How long do you guys practice a single beat/excersize

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Just a quick question, was wondering how long you guys practice like say a beat, how many minutes/measures/days you will practice that beat till you move onto the next one.
Im a bit ocd in a way, so i have been practicing the same beat for like weeks now, i like everything to be perfect, yet i know im playing it well, i just play it and have it in my head that it could be better . But i know i shouldnt be doing this and practicing other beats, building up my vocabulary, could it be that once i have learned a bunch of other beats, i could come back to that beat and feel like im playing it better cause ive got the coordination of many others aswell?
 

Heaven086

Junior Member
Learn something untill you can play it without having to think about it and it feels natural, muscle memory is what they call it, dont get me wrong practice is golden but practicing a beat for weeks on end at a time could be daunting and doesnt give you chance to practice anything else, why not practice a beat for a couple of hours then practice another beat and then another, then go back through them all with out thinking about it too much, it should come natural to you sooner than you think, even if you practice a beat one day and then dont play it for 3 or 4 days as long as you can come back to it sometime and play it, and at the end of the days its not the end of the world if you forget how to play it just get your music sheet out that its wrote on or even keep your beats recorded, simple mate.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Until I know it. And then I'll come back to it whenever I need to use it, whenever I feel I need to work on it or whenever I remember that I used to play it but had forgotten about it somewhere along the way.........forever and ever amen.
 

Frank

Gold Member
If you don't have a teacher, I think you're a good candidate for one. Someone who would coach you on answers to questions like this - while listening to your progress.

As with many things in life - it depends. [yeah, I know - not very helpful]

Speaking generically, though:

You want your practice time to allocate time to a bunch of different categories:
- Rudiments
- Rhythms / Independence
- Styles
- Songs
- etc. etc.

Set a goal for a tempo for playing the exercise - with Ease. Work on the exercise for about a week to get it down and build muscle memory. If you can't play it at the tempo goal, play it at slower tempos and bring it up to speed over the course of the week. If you reach your goal, move on. If you don't, hold the exercise for a few more days. Whatever you do, don't practice Sequentially. Don't be waiting for this exercise to be done before working on other things - in all the categories you have set up.

Does that help at all?
 

Drums101

Senior Member
Until you can play it at a few different tempos, some slower some faster, and it grooves well when you play it.
 

KBadd

Silver Member
I practice for 1 week on a groove.........at the same time time jamming on others....but my focus that 1 week is the 1 groove. I then move on to another groove....and then come back to the groove I either have mastered or not and do it again. Go for it!
 

Ethan01

Senior Member
Depends on how badly you want to nail it. If there's a groove that just moves you, well you're probably going to dedicate quite a bit of time till you can hit it, and then enjoy playing it some more. Same goes for a cool lick or even a tricky fill. But, I guess there's a limit. For me, if I spend more than 45-60 min on just 1 thing I find it gets tiring and i lose focus. I'll drop it then and go back to it next time.
 

Numberless

Platinum Member
Well I'm gonna answer with a real example, for the last week, I've been working on this groove: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjbvzAC8SJo

which by the way is a super cool beat.

Anyways, first I looked at the transcription and became familiar with the overall rhythm, then I finally started working on it on the drumset, took me around three days, 20 minutes of my practice time, working on it at a extremely slow tempo. I already have it up to speed and almost have it down, all I need to nail is the open hats on the tom part of the groove. So now I keep practicing, just a couple of minutes, for me the goal is being able to do it without having to think at all, when I can do that, I can move on to something new.
 

skreg

Senior Member
I don't try to learn any ONE particular beat or fill in isolation. Rather, I try to master a style or feel as a whole. I'll take a book that teaches a particular genre and work on the exercises that I think will help me. Of course, this will mean learning beats, but it's always a set of beats, not just one. So, I'll focus on one book/style for about an hour a day. Then, I'll work on something totally different if I make time, like some play-alongs, hand technique, or another style.

I never try and play a particular exercise for more than 10 or 15 minutes. If I can't get it in that amount of time, that usually indicates that I'm either too tired and losing focus, or the exercise is too hard for me. I just move on to something else. Also, I find that if I can't nail something immediately, I can almost always get it after leaving it alone for a few hours or overnight. Subconscious processing is very cool.

-sheldon
 

samthebeat

Silver Member
I dont see anything wrong with what your doing as a rule. However its good to get the bigger picture through variation.

Beats are made up an ostinato pattern and one or two limbs phrasing. For example you might be practising playing 8th notes on the hat, 2 and 4 on snare and then playin different 8th and 1/4 note patterns with patterns creating phrases. Basically as long is your practising playing a bass drum along with the hi hat, you are practising the same thing and one makes you better as the other.

Drums is a really simple instrument, its all about making ti sound good, even the stuff which sounds complicated is often very simple if you look at one limb at a time, its all about co-ordination and control which takes many repitions to build.
 
B

Big_Philly

Guest
I remember having worked on the Rosanna 1/2 time shuffle for months - but I can play it quite freely now (though not as good as Porcaro himself). But working on one thing for weeks or months at a time can be very bad for you motivation. Practise other stuff along with your main goal. I didn't just play the rosanna 1/2 time shuffle during that period, but learned other stuff as well.

Just my 2 cents. Basically echoing what others said :)
 

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Great advice here guys ;D
Just thought id show that the beat im talking about is the beat starting at 11 seconds in
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kFocz0UaOE
on this song
Would you guys say it was a difficult beat for pretty much a beginner like i am?
Oh and to kill two birds with one stone, i was gonna ask what books are best for improving coordination and independence between all limbs, like right left hand, both feet and hands, and every combination. I have marco minnemans extreme interdependence, but it doesnt seem to cover the hand to hand independence i am thinking of...
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
When I'm learning an independence type thing I usually spend about twenty minutes on a 1 bar pattern. I check that each limb is working smoothly and is unaffected by the other limbs, then I cross check right hand/ left foot and the opposite, then I make sure I can mentally put emphasis on different parts of the beat, and once all that's done I make sure I can smile and look around the room while playing it. At that point, I really know that know the pattern and it's become muscle memory and not an exercise that I get and then forget as soon as I move on.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
When I'm learning an independence type thing I usually spend about twenty minutes on a 1 bar pattern. I check that each limb is working smoothly and is unaffected by the other limbs, then I cross check right hand/ left foot and the opposite, then I make sure I can mentally put emphasis on different parts of the beat, and once all that's done I make sure I can smile and look around the room while playing it. At that point, I really know that know the pattern and it's become muscle memory and not an exercise that I get and then forget as soon as I move on.
Twenty minutes and a breather is a good length for me, too.
 

Hicks

Junior Member
For a new beat, I practice it until I can play it smoothly on my edrums using a thing called groove check. I also enable a rhythm gate with the pro setting. This way I only hear sound from the edrums when I play exactly on time, i.e. if I play a note off-time the drum is muted. This is a very handy feature since it really forces you to get into the groove, if you're not in the groove you will not hear your playing. :)
 
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