Loss of hand endurance in a playing situation

schist

Silver Member
So ... Once upon a time, I could blast along to songs as fast as 210-220BPM effortlessly 30-40+ times in a row. Nowadays, after about 4 - 5 reps of each song, my hands start to crap out, and I lose power, and it all starts to sound sloppy and terrible. And, to make matters worse, there is no muscle 'burn', just straight-out fatigue. This never used to happen!

Can anyone offer any help as to what the problem may be?
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
Endurance builders

So ... Once upon a time, I could blast along to songs as fast as 210-220BPM effortlessly 30-40+ times in a row. Nowadays, after about 4 - 5 reps of each song, my hands start to crap out, and I lose power, and it all starts to sound sloppy and terrible. And, to make matters worse, there is no muscle 'burn', just straight-out fatigue. This never used to happen!

Can anyone offer any help as to what the problem may be?
Apart from the obvious: rest, a relatively sane diet, and no sex before gigs, there is endurance exercises. One of the best is the 2 to 50, a wrist exercise that takes about 50 minutes.

Another great endurance builder is Dom's The Weaker Side. Man, that thing is awesome for strength, especially in, as the title implies, the weaker side. And that is where we really need strength, no?

Give these a try!!

Casper
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
So ... Once upon a time, I could blast along to songs as fast as 210-220BPM effortlessly 30-40+ times in a row. Nowadays, after about 4 - 5 reps of each song, my hands start to crap out, and I lose power, and it all starts to sound sloppy and terrible. And, to make matters worse, there is no muscle 'burn', just straight-out fatigue. This never used to happen!
Can anyone offer any help as to what the problem may be?
Sounds like you might not have an effective warmup strategy. Massage your hands and warm up slowly and carefully 15-20 minutes ever single day. Even if this is the only thing you do that day, make sure you do this. When you do the extreme hand speeds without a uniform warm up every single time without exception, your hands adopt bad habits. Sometimes it happens so gradually over time that you might not even notice at first. You might be flying for a year or more, but every day your hands are writing checks they can't cash, until the hands just say enough. Personally I would never in a million years play continuous blast patterns without a careful and uniform warm up first. Again, you really can't skip the warm up a single time.

I just saw this post in another thread.
I have a seemingly endless amount of weaknesses, but the one that stands out the most is:

LACK OF TIME.

As in, not having enough free time during the day to practice as much as I'd want. There are goals I want to achieve with my drumming (some of which, by rights, I should've achieved long ago), but unfortunately, like many of you, I also have work/study (ie. life) to attend to as well. I only get about 2-3 actual kit sessions a week due to always being busy with other things, and some days I cannot practice anything drum-related at all.

:(
I think this probably confirms my theory about the inconsistent warm up. Also know that playing at extreme speeds on a regular basis requires all the time you admit to not having. Be careful of the carpal tunnel. This is how it starts for some.

A serious attempt to warm up properly will eventually fix you up, but it will take a little while; at least as long as the time it took to get you to develop the bad habits in the first place.

Best of luck.
 
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SEVNT7

Senior Member
QUOTE: "Sounds like you might not have an effective warmup strategy. Massage your hands and warm up slowly and carefully 15-20 minutes ever single day. Even if this is the only thing you do that day, make sure you do this. When you do the extreme hand speeds without a uniform warm up every single time without exception, your hands adopt bad habits. Sometimes it happens so gradually over time that you might not even notice at first. You might be flying for a year or more, but every day your hands are writing checks they can't cash, until the hands just say enough. Personally I would never in a million years play continuous blast patterns without a careful and uniform warm up first. Again, you really can't skip the warm up a single time." Matt Smith. Thanks Matt, good stuff

I do a 23 part endurance ritual exercise, 2-3 times a week, I call it "23x100". It involves both hands and feet. There are two versions. 1 takes about 65 minutes, and the other takes about 75 minutes. If I don't warm up properly, I can't complete the exercise. My muscles will start to fail. I always warm up SLOW before I practice anything. When I'm going to do "23x100", it take a good 30-60 minutes of warm up to be ready.
When I play a gig I always warm up about the same amount of time. Hands and feet, at least 25-30 minutes. When I do this, I can burn from the 1st note of the night to the last. The "23x100" also helps me because it's harder to complete than any gig I've ever done, and I've been playing for 36 years
 

Tutin

Pioneer Member
Re: Endurance builders

QUOTE:I do a 23 part endurance ritual exercise, 2-3 times a week, I call it "23x100". It involves both hands and feet.
Care to explain what this exercise is exactly? It sounds pretty effective.

One of the best is the 2 to 50, a wrist exercise that takes about 50 minutes.
I've heard of this one before, but could you explain what it is?

