

I liked what Keith Richards said when asked, "What do you look for in a drummer?" and he says, "I don't ever want to have to be looking at him" which I took to mean that the drummer is laying it down and Keith doesn't have to worry about the drummer doing something weird that will throw the train off the tracks (which a lot of guys do).

But look at studying the rudiments as a means to an end, not the other way around. Like being able to read, you can read a bunch of complicated words and know what they mean, but that doesn't mean you're using them in your conversations, right?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Just for warm-up the LTWU that Tommy Igoe got from his father and made into a product is good.

As for rudiments. They are like scales. You work on them, explore their creative potential and make what you like your own. I wouldn't get locked into the classic way, though. I'd include the Chaffee way and the point would be to after a while choose what you, like and maximise that.

If you want some etudes then there's the standard Wilcoxon books AAD and Swing Solos.


Overplaying...

Thatusually comes down to having the basics(maybe) and then a few flashy licks. There's stuff missing inbetween and that usually means some lack in basics and not worked on things in the right way.

Look at it as other musicians learning to navigate a tune. You have your basic thing down and then add to it piece by piece, so choose if you wanna add a little bit or more, but still be in complete control and be able to hear what you're doing.

Remember how much work it took to get those first things under your belt and have that same attitude towards every new thing you learn. The more you know the easier it gets of course, but built that vocabulary as anything else.

Also. The difference between something cool and pointless flash is often just dynamics. Do it tastefully at the right dynamic and there is room. Get that ghost note effect that ties the machine together.
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
Check out Bill Bachman's hand technique series (google it), and maybe get a Skype lesson or two from him. I have (and use) his materials for teaching routinely.

On a fundamental level, executing rudiments is really about controlling the height of each stroke, and what happens after the impact (how you control the rebound). If you can cleanly and perfectly play accent exercises with good stick heights, and smooth doubles, then playing the rest of the rudiments comes fairly quickly.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
To strengthen your weak hand start all your rudiments with that weaker hand..over and over then go your kit and repeat that. That's different than the pad, since you already use the weaker hand to slam or hit the snare, so things just feel different on the kit.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
So my question is what is a good routine to get into them? How did you start? How do you learn to develop speed with them? I started working on paradiddles a month ago and am very confident with them. I can play them with ease, but I've struggled to play double stroke rolls or six stroke rolls. A lot of this is because my off hand is fairly weak. I think that will improve as I work on rudiments, but what are some drills you guys practiced to improve your off hand?

-Fish
Play them with ease? what speed? You HAVE to use a metronome and BPM to gauge your progress and to also let us know where your at. Even phone apps work.

100 bpm? 140? 180? 210?

Once you have your diddles down, can you play left hand lead? choose where the accents are? play them as triplets? Can you play them on the kit? keep the hi hats going? how about on the upbeats to work on your independence?

there is no rocket science to the 6stroke, doubles, etc. Slow them WAY down and make sure they are tight, no bouncing the sticks. make sure you hit each stroke and use your wrists and fingers. add a few bpm max per day, make sure you can do it for extended time... It takes years to get your double stroke to sound amazing, but you should be able to make excellent progress on the way.

Getting a teacher helps with this but 99% of people try and progress to fast and toss technique out the window. Similar to people in the gym starting to lift to heavy and looking like garbage rather thatn keeping the weights light until they are READY. personal trainers, workouget buddys help solve this. similar to drum teachers.

you have your whole life to get better so don't rush it and you will be happy (I know from experience)

I vote for pad work for 30 minute a day to improve rudiments. It's less distracting than playing on a drum set. Once you do your pad warmup you are allowed to play. It's made a world of difference for me.
 

veecharlie

Senior Member
This is a very good question topic.

I started on rudiments for the same reason... what I did, was to practice rudiments when warming up. As I have suffered an injury (Non related to drums) I am forced to warm up. Paradiddle and doubles. That's what I started with. I started changing with flams, 5 stroke rolls, 6 stroke rolls, etc etc when I would get bored with the paradiddle.
I always practice then with a metronome, it's a good idea you do that too. Besides, you can memorize the movement without, that's not an issue. I hope that helps...
Switching leads is also very important, by the way. Alternate between R and L accordingly.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I can hold time and play solid grooves, but I don't play anything too complex.
Don't move too far away from this statement. Jeff Porcaro, Bernard Purdie, Hal Blaine, Rick Marotta, JR, Ringo, Charlie Watts (and too many more to name) are prime examples of guys who pretty much swear by your statement. It's such an underrated, often overlooked ability. One that puts a lot of money in your wallet :)

There's tons of bedroom players on youtube that have flashy chops to burn but can't do it in a band context because they can't play time which is the drummers meat and drink or can't hack not being the centre of attention in a band situation.

Rudiments are nice if you can incorporate them into playing time and solid groove but for the most part you're using them for pad work and getting your hands fast and loose.

I'd get a decent technique teacher that can teach you how to do them properly without hurting yourself. If you get a good teacher to point you in the right direction the hours of practice pay off.

Here's a link to how to get your double stroke rolls going:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz1oUOtla9w
 

MJD

Silver Member
https://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Drum-Method-Roy-Burns-ebook/dp/B00EUMQXIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510756965&sr=8-1&keywords=elementary+drum+method+by+roy+burns
This book has all the rudiments in front. There are others that do as well. My teacher started me off practicing 5 stroke rolls, 9 stroke rolls and flams. 3 weeks of nothing but that.(surprisingly i remember this although over 20 years have gone by) then he moved me on to 7 stroke rolls and paradiddles etc. Nothing but a pad and a pair of sticks. I've always followed suit when i've taught. start out relaxed and slow then build speed. Learning rudiments has been a traditional way of building hand strength and dexterity. They also serve as the ABC's of drumming vocabulary.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Just getting a list of rudiments and practicing them in example format is of pretty limited value. Buy a copy of Mitchell Peters's Rudimental Primer and start figuring it out. Or book 2 of Haskell Harr's Drum Method. Each book has preparatory studies to help you get the motion for each rudiment, and musical studies for playing them in context. You'll need to know the correct technique for playing a flam, ruff, four stroke ruff, double stroke, and multiple bounce stroke, so you should either get a teacher who knows how to play the snare drum, or get lucky on youtube.
 
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