How much time till single stroke competency?

JJKK

Member
I'm talking 210+ bpm rolls and blast beats and such. I'm heavily focused on this, and I'm getting to 190+ currently, not for 10 minutes mind you, but the speed has somehow developed over months of grinding.

How does one develop the skill to roll for 10 minutes at really fast tempos? Why does a beginner fumble strokes and get stiff after a time?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
How long is a piece of string?

Some guys get this stuff down in a matter of months. Others take years. Others again may never get there.

Especially where things like speed are concerned. Genetics and body composition play a part. Hence why some sprinters work their arses off, but will never be as fast as Usain Bolt. Similarly, some guys practice hours on end and will never be as fast as someone like Mangini.

Luckily for you 210+ is fast, but not ridiculous these days. All you can do is keep at it. Persist with your drills. Play along with music where the tempo stretches you but doesn't quite see you falling apart. And aim to be that little bit better tomorrow than what you were today.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I'm talking 210+ bpm rolls and blast beats and such. I'm heavily focused on this, and I'm getting to 190+ currently, not for 10 minutes mind you, but the speed has somehow developed over months of grinding.

How does one develop the skill to roll for 10 minutes at really fast tempos? Why does a beginner fumble strokes and get stiff after a time?
Dude, you think Shaun White just started and was great? It takes years. It could take a lifetime. All you can do is keep plugging away (provided you're doing it right) and inching forward. You haven't said if you have a teacher or anything, so I'm assuming you don't. Maybe you should consult with a teacher. You say you've been grinding for months, and yet weldon't know if you've been grinding correctly or not, either. There are technical things that a teacher can fix, then you just have to put in the time.

But the cool thing is, when it happens, you'll know it and it'll be like you got to the next level. Then you can see all the other stuff you've been neglecting that you have to get to ;)
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Fellow blaster here and felt i'll chime in.

First off, Work on paradiddles, double strokes, singles, and everything else. It REALLY helps your control which is critical at fast speeds. My band tends to write 220-240 BPM on average and blasting at those speeds took a while to build to. Especially in the long stretches.

They key to single strokes is to be able to do them for a long period of time and do them RELAXED. If you tense up, it's game over.

Make sure you use a metronome for practice. Set it to a tempo you can play for 5 minutes straight without a break while staying relaxed. It might feel super slow It might be 140 BPM, but I'll often do 10 minutes at one speed to start, focus on keeping the stick heights low and not tensing up. keep the hits as even as you can.

go up 10 BPM. How long can you do it now? if you can still do it for 5 minutes, go up another 10. Doing this every day or every second day for a few months will bring up your bpm forsure.


I did this myself a while ago and what it did was cause me to get used to the speeds for extended periods and relax. 210 is a very comfortable speed for me. once you get above 210-230 it gets even more important to do this as you need to be engaging the fingers and wrists now. I find focusing on stick heights has a been a great way to stay relaxed. also try not accenting the right hand every measure for time.


I feel 210 is not that far out of reach, but when you say 190 you need context. if it's not tight and not for a while don't let it get sloppy.. It all comes down to just time and sitting on the pad playing singles.

another big thing that helped me was drumset ergonomics. if you are reaching it makes it much harder. my elbows are at my sides when I blast. Make sure you are hitting straight down on the drumset too and not on angles as gravity helps too.

Gripping the sticks too hard will slow you down as well.

Posting a video always helps if you want any advice, but grind it out and good luck.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If you can do it for 8 minutes you should be good. Not many songs last longer than 8 minutes.

Why does a beginner fumble strokes and get stiff after a time? Because they are beginners.!!!!
 

JJKK

Member
I did 140 and 150 bpm rolls for 4 to 5 minutes each and I started to feel a burn about halfway through. My muscles are not used to long rolls.

Still doing the 170 bpm endurance blasting for 5 plus minutes and it's becoming a very comfortable speed. I also try to push myself to doing 100 to 109 bpm trash polka and then double it to blasting using 1 bar for each currently. It's a struggle. I'm totally spent after a practice session.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
You guys are missing the point. Building endurance for long periods doesn't mean the song requires you to play it like that.

It's about building muscle memory and endurance by going for 5 - 10 minutes. If you can do it for 30 seconds and the song calls for 30 seconds you will be falling apart by the end. What happens when you are playing the song 5 bpm too fast on stage. Do you think the UFC fighter who trains for the 3 round fight, or the guy who trains for a a 8 round fight is going to be more gassed by the end and more relaxed.

I found the biggest thing is the muscle memory will increase, and your body learns how to RELAX when you play long stretches. You learn how to adjust on the fly keeping it going... I also going for longer stretches at about 60-70 % of my max increased my top speed even.

In this video around the 2:45 mark there is a tempo change and some blasts that go for a bit. I recorded it a year ago and really struggled. Now after really focusing on long pad work I can play much faster and relaxed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBre0S0TsTU


At the end of the day, just push yourself, practice all the time and it will come. Speed is built from relaxing, keeping stick height down, and muscle memory.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There are so many ways for so many reasons.

It's not only a physical thing either. You have to take into consideration how you are training your mind and ears at the same time.

Mangini used to to 90 mins at at medium tempo.


My oenexplorations would take many pages to explain and I'm sure would be relevant only to the few who have a similar perspective on learning the drums.

