Not sure how to progress

AdamI

Active Member
So, it looks like I've hit another brick wall with my playing. I've been practicing 2-4 hours a day and have about 10 things I'm constantly working on. Three or four grooves, half a dozen fills and three songs.

I have fleeting moments where the practice is paying off but then I go on these extended downhill slides where I can no longer play the stuff that I could play a week ago.

For example I reached two goals about month ago (one was Immigrant Song and the other was the two main grooves of a song called In The Meantime by Helmet) I was playing them every day for about a week focusing on getting them as clean as possible and then that was it, one day I sat down and could now no longer play them in time or at tempo. It's been three weeks now of sitting down and not being able to play them.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I don't know if it's a mental block, I don't know if I'm bored with playing the same things over and over again and I need to move on to some new stuff even though a lot of what I'm working on isn't as squared away as I'd like it to be.... I don't know if I just burned my right foot out working on two fairly bass drum heavy songs so much.

I've tried to slow things back down and just play along to the metronome at a slower tempo but even that is sloppy and out of time.

Has anyone else had this issue before and if so what did you do to overcome it?
 

Tiges

Well-known Member
So, it looks like I've hit another brick wall with my playing. I've been practicing 2-4 hours a day and have about 10 things I'm constantly working on. Three or four grooves, half a dozen fills and three songs.

I have fleeting moments where the practice is paying off but then I go on these extended downhill slides where I can no longer play the stuff that I could play a week ago.

For example I reached two goals about month ago (one was Immigrant Song and the other was the two main grooves of a song called In The Meantime by Helmet) I was playing them every day for about a week focusing on getting them as clean as possible and then that was it, one day I sat down and could now no longer play them in time or at tempo. It's been three weeks now of sitting down and not being able to play them.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I don't know if it's a mental block, I don't know if I'm bored with playing the same things over and over again and I need to move on to some new stuff even though a lot of what I'm working on isn't as squared away as I'd like it to be.... I don't know if I just burned my right foot out working on two fairly bass drum heavy songs so much.

I've tried to slow things back down and just play along to the metronome at a slower tempo but even that is sloppy and out of time.

Has anyone else had this issue before and if so what did you do to overcome it?
I hear ya i have the same prob i will master exercises then if I do the next day I have a mental block it annoys the hell out of me so I do what Tosheus posted I take a few days of or do something different like only rudiments I find that really helped my mental block problem
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
This is a head issue. Tell yourself enough that you can't do something and it becomes true. Change your thinking to something else and it will change your outlook on progress as well as whether or not you can still "do" stuff.

It's only a musical instrument. Life or death does not exist here. Having fun should be the main goal, not perfection. Move on to something else and try again in like a month. You will see you didnt forget.
 

jda

Silver Member
practice Stickings and Groupings
you'll never tire of them


also listening explore famous "other" drummer's recording's .. to see why.
drumming's a mental as well as physical Journey. It's a combination
free up your mind your hands and feet will follow.
have to be able and willing to look under every rock : )
half-technique half-imagination
just have to love it.
courage, confidence and devotion
 
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Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Even the pros have moments like this. Th things that have helped me include

1. Slowing it down to like 1/8 speed.

2. Playing the groove both open-handed and closed-handed, back and forth, 1 repetition each, over and over, without stopping for like 60 seconds, making sure it sounds exactly the same both ways

3. Playing just the feet or just the hands, back and forth between them
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Give yourself some fun stuff to play that leads to pure enjoyment rather than tough grooves like 'Immigrant Song'.
Mix it up.
I quite often play simple pop songs. I can concentrate on making all my strokes even in volume and tone, but I can also just enjoy playing.
You're still going to get something out of a simple pop song, just playing improves your muscle memory, smoothness, confidence levels.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Give yourself some fun stuff to play that leads to pure enjoyment rather than tough grooves like 'Immigrant Song'.
Mix it up.
I quite often play simple pop songs. I can concentrate on making all my strokes even in volume and tone, but I can also just enjoy playing.
You're still going to get something out of a simple pop song, just playing improves your muscle memory, smoothness, confidence levels.

