Has practicing on pillows helped with your speed or control

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thatoneguy

Guest
You know I have never done the mirror thing. It does seem like it would really help in training your hands to execute certain techniques. As we all know, you can never have to many points of view :) so yeah it makes sense.
I do it regularly. I keep a V3 on a stand that I put in front of my bedroom mirror up close. This way I can stand and walk back and forth in semi-circle getting great angles of the inside an outside of each hand in action. Really helps trad grip with the different techniques in use simultaneously. Good for learning about height, control, even dynamics amongst other things.
 

zlumpy

Member
I've been practicing on a pillow for two days, for about 20 minutes each time, playing singles in 16th notes at ~120-150bpm and I've already noticed a huge difference in my left hand speed. Frankly, I'm shocked at how fast my left hand endurance/speed increased. I'm definitely going to keep this up.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
My question is, is there an equivalent for the feet? I suppose ankle weights would be it.
If there is one I'd like to know because I need to increase my bass drum technique a lot and only have a narrow window to practice each day, and not even every day, so if I can do something quieter it'd help me out a lot.
 

mikeveny

Member
Practicing on pillows is essential, but only to a certain extent.

Like an athlete, you need to build up a certain degree of strength.

Before you do that, it's important to learn the basics of the free stroke and Moeller Technique. This is about learning to use natural leverage.

Ultimately, natural leverage combined with strength will improve your speed.

Check out this article: How to Build Drum Speed
 

ralfodrum

Junior Member
Practicing on pillows is essential, but only to a certain extent.

Like an athlete, you need to build up a certain degree of strength.

Before you do that, it's important to learn the basics of the free stroke and Moeller Technique. This is about learning to use natural leverage.

Ultimately, natural leverage combined with strength will improve your speed.

Check out this article: How to Build Drum Speed
I DISAGREE ABOUT THE PILLOWS-----YOU CAN'T BOUNCE DOUBLE STROKES,AND DRUMS DON'T FEEL LIKE THAT----GET A GOOD PRACTICE PAD,DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME-----I STUDIED THE MOELLER TECHNIQUE WITH JIM CHAPIN,WITHOUT A DECENT PRACTICE PAD YOU WILL NEVER GET IT-----SLEEP ON THE PILLOW.
 

KBadd

Silver Member
Learning to work the drumstick efficiently...I'll be practicing that until I croak...Surface can be anything, or nothing! Mid air practice! It's the muscles I'm training. HOWEVER....Nothing has the exact rebound of a drumset, and I think that the more time spent playing actual unmuffled real rebounding drums, the quicker you will make yourself sound better on those drums. Only your drums and cymbals have the range of rebounds that you are "fine tuning" your hands to. That's one of the main goals, to make your own personal drumset sound great, right? I find that after practicing singles on something other than my snare drum, when I do get to do singles on my snare drum, I always have to fine tune my touch/rebound control. Snares wires have no forgiveness, a good thing. Practicing singles on a pad feels totally different than on a snare drum or tom....
So it's all good, just make sure you practice singles on the drums too.

If there is one thing I've learned from this forum....there is no one right way. This is just my own personal take on it, so you can't argue with me lol
Larry and I, I am CERTAIN, have the same mother.......we're just not sure who the father is!!

As a professional bed/pillow HOTEL ROOM drumset player I can tell you it works. To what degree?? Dunno. Anyway, as someone posted, as an athlete you MUST practice your sport exactly i.e. running, jumping, swinging the bat, shooting the bball, kicking the football........etc.......GETTING the muscles stronger will make those areas better, agree??? You should. I think a question here is "how do I get my muscles stronger?" For a fee, I will help you. The KBadd, fitness professional and drumming professional. (smiles and chuckles LOUD)
 
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thatoneguy

Guest
Larry and I, I am CERTAIN, have the same mother.......we're just not sure who the father is!!

As a professional bed/pillow HOTEL ROOM drumset player I can tell you it works. To what degree?? Dunno. Anyway, as someone posted, as an athlete you MUST practice your sport exactly i.e. running, jumping, swinging the bat, shooting the bball, kicking the football........etc.......GETTING the muscles stronger will make those areas better, agree??? You should. I think a question here is "how do I get my muscles stronger?" For a fee, I will help you. The KBadd, fitness professional and drumming professional. (smiles and chuckles LOUD)
There seems to be a misconception amongst many here that strength=speed. You shouldn't think of it in terms of strength training. Speed, with regards to drumming, is a matter of reflex. How quickly can you stop the stick and return it to the head over and over. The stick is actually stopped more than it is in motion. Disregard this if you want but please read the article linked in my sig before you do. Thanks
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
I DISAGREE ABOUT THE PILLOWS-----YOU CAN'T BOUNCE DOUBLE STROKES,
YES YOU CAN. Pillows can be very useful in developing the drop-catch double stroke technique because of the lack of rebound, but certainly better to do it under the supervision of a teacher. Dennis Chambers is right in pointing out the problems in relying on practice pads for technique development - the response is too unrealistic. When a player has developed his hands to a degree that the over-bounce of a pad is no longer a crutch the practice pad then becomes valuable as a chops builder.
 