I pretty much agree with Matts post, you've gotta warm up properly and you need to make sure you devote enough time to keep up the endurance. Derek Roddy has a good exercise that's on youtube (and I think links are in his thread). It takes 30 minutes so it's good if you have little time and want to keep up your endurance.

Hope everything works out!

T
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
Re: Endurance builders

Care to explain what this exercise is exactly? It sounds pretty effective.



I've heard of this one before, but could you explain what it is?

I pretty much agree with Matts post, you've gotta warm up properly and you need to make sure you devote enough time to keep up the endurance. Derek Roddy has a good exercise that's on youtube (and I think links are in his thread). It takes 30 minutes so it's good if you have little time and want to keep up your endurance.

Hope everything works out!

T
The 2 to 50 starts with 2 bars left hand quarter notes, free strokesm full strokes (look at Dom Famularos videos for an explanation of these), then 2 bars right hand, then 4 bars left, 4 bars right, 6, 8, 10, and so on, until you complete 50 bars with each hand.

That's 1300 bars, or 5200 strokes. at speed 100, it takes 52 minutes, at speed 120, 43 minutes.

About Schist's time concern: why don't you just shorten it? Do 2 to 30, 40, or whatever. It's not like it's a crime to shorten it...

Casper
 

schist

Silver Member
Also know that playing at extreme speeds on a regular basis requires all the time you admit to not having.
Well that doesn't sound very encouraging. If I can't get the requisite amount of time in each day to be able to play at high speeds on a regular basis due to external (and often non-negotiable) factors, then why bother?

I do, however, have enough time to be able to fit in other drumming-related exercises (Mangini C&C limb system, freestroke exercises etc.). However, those are all pretty much pad exercises, and I'm a drummer, not a pad player. As you're undoubtedly aware, there is a different dynamic involved when playing (esp. extreme music) in a kit situation rather than just playing fast singles on a pad - you're moving your arms around to get to different sections of the kit etc. Which is something you just can't get on a lone rubber pad.

So, yeah, I do (thankfully) have enough time during the day to be able to fit in exercises, but not enough time to be able to play drums.

Apart from the obvious: rest, a relatively sane diet, and no sex before gigs, there is endurance exercises.
Yeah, I think lack of proper nutrition might be a factor. Seeing as I often can't get a sufficient practice session in when the rest of the family is home, even with an electronic kit (sad, I know), I often have to be up and on the drums as soon as my folks leave the house in the morning to go somewhere, in order to be able to get some practice. Which, unfortunately, often means I forsake meals such as breakfast that might provide me with enough energy to push me back in the right direction as far as endurance goes.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Well that doesn't sound very encouraging. If I can't get the requisite amount of time in each day to be able to play at high speeds on a regular basis due to external (and often non-negotiable) factors, then why bother?

I do, however, have enough time to be able to fit in other drumming-related exercises (Mangini C&C limb system, freestroke exercises etc.). However, those are all pretty much pad exercises, and I'm a drummer, not a pad player. As you're undoubtedly aware, there is a different dynamic involved when playing (esp. extreme music) in a kit situation rather than just playing fast singles on a pad - you're moving your arms around to get to different sections of the kit etc. Which is something you just can't get on a lone rubber pad.

So, yeah, I do (thankfully) have enough time during the day to be able to fit in exercises, but not enough time to be able to play drums.
I'm also a drummer. But I use a pad to clean up my drumming.

Those pad warmups you need for your hands also appy to what's required for your kit. They're not mutually exclusive. I'm also only talking about 15-20 minuts a day. I think most people can squeeze that in. What do you think? I'm certainly not saying to go directly into a Mangini Method type comittment from the previous no pad at all.

You mentioned in your first post that you had hand problems, not arm problems, right? Besides if your hands are moving in a localized manner, and as relaxed as possible, your arm movement is also more localized and less strenuous. I really, really believe that if you spend that little bit of time on the pad, your whole game /kit included/ is going to turn around for the better.
 

schist

Silver Member
I'm also a drummer. But I use a pad to clean up my drumming.

Those pad warmups you need for your hands also appy to what's required for your kit. They're not mutually exclusive. I'm also only talking about 15-20 minuts a day. I think most people can squeeze that in. What do you think? I'm certainly not saying to go directly into a Mangini Method type comittment from the previous no pad at all.
Whoa whoa whoa - where did I say or imply that I was not spending any time at all on the pad? The practice pad is like my second home, dude.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Whoa whoa whoa - where did I say or imply that I was not spending any time at all on the pad? The practice pad is like my second home, dude.
Well, sorry I misunderstood. But when someone says they are a drummer and not a pad player, that would certainly at least imply that you spend no time on a pad. It's pretty difficult to interpret such a statement out of context.