Indeed, playing three minutes of the money beat well is challenging
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I think as some others have posted you need to take a break from that particular item. And just play off the wall stuff, what comes out freelancing. I can't jazz but I like pretend and play obscure patterns just letting the music come out. Then go back to what you were working on after a few days.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
It doesn’t take long to forget songs you’ve learned- I’ve done it too-,I’ll forget certain parts and transitions . It doesn’t take long to drift into shabbiness with any aspect of drumming- you have to keep all the fronts going. I’ll stop my routine to work and focus on something specific and when return to routine it’s already turned to crap. It won’t be paradiddles, or double and triple stroke rolls but single stroke rolls- most basic of all. Dammit. But I’ve set up my double pedal on my ekit kick pad and playing rudiments with my hands and feet is all I’ve been doing lately- not even playing to songs. I’m making the most progress with my double pedal doing so.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Taking a break once in a while is a good idea.

I like to work on general facility and skill a lot, but I always create a context for it. You ned that type of work to get to where the stuff you do is on the "you can get by even on our worst day" level.

I don't know how you practice and the details on all this stuff is individual.

One thing to do is to take the parts of the songs that are challenging and use those ideas as a frame work to create other things and just get that thing together as a concept by itself. Instead of that one hard lick in a song it becomes a part of your vocabulary that you can use, adjust and be creative with.

If there ar challenges with transitions make sure to include that in the method.

Certainly a good idea to just mix it up. When I know a song I just check in on it once in a while and if there's stuff that should be refined I will do that when I'm ready for it. I the meantime I do all sorts of stuff.
 

AdamI

Active Member
I won't reply to everyone individually because there seems to be a general consensus to a) get out of my own head and b) move on to some other things for a while and revisit the things i'm struggling with later.

Just want to say I appreciate the advice and the general push in the right direction from you guys. Was feeling kind of lost and frustrated.... nice to know the improvements I've made won't just go away if I don't constantly chase them. I'm now motivated to keep going.

Cheers fellas.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
It sounds like your practice mostly consists of playing to music?

If I am learning a song, I will play:

Along with the original record
Along with a drumless version (where available
Along with the click (find the tempo by using the tap function on a metronome)
Along with a drum chart video or at least a chart I can find online
Chart it if necessary
The isolated drum or bass tracks that you can find on YouTube
And I will also use the slow down function on YouTube or open the file in VLC media player to adjust the tempo

If there’s one part of the song that you keep stuffing up, it doesn’t mean the whole song is a write off - write down the time (minutes and seconds) of where you are making an error and chart and rehearse that section by itself.

Probably something I should do more of - record yourself playing it and review.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Another approach is - if there are songs with similar beats and feels to the song you are finding difficult, go and learn those and then come back and see if it has helped.
 

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
Play the Immigrant Song in a much faster tempo than it's recorded. Once you can do that the normal tempo is easy. I played YYZ like that. _

When I learned Immigrant in the 90s there was a point that I had to kick with the left for a phrase or 2 then come back to it on the right with my double pedal to get a rest. I still do that with some songs because my legs are so weak.
It works like a reset for me.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I won't reply to everyone individually because there seems to be a general consensus to a) get out of my own head and b) move on to some other things for a while and revisit the things i'm struggling with later.

Just want to say I appreciate the advice and the general push in the right direction from you guys. Was feeling kind of lost and frustrated.... nice to know the improvements I've made won't just go away if I don't constantly chase them. I'm now motivated to keep going.
Well make no mistake…go too long without chasing them and they WILL go away ;). But it’s OK to chill on them for a day or two and not put that kind of pressure on yourself when you feel frustrated.
 

MazdaRex

Active Member
Are you working with a drum teacher/instructor/coach?
Maybe that would help - to have a skilled outside observer who can help you figure stuff out and make it stick?
 

Otto

Platinum Member
Frustration is mediocrity escaping.

(cognitive self programming...repeat this for a couple hours...oh, and no, i don't believe this but it does give frustration a place to sit so it does not bounce around your head)
 
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