Getting my limbs up to par - a beginners "documentation"

Since all my planned endeavours seem to accumulate a lot of floatsam and jetsam in the form of uncounted printed sheets and handwritten notes I'll use the tools that the WWW provides and track my progress through the jungle of inability here right in this forum. Maybe there's one or two fellow beginners who find solace in that they're not alone :) And if it suits you, dear professionals, do chime in any time.

(Since I'm lucky with having a rehearsal space right n the baement of the apartment building I'm living in I can divide my practice between the living room/home office, where I beat the living hell out of a practice pad, and said basement where my kit resides.)

I'm using an Evans "Real Feel" pad (12", I think), normally I "play" with 5A sticks (Promark Forward 5A Firegrain), for practice I tried and found the Vic Firth Gavin Harrison signature sticks are cool because they're quite a bit fatter and have this anti-slip-coat on them which suit my dry hands quite fine. I installed the "Tempo" metronome app on my Android which has some features I probably will need later on in my project.

Step one (July 20–July 30): "Oi! That weak hand, that kick drum foot!"

Pad (45–60 minutes):
  • "Stick Control" Single Beat Combinations #1–36; 70 bpm; 8 repetitions each (I'm still working on stamina; and there's only so much time I have between work portions)
  • Double Strokes; 120 bpm as long as I can hold them without cramping my weak hand
Kit (30–40 minutes):
  • "Kick Crunch 07/2020" (see attachment) without the Snare/Hi-Hat variations in bars 15–20, stolen from various sources and put into place via MuseScore 3; 60 and 80 bpm; repetitions: until I loose focus, which happens often
Little update: I planned this to be a more or less weekly story. As Murphy and his freaking law would have it, there's always some "little job" that's announced to me right when I get the motivation to hit the sticks. So I will take this in steps instead of weeks. The pros and cons of self-employment ...


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Well-known member
Hello Karen. I hope you will make great progress and help others do the same.

I downloaded your kick crunch. Is the BPM speed you specified for eighth notes for the first two and possibly quarter notes for the third?
Hello Karen. I hope you will make great progress and help others do the same.

I downloaded your kick crunch. Is the BPM speed you specified for eighth notes for the first two and possibly quarter notes for the third?
Heya! Thanks for the head-up mate!
It's always quarter notes. I replaced the sheets with a version without tempo - to avoid misunderstandings. I'll just write bpms in my post to document where I am at :) Personally I find the ubiquitous 60 bpm to help gain muscle memory and synapse connections too slow for my taste, I tend to lose focus. I'm a bit of a hectic, I'm afraid :) and any 3-digit-number is too fast for me at the moment.
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Just a reminder why I'm doing this at my advanced age (male 1969 build): The effortlessness that's visible in this short advertorial vid:
I sure know this comes from decades of dedication (may I say dedicades? heh). And I have to start somewhere. Well, here goes …

Step two (July 31st–TBA): "Hands up, heels down, no kit!"

Pad: (60–90 minutes):
  • "Stick Control" Single Beat Combinations #1–36; 70 bpm; 8 repetitions for convenient patterns, 16 reps for those that break the flow. There's quite a few patterns that rub me the wrong way, so that my brain uses up too much processing power and jumbles my coordination. This is the result of VERY amateurishly fooling around on the drums for decades (including "Air Drumming" in secret) but never really getting down to playing them right. I seem to have formed synapses for completely wrong motion sequences that I now need to unlearn/untangle. Sucks a bit. But that's good. No pain, no gain, so to speak.
  • And I "invented" a pattern. Hand-to-hand. Yay! See attachment.
  • My newly acquired companion: "The Weak Side" by Dom Famularo (et al). Page 1 (and a few of page 2) @ 90 bpm; in the book it says "one minute per pattern", I do 'em for 20 bars each to not lose the "groove", so it's close enough.
Kit: nothing.
  • I tap 1 and 3 with the right foot, 2 and 4 with the left, while practicing on the pad; heel down. As an added complication I try to get the combinations on the quarter notes simultaneous, so as not to flam with foot & hand but getting them right. Should be good for something, shouldn't it?
----> Day #11 – Progress so far:
  • Starting to develop "feeling" in my weak right hand. Stick gradually feels less like an "alien body"; still HUGE difference to the left hand, though
  • Point of stick impact on the right hand side still meandering around erroneously, but a bit less so. This is gonna take ages. I think I'll do a video soon to demonstrate my shortcomings.
  • Right hand grip is now a bit more loose, "fulcrum" on the second finger, more contact to the stick for finger control; Still feels a bit awkward, but I sense progress
  • More comfortable with starting grooves with the right hand, no involuntary "switches" to leading left in the middle of a pattern.
  • Double Stroke Rolls: No, Sir. Ask me again in six months' time.
  • Usually I play 5A sticks (Promark Fire Grain Rebound); for practice I was told to use heavier timber and got a pair of Jeff Moore signature baseball bats. To avoid damaging my tendons (and my motivation) I bought a pair of Vic Firth Gavin Harrison signature sticks (those with the blue coloured grip coating) - still a bit on the heavy side, but manageable.


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