I only came to this thread wanting to help. I gave my advice, along with what I feel is a very accurate statement that pad exercises and the related arm movements used on a kit are not mutually exclusive, with the additional sidebar that those issues apply to all drumming in the exact same way, be it jazz, rock, pop, classical, or the different sub genres of metal. This especially applies to the 15 minute pad warmup, that knows no musical genre or classification.

Take what I say or leave it, with my best intentions.
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
Schist, I must say I am left with a feeling you don't really want to be contributed to. When someone like Matt comes along and gets interested in you, you tell him off right quick. It tells me the problem is not time (it actually never is...), but your approach to involving your surroundings (family, neighbors etc) in getting what you want.

I assert you can have twice as much practice time at least if you take on being open to people in general, and what they have to offer.

This said with the only wish that you get the extraordinary drumming results and experiences YOU want!

Casper
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Schist, I must say I am left with a feeling you don't really want to be contributed to. When someone like Matt comes along and gets interested in you, you tell him off right quick. It tells me the problem is not time (it actually never is...), but your approach to involving your surroundings (family, neighbors etc) in getting what you want.

I assert you can have twice as much practice time at least if you take on being open to people in general, and what they have to offer.

This said with the only wish that you get the extraordinary drumming results and experiences YOU want!

Casper
In the 2 years that Schist has been a member of this forum, he has started over 20 different threads, requesting assistance for problems that almost always come from shortcuts taken while trying to play fast. I know this because the majority of these threads begin with a discussion of 200+ bpm.

A sample of Schist's need help threads include:

Having trouble with clean multi-tom rolls?
Offbeat note spacing problem
Building power in left foot
Double bass flams!
Yet another blister complaint
Tom Roll Help
Double-bass lower back ache
Is regression cyclical?
Bass drum practice pad help?
Shoes Advice
French Grip Help etc.

When discussing Schist's hand technique, there is this one underlying theme that always goes back to holding sticks too tightly/ blisters etc/ deriving from a lack of suitable preparation, including but not limited to appropriate warmups, alongside never understanding that all prep elements are directly related to the other. In other words, if you don't warm up properly, then devote appropriate time towards relaxed hands via multiple repetitions, then yes you will always need French Grip Help, Tom Roll Help, and have ongoing regression issues. That won't change simply because you start a new thread or rephrase yet another version of the same question. As for participating in such a farce, I know better now.

I am actually writing this for others who may harbor similar thoughts about drumming. Unless you are something very unique, you're simply going to have to work at it by putting in the required hours. If you don't want to do that, then don't aspire to play the very things that demand the time and effort you're not willing to devote.

It's as simple as that.

Like others here, I often grow weary of the shortcut crowd who think all this technique stuff happens overnight, while continually on the lookout for the right book or catchphrase they hope will make that journey shorter, while never understanding that the journey itself is one of the main reasons we work at music.

Perhaps DW should entertain placing a limit on the number of times one poster can start an advice thread. Too many $50 answers for free probably dilute their value.
 

schist

Silver Member
In the 2 years that Schist has been a member of this forum, he has started over 20 different threads, requesting assistance for problems that almost always come from shortcuts taken while trying to play fast. I know this because the majority of these threads begin with a discussion of 200+ bpm.

A sample of Schist's need help threads include:

Having trouble with clean multi-tom rolls?
Offbeat note spacing problem
Building power in left foot
Double bass flams!
Yet another blister complaint
Tom Roll Help
Double-bass lower back ache
Is regression cyclical?
Bass drum practice pad help?
Shoes Advice
French Grip Help etc.

When discussing Schist's hand technique, there is this one underlying theme that always goes back to holding sticks too tightly/ blisters etc/ deriving from a lack of suitable preparation, including but not limited to appropriate warmups, alongside never understanding that all prep elements are directly related to the other. In other words, if you don't warm up properly, then devote appropriate time towards relaxed hands via multiple repetitions, then yes you will always need French Grip Help, Tom Roll Help, and have ongoing regression issues. That won't change simply because you start a new thread or rephrase yet another version of the same question. As for participating in such a farce, I know better now.

I am actually writing this for others who may harbor similar thoughts about drumming. Unless you are something very unique, you're simply going to have to work at it by putting in the required hours. If you don't want to do that, then don't aspire to play the very things that demand the time and effort you're not willing to devote.

It's as simple as that.

Like others here, I often grow weary of the shortcut crowd who think all this technique stuff happens overnight, while continually on the lookout for the right book or catchphrase they hope will make that journey shorter, while never understanding that the journey itself is one of the main reasons we work at music.

Perhaps DW should entertain placing a limit on the number of times one poster can start an advice thread. Too many $50 answers for free probably dilute their value.
Wow, dude. Just wow.

