My first week of lessons ( help )

Lee-Cox

Member
My god is this FUN!!! Ive truly found the therapy I needed!!!! However I do have a question. Can any of you recommend an exercise that can help with this problem im having?? First of all forgive me if I dont say this in the right context as I am brand new and still learning the lingo.

Question , When I am playing a standard classic rock beat on my snare and hats. Every time I use the bass pedal during this I strike the hi-hat harder as I use the bass pedal and then it goes back to a normal tone on the hi-hat but sure enough when it comes time for the bass drum kick I hit the hi hat just as hard . I hope I dont sound to confusing, but im still learning. Thanks
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
First week? Relax mate. Chill out a bit. Those sorts of things sort themselves out as you get used to co-ordinating your hands and feet. Rome wasn't built in a day and drummers aren't built in a week. You've already made the smart move by getting a teacher. Keep practising as you've been taught and he'll help you iron all that out in no time.
 

Rock Drummer

Senior Member
Yeah, when I was beginning I was accenting the hi hat as well. Just wait a couple months and it will smooth itself out
 

THC

Senior Member
I've been taking lessons for almost a year now and I still struggle a bit with that. It's getting better, but I slip into it occasionally.

Another thing (of many) that I do that annoys me is if I'm doing a straight rock beat with 8th note hi-hats and throw in a double stroke on the kick drum, I'll double stroke the hats at the same time whether I want to or not. My right hand still wants to follow my right foot.

It takes lots of seat time and focused practice and it will all work itself out. Keep at it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Lee it's like you have to develop "separate brains" for each limb.
You have to keep all limbs playing a consistent pattern, meter-wise and volume-wise, no matter what the other limbs do. It's a brain separation thing. For instance, you have to be able to accent every other note of your HH but keep your BD playing a consistent volume.

Think of it as akin to rubbing your stomach and patting your head, different motions for different limbs. I find that to be the most fun/frustrating part, feeling retarded until I get the separation thing going on.
 

ddrumman2004

Senior Member
Never took a lesson in my life but I went through the same thing back in the sixties when I was playing along with my record player.

With determination and desire, it will work out and then using all four limbs to do something different will come natural.
 

Tyger

Senior Member
Slow down first of all so u have time to think, even try just bass drum and right hand assuming u r right handed, take out the snare hand for now.

I would suggest starting with 8th notes on the hats only all even hits counting...slowly, then add in the bass drum at 1 only until u r comfy, then add bass drum to 3. Your muscles will develop the memory over time but u have to practice slowly at first.

When u add bass drum to "1" " and" over exagerate the right hand going away from the hats until that feels natural.

Have fun learning I know I am!
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
Like Tyger said, break it down.

When you're learning drums, you will always be challenging yourself to become more independent in the limbs and more in control. We don't do this naturally, it has to be worked on.

My general template for learning a new skill is to slow it down and break it down. What is absolutely key is letting your body feel it done right, which means slowing it way, way, down. You're training your nervous system, so only play it the way it is supposed to be played.

So there you are playing that beat and sure enough you realize that you need to un-link your right hand and right foot. So, as slow as you can play it clean, play the hat, and play every 4th beat on the bass, just like in the beat, but without snare. Go as slow as you need to keep it clean and sounding right. Play it at that tempo for a few minutes, really let your body feel it done right, slowly. I find the fastest way to learn something is to play it incredibly slow, like one beat every second. When that's going well, add the snare, and look for the same accent problem cropping up with the snare, and smooth it out. Play that beat for a number of minutes, even ten or fifteen minutes, clean. Every repetition, done correctly, makes your nervous system stronger.

Then write it on your notes to revisit tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, you'll find that overnight your nervous system made some adjustments to meet this new demand, and you will play it better. Rinse and repeat.
 

Witterings

Silver Member
Another thing (of many) that I do that annoys me is if I'm doing a straight rock beat with 8th note hi-hats and throw in a double stroke on the kick drum, I'll double stroke the hats at the same time whether I want to or not. My right hand still wants to follow my right foot.
As others have said Rome wasn't built in a day !!!

One of the pieces of advice is slow down !!!!! You'll think you've slowed down but haven't slowed it down Neeeeeeaaaaaaaarllllllly enough.
In essence you can spend hours playing it the wrong way and struggling with it or try this and get it right and start speeding up in a very short period of time and will get you to your end goal an awful lot quicker.
Imagine playing 1/8th notes and in between each and every 1/8th note having enough time to say "I wonder what I've got for dinner tonight" you don't actually do it as it would take your concentration away but it gives you an idea of exactly how slowly you'll be playing things.