No matter what you do, keep a log and remember that PERFECT PRACTICE makes perfect. Slop only turns to more slop.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
Odd is correct about using a log. I log my practice every time. write down bpm's and times.

I start with a warm up, then jump to about 70% of my max and work my way up... knowing your bpm's really helps save time and not waste time.
 

JJKK

Member
Hey folks. Back to practice again. Had trouble with my toes for a while but they are healing now.

I've been following the instructions on this thread and I'm happy to tell you that 200 bpm skank beats and blasting are very comfortable to play once properly warmed up. I'm working on transitions and fills with these so I can start practicing some songs this summer.

Sadly my double bass is lagging behind at 160 since switching pedal positions and learning to swivel but it's getting there.

Blasting at 210 is just around the corner!
 

trickg

Silver Member
I read an article by Derek Roddy, and he talked about how he wasn't always fast, and that it was something that developed over time, just working it day by day by day. He also said that young drummers looking to develop that kind of speed should keep that in mind that it doesn't come quickly - time and hard work are the keys.
 

veecharlie

Senior Member
I'm talking 210+ bpm rolls and blast beats and such. I'm heavily focused on this, and I'm getting to 190+ currently, not for 10 minutes mind you, but the speed has somehow developed over months of grinding.

How does one develop the skill to roll for 10 minutes at really fast tempos? Why does a beginner fumble strokes and get stiff after a time?
I'm 11 years into drums and still can't blastbeat (never had much interest either). However, I believe in practicing few time, effectively every day. That's the biggest difference. When I restarted to play drums after my arm accident, it took me around 5 months to get back, to around 130bpm 16ths clean.
 

beyondbetrayal

Platinum Member
The faster you get the harder it is to gain a few BPM. Once you get to 210 220 etc you are fighting for even a few BPM.

This is where ergonomics matter and maintaining a relaxed feel. As soon as you try and muscle it out your arms gas out and it's game over. That's why it comes down to the long stretches of practice. Endurance and muscle memory.

Things like your choice of stick make a difference and head tension as well.

At the end of the day, just keep practicing and it will come. Sometimes I will make no gains for a month or 2, then all of a sudden one day I can play a bit faster. I don't force it.
 

JJKK

Member
I'm 11 years into drums and still can't blastbeat (never had much interest either). However, I believe in practicing few time, effectively every day. That's the biggest difference. When I restarted to play drums after my arm accident, it took me around 5 months to get back, to around 130bpm 16ths clean.
Yeah I've built up my blasting during the course of a year. Double kick suffered due to not focusing on it at all. Gotta start over with that one.

I want to play the intense music I've listened to since I was a teenager, so I gotta put in the work to be able to do it.
 

JJKK

Member
The faster you get the harder it is to gain a few BPM. Once you get to 210 220 etc you are fighting for even a few BPM.

This is where ergonomics matter and maintaining a relaxed feel. As soon as you try and muscle it out your arms gas out and it's game over. That's why it comes down to the long stretches of practice. Endurance and muscle memory.

Things like your choice of stick make a difference and head tension as well.

At the end of the day, just keep practicing and it will come. Sometimes I will make no gains for a month or 2, then all of a sudden one day I can play a bit faster. I don't force it.
My endurance is very weak when doing this. I just finished a practice session and I managed to blast at 160 for three minutes, while my left wrist was burning in the end. I gotta do this endurance thing more often since it's so poor at the moment. Gotta work on fingers too. So much work to be done :| I feel like I took up bodybuilding again!

Getting comfortable and being comfortable playing this stuff is miles apart it seems. On the positive side, I tried out my single foot blast and managed a minute at 186, but when both feet are involved, my timing starts to suffer.

Gotta keep listening to inspiring players and have faith in my practice.

update: Seven minutes forty seconds at 162! Endurance is going up! A second break in between adjusting the beat when it got sloppy, but otherwise steady pounding :)
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
My endurance is very weak when doing this. I just finished a practice session and I managed to blast at 160 for three minutes, while my left wrist was burning in the end. I gotta do this endurance thing more often since it's so poor at the moment. Gotta work on fingers too. So much work to be done :| I feel like I took up bodybuilding again!

Getting comfortable and being comfortable playing this stuff is miles apart it seems. On the positive side, I tried out my single foot blast and managed a minute at 186, but when both feet are involved, my timing starts to suffer.

Gotta keep listening to inspiring players and have faith in my practice.
When you do blasts with two feet, are your feet the same speed as your hands or at half speed?
 

JJKK

Member
When you do blasts with two feet, are your feet the same speed as your hands or at half speed?
Feet are both doing 8th notes following the cymbal hand, while hands are doing the 16ths roll (8th notes each hand). I've also practiced with feet going at 16ths speed, although at slower tempos.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
In my experience, slow practice is the most helpful for getting the kinks out of your technique. Joe Morello and his students have some good YouTube videos to watch.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Feet are both doing 8th notes following the cymbal hand, while hands are doing the 16ths roll (8th notes each hand). I've also practiced with feet going at 16ths speed, although at slower tempos.
Ah, okay. Don't let anyone tell you 8ths with the feet is cheating. The coordination is a bit screwy at first, but keep at it. You will get it.

I can do those all day long, but struggle with the train beat. Mechanically it's the exact same thing, the feel really screws me up though. I sympathize totally.
 
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