First of all, that 'Having trouble with clean tom rolls?' thread was an exercise I wrote to correct problems anyone may have in regards to clean tom rolls around the kit, it most certainly was not a cry for help. I've been playing and analyzing my playing long enough to come to the point that I know what most my problems are and how to fix them, threads like the above 'need help' ones are really only created in case someone might have an alternative solution/a better way to solve a problem than I've come up with.

Secondly, I really do not think you know who I am or how often I try to practice, and this information just cannot be gleaned by what one posts on a forum. As your past two replies have shown, what you've learned about me has come from taking comments I've made towards you in this thread the wrong way. What's to say I don't at least try to get the most out of the time I have to practice? Hell, I could've even quit playing by now if I really felt I wasn't prepared to put in the effort to become a good drummer, but it just wasn't gonna be that way. All I did was try to correct whatever misconceptions you've had about my practice habits, and you and Casper decided to jump to the conclusion that I was just gonna blunder along and disregard any advice you might have. Why do you think I started those threads if I didn't want help? For attention? Please.

Again, I'll reiterate - just because I'm trying to correct you on how you think I practice, doesn't mean I don't appreciate the advice, because I do. Greatly. But, I must say I'm actually rather insulted by that last post of yours - it gives off vibes of "this guy is a lost cause, don't bother offering him any advice, nor should you take heed of any advice he might offer". That, coupled with the snarky comment at the very end of your post, doesn't exactly leave me with a great taste in my mouth.

Anyway, you can think whatever the heck you want about me and my approach to playing, all I know is I'm gonna go get some practice in now (but not without a sufficient warm-up, of course! :) ).

Cheers.
 
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Ian Ballard

Silver Member
I used to have stamina/endurance issues when playing live and sometimes still have an issue or two. This could be a purely mental thing. There are chemicals in the brain that are secreted under certain circumstances that cause fatigue. I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure excitement, fear, anxiety and other emotions can cause the muscles to behave in odd ways, and it's entirely possible that what's happening is purely in your mind.

I notice that when I'm relaxed, not nervous and focused on the music, I tend not to lock up and lose it. But once in a while, if a gig is stressful... I arrive just in time and have to rush... and whatever else might cause fear of not being perfect, I will get somewhat fatigued in situations where I normally would not.

It could be technique, but if these things are only happening in live situations or in the studio, I'd bet it has something to do with how you feel.
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
....It could be technique, but if these things are only happening in live situations or in the studio, I'd bet it has something to do with how you feel.
Seems to be right on target! Someone could easily get tired from being a little defensive and a tiny bit righteous as well...I can see that!

Casper
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I used to have stamina/endurance issues when playing live and sometimes still have an issue or two. This could be a purely mental thing. There are chemicals in the brain that are secreted under certain circumstances that cause fatigue. I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure excitement, fear, anxiety and other emotions can cause the muscles to behave in odd ways, and it's entirely possible that what's happening is purely in your mind.

I notice that when I'm relaxed, not nervous and focused on the music, I tend not to lock up and lose it. But once in a while, if a gig is stressful... I arrive just in time and have to rush... and whatever else might cause fear of not being perfect, I will get somewhat fatigued in situations where I normally would not.

It could be technique, but if these things are only happening in live situations or in the studio, I'd bet it has something to do with how you feel.
That's an important point, Ian. Often we talk about relaxation in the muscles, etc. but the matter of avoiding a frantic mindset/emotional state is not mentioned.
 

schist

Silver Member
It could be technique, but if these things are only happening in live situations or in the studio, I'd bet it has something to do with how you feel.
Nah, it's only really when I'm practicing in my room - I refuse to play a live set etc. until I'm happy with the way I play.

I think Matt and Casper hit the nail on the head - lack of proper nutrition and a proper warm-up method might be the problem here. I followed Matt's warm-up suggestion before I started practicing yesterday arvo and I'm fairly sure I played a lot better than I have in the past week.

Seems to be right on target! Someone could easily get tired from being a little defensive and a tiny bit righteous as well...I can see that!

Casper
Can we keep the smart-arsed comments to a minimum, please? Thanks.
 
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan

Guest
Nah, it's only really when I'm practicing in my room - I refuse to play a live set etc. until I'm happy with the way I play.

I think Matt and Casper hit the nail on the head - lack of proper nutrition and a proper warm-up method might be the problem here. I followed Matt's warm-up suggestion before I started practicing yesterday arvo and I'm fairly sure I played a lot better than I have in the past week.



Can we keep the smart-arsed comments to a minimum, please? Thanks.
Yes! But only because your tone has changed. You now seem to be much more open and curious about our suggestions, and really, the mindset IS the most important, everything flows from there....

This morning when I woke up I felt bad because I promised myself I would practice yesterday and I didn't. It is amazing how slipping out of a one hour commitment can put a shadow to my whole morning. Never again!

Casper
 
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