At this tempo you'll be able to get it exactly right (rather than playing the wrong thing fast)as you have enough time to think it through and make absolutely sure you're playing it correctly without any pressure on you which in turn helps you relax.
As soon as you're playing it right the brain and muscle memory will start to remember it, hold it there until it's totally natural and then slowly and I really do mean slowly you can speed up holding at that fractionally faster tempo until that feels totally natural and you can play it without thinking then just a fraction faster again ..... if at any time you feel it's not quite right again just slow it back down. You suddenly find it clicks into place and you can play it correctly up to speed.
It sounds like it's painfully slow but just try it with one thing you're finding hard and you'll very quickly realise what a shortcut it actually is.

Let us know how you get on but the double HH going with the double kick you can probably nail that in 10 minutes this way and youu only have to do it once !!!
 

THC

Senior Member
As others have said Rome wasn't built in a day !!!

One of the pieces of advice is slow down !!!!! You'll think you've slowed down but haven't slowed it down Neeeeeeaaaaaaaarllllllly enough.
In essence you can spend hours playing it the wrong way and struggling with it or try this and get it right and start speeding up in a very short period of time and will get you to your end goal an awful lot quicker.
Imagine playing 1/8th notes and in between each and every 1/8th note having enough time to say "I wonder what I've got for dinner tonight" you don't actually do it as it would take your concentration away but it gives you an idea of exactly how slowly you'll be playing things.

At this tempo you'll be able to get it exactly right (rather than playing the wrong thing fast)as you have enough time to think it through and make absolutely sure you're playing it correctly without any pressure on you which in turn helps you relax.
As soon as you're playing it right the brain and muscle memory will start to remember it, hold it there until it's totally natural and then slowly and I really do mean slowly you can speed up holding at that fractionally faster tempo until that feels totally natural and you can play it without thinking then just a fraction faster again ..... if at any time you feel it's not quite right again just slow it back down. You suddenly find it clicks into place and you can play it correctly up to speed.
It sounds like it's painfully slow but just try it with one thing you're finding hard and you'll very quickly realise what a shortcut it actually is.

Let us know how you get on but the double HH going with the double kick you can probably nail that in 10 minutes this way and youu only have to do it once !!!
Yours is the second reference I've seen here in a few days as to what "slow it down" really means, and I think that is very helpful. I never thought about slowing it down THAT much, but I will definitely start applying that technique immediately. Thanks a bunch.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Oh yea, slowing it down to a snails crawl is SOP for drummers learning separation.
There's a lot of backwards things in drumming.

Learning it slowly is the fastest way to get it. In other words slow is fast
Less is more.

I'm sure there's others, I just can't think of them right now.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
my turn to be the hippie! : )

be cautious with internalizing other people opinions about your art.


..on a less "Kumbaya" note, practice playing unison eighth notes between your hi hat and your bass(add your other limbs once you get comfortable way down the line)...when doing this you can work on how hard(dynamics) you are hitting the bass and the hi hat in relation to each other...work to not only achieve the relative volume levels you are looking for, but the ability to control those levels on the fly.

...of course, run this by your teacher first and stay with your plan...

...your gonna love it when you realize one day that you are thinking these patterns and letting loose things you take for granted that make time itself move.

Its good being a drummer!
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
This is a pretty common pitfall. Our limbs are naturally "locked" together to some degree. We can't actually "separate" our limbs, but we can learn to coordinate their movements, so much so that it will appear that way to an onlooker. In your case, you need to coordinate a healthy bass drum hit with a reasonable hi-hat hit. Have you specifically practiced playing the hi-hat softly (and from a very low stick height) while simultaneously striking the bass drum with medium force (using the weight of your leg)?

The next step is to transition into and out of the above. Play quiet 4 hi-hat notes, then play 4 more with loud bass drum notes, and then 4 more without bass drums, and so on. Relax, and don't allow the movement of your leg/foot to affect the intensity (stick height) of your hi-hat notes. Slow down as necessary, then slow down some more! Muscle memory is built slowly.

It's frustrating because your brain intellectually understands what your body is supposed to do, but your limbs are very slow to cooperate. Be patient with yourself, and play many slow repetitions before increasing the speed. The good news is that each new coordination challenges will be progressively easier to overcome, as your body familiarizes itself with these new movements.
 
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