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thatoneguy

Guest
Ok last post in this thread. To each his own but you must get a drumometer if your serious about developing true speed. Its available so make use of it. It automatically gauges your progress and teaches you to practice efficiently. That along with lots of practice on real drums and your good. Dennis Chambers wouldnt even do a run on a drumometer when he was asked to. Some of these guys aren't as fast as you think they are. Once again, check out the sig. -Zac Sullivan
 

tomgrosset

Pioneer Member
Hey Jay,

I certainly believe that practicing on pillows can be profitable towards your technique. I wouldn't encourage time away from the practice pad though. For a time I researched many different techniques and their surfaces and I experimented with only a few of them and one of them happened to be the pillow and it certainly did make a difference with regards to my technique. As you said already a lot of those drummers you listed used this method of practicing and it's obvious that it made an impact on their speed. I also heard at WFD that Jotan Afanador used to incorporate the pillow as a way of increasing his speed. But I wouldn't solely depend on it. There have been a lot of drummers out there who haven't used the pillow and they all have mad chops too. So what about them? Bottom line is practicing on a pillow is certainly good and all and can in fact build muscle control but a pad can also help to produce many other techniques like the free stroke which in my mind is really important.
 

jonescrusher

Pioneer Member
Ok last post in this thread. To each his own but you must get a drumometer if your serious about developing true speed. Its available so make use of it. It automatically gauges your progress and teaches you to practice efficiently. That along with lots of practice on real drums and your good. Dennis Chambers wouldnt even do a run on a drumometer when he was asked to. Some of these guys aren't as fast as you think they are. Once again, check out the sig. -Zac Sullivan
Not sure a drumometer has got much to do with pillow practice. Although hooking up a drumometer to a pillow could be fun.
 
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thatoneguy

Guest
Hah, indeed!! Just saying it will help a lot more than a pillow. Not only does it make practicing more fun. It automatically gauges your progress and will help to find a practice regiment that truly works for you. Besides, it's addictive!
 

Muckster

Platinum Member
I definately noticed a difference in my speed and control. I limit my pillow practice time around tv watching.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
Practicing on pillows build wrist and "man" muscles for when you need to man-handle the stick (these chops as with all kinds of chops are ultimately good to have). However, no rebound equals no opportunity to develop or use finger control. No finger control will leave you a caveman drummer with no finesse and massive limitations.
 
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thatoneguy

Guest
Practicing on pillows build wrist and "man" muscles for when you need to man-handle the stick (these chops as with all kinds of chops are ultimately good to have). However, no rebound equals no opportunity to develop or use finger control. No finger control will leave you a caveman drummer with no finesse and massive limitations.
Very well said, Bill! BTW I'm a fan. I've seen you play before.
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Practicing on pillows build wrist and "man" muscles for when you need to man-handle the stick (these chops as with all kinds of chops are ultimately good to have). However, no rebound equals no opportunity to develop or use finger control. No finger control will leave you a caveman drummer with no finesse and massive limitations.
To me, thats a perfect description of what practicing on surfaces with no rebound will do for you. I made the mistake of ONLY working on finger control for a long time, and as a result was a limp-wristed tapper for awhile. I was virtually completely unable to even play a double on the floor tom, much less a stream of eighth notes or anything else.

Once I started augmenting my practice by using some surfaces with reduced or no rebound, I was forced to learn techniques that work regardless of the rebound, and increase my wrist power. But I'm careful to also work on my finger control, so I don't turn into a basher.
 
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thatoneguy

Guest
To me, thats a perfect description of what practicing on surfaces with no rebound will do for you. I made the mistake of ONLY working on finger control for a long time, and as a result was a limp-wristed tapper for awhile. I was virtually completely unable to even play a double on the floor tom, much less a stream of eighth notes or anything else.

Once I started augmenting my practice by using some surfaces with reduced or no rebound, I was forced to learn techniques that work regardless of the rebound, and increase my wrist power. But I'm careful to also work on my finger control, so I don't turn into a basher.
Yep, as I stated earlier in this thread, working on an isolated floor tom regularly can do wonders!
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Yep, as I stated earlier in this thread, working on an isolated floor tom regularly can do wonders!
Absolutely. I don't do it regularly per se, but I've definitely included it more in my practice and it is very effective. Especially if you isolate a single stroke roll to the wrists on it, you'll feel the burn pretty quickly!
 

iwantmemoney

Senior Member
HELP, MY CAPS LOCK IS STUck!!!!...oh wait a sec..there it is....sorry...JKJK!

it's all about grip for me, and achieving a universal one that works across the board(with minor tweakings for finesse). but (for me)power reigns, because if i can control at a strong power level with zero fatigue, i can play the first half of bolero with drumsticks instead of nickels. IT'S THAT GOOD i'm so sorry!!

not just pillows that have no end, however. rather the lazy boy or fat couch arm kind of thing(not leather). some kind of backbone somewhere. there's no doubt i've benefitted from this kind of practice.

but then, what to play? for me, morello's "killer exercise" is killer cause you have to alter your grip slightly with each rudiment. that begins teaching your hands a universal grip right away. then i mix in ruffs, flam taps, double paradiddles-putting differing demands on my hands, each one with the idea that my grip has to adapt in order to accomplish each one in a clean and orderly fashion...always with a metronome of course. always refining the grip...cause when you start to arrive anywhere close to your perfect grip, things start getting REALLY INTERESTING!!!
 
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