Pillow poll - Lets get some good responses!!

PacificCX

Junior Member
How many people that when they started to use pillows noticed a much greater improvment in their hand speed and fluidity compared to when they just used a pad or something with rebound? And did anybody end up with the bad habit of "playing into the drum".
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
How many people that when they started to use pillows noticed a much greater improvment in their hand speed and fluidity compared to when they just used a pad or something with rebound? And did anybody end up with the bad habit of "playing into the drum".
Where does this fictional and utterly paradoxical concept of "if you practice on pillows, you play into drums" come from? How can something that inherently forces you to produce upstrokes, cause you to play "into" something?

I've found that using a pillow, phone book or other object that lacks a rebound useful in aiding in upstroke training and dealing with drums and cymbals that lack rebound.

I also think that people should not limit practice to one particular surface.
 

paramac

Member
Where does this fictional and utterly paradoxical concept of "if you practice on pillows, you play into drums" come from? How can something that inherently forces you to produce upstrokes, cause you to play "into" something?

I've found that using a pillow, phone book or other object that lacks a rebound useful in aiding in upstroke training and dealing with drums and cymbals that lack rebound.

I also think that people should not limit practice to one particular surface.
Because it's NOT fiction. Maybe not for you, but I had an issue with this in the beginning to some extent. I have long since fixed it. There are greater and lesser degrees one can do this too....Btw, now I can practice on a pillow if I want and it's not an issue...
 
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Hercraft

Senior Member
I practice 20 min in a 0 rebound surface, then 10 min in a floor tom and 10 min in a snare.
I think that you have to practice in all sort of surfaces and achieve control, because when you play the drums each hit in each surface is different... my two cents.
 

Drumsword

Pioneer Member
The pillow was and is my friend. I also practice on notebooks, steering wheel, table top, on occasion I get crazy and even use a drum ;) lol.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
Because it's NOT fiction. Maybe not for you, but I had an issue with this in the beginning to some extent. I have long since fixed it. There are greater and lesser degrees one can do this too....Btw, now I can practice on a pillow if I want and it's not an issue...
Any bad practice routine can result in "playing into the head". Heck, my drum teacher--a decade ago--was teaching me to do that. This guy is currently drumming for a Grammy Award winning country pop band and has a degree in music ed from North Texas. He never talked about pillows.

I don't see the inherent connection with pillows. It's just an approach to hitting the drum that I don't agree with. You can play "into" the head having never struck a pillow.
 

Toza

Senior Member
How many people that when they started to use pillows noticed a much greater improvment in their hand speed and fluidity compared to when they just used a pad or something with rebound? And did anybody end up with the bad habit of "playing into the drum".
i never practice on pillows, and my students too. it will teach you wrong. there is no rebound
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
i never practice on pillows, and my students too. it will teach you wrong. there is no rebound
So how do you teach students to deal with surfaces that lack a rebound? Do you just teach them to tune their toms real tight?

Has it occurred to you that maybe you are teaching them non-rebounding surface practice WRONG to begin with?

When you say "It teaches them wrong". What does? The pillow? Since when do pillows give drum lessons?
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
How many people that when they started to use pillows noticed a much greater improvment in their hand speed and fluidity compared to when they just used a pad or something with rebound? And did anybody end up with the bad habit of "playing into the drum".
Here is my take - based on what I know about the human body as it relates to kinesiology.

In theory, if you apply a stimulus more difficult to perform than the actual task, the body will respond with a heightened level of skill, which can be trained to maintain that level. An example is lifting weights. If you lift 20lbs, and your body is used to lifting 10lbs, it will need to adapt (recruit additional muscle fibers) to perform the skill - however at some point, your body will be able to respond to that 20lbs without recruiting additional fibers (this is the dreaded plateau as many people call it).

So given this theory, people have tried to recruit crazy "training" to super-charge their skills. An example, basketball players training for more "air" by jumping against resistance, football players/swimmers wearing weighted vests, etc. The idea is if they can improve their performance against a greater stimulus, they will be super-performing at in a normal scenario.

Let's take this concept to a baseball pitcher or QB. It isnt always about how hard you throw, but they rely on grip, angle, release, etc. There was a point in time (perhaps it is still going on in some circles), where these people would throw with a weighted ball - or execise with weights following teh same motion as throwing - the idea is they will be able to throw farther and faster when they get in the game.

The primary failure of this thought is when they train this manner, they are changing the way their muscles respond to throwing normally - and by changing this, they will not perform better in a normal circumstance - just differently. Some people, this difference can be tangible in what appears to be faster/harder, but control is sacrificed.

Now let's apply this to drums. The fact that someone is "drumming" is good - muscle memory in the hands, grip, timing, etc - but I dont know of a single drummer who just posted a picture to brag about their new Zidjian Pillow-top Cymbal!

For those who think hitting a pillow will help IMPROVE performance is seriously delusional. Take the time you spend hitting a pillow and work your kit and you will get the same, if not more benefit.

Lastly, don't discredit the act of sticking on any surface available. It's not about the surface - rather it's that youre practicing... and in the end, that' all that really matters in helping improve.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
The primary failure of this thought is when they train this manner, they are changing the way their muscles respond to throwing normally - and by changing this, they will not perform better in a normal circumstance - just differently. Some people, this difference can be tangible in what appears to be faster/harder, but control is sacrificed.

Now let's apply this to drums. The fact that someone is "drumming" is good - muscle memory in the hands, grip, timing, etc - but I dont know of a single drummer who just posted a picture to brag about their new Zidjian Pillow-top Cymbal!

For those who think hitting a pillow will help IMPROVE performance is seriously delusional. Take the time you spend hitting a pillow and work your kit and you will get the same, if not more benefit.
Completely incredulous and totally opinion.

Having played quarterback and having pitched in baseball, I can tell you weight lifting and practicing throwing motions with light weight DO increase speed and in turn, DOES improve ability in a real game situation.

I respect your choice to use realistic surfaces and that you don't feel like using "pillows", but you've given nothing in the way of testable, scientific examples to base your theory on. You really produce a non-sequitur. You demonstrate numerous examples of athletic weight training improving ability (in theory), but state as "fact" that it's all for nothing and that athletes should stop weight lifting and just "play" and they'll be just as good or better.

Huh?
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
Completely incredulous and totally opinion.

Having played quarterback and having pitched in baseball, I can tell you weight lifting and practicing throwing motions with light weight DO increase speed and in turn, DOES improve ability in a real game situation.

I respect your choice to use realistic surfaces and that you don't feel like using "pillows", but you've given nothing in the way of testable, scientific examples to base your theory on. You really produce a non-sequitur. You demonstrate numerous examples of athletic weight training improving ability (in theory), but state as "fact" that it's all for nothing and that athletes should stop weight lifting and just "play" and they'll be just as good or better.

Huh?
First of all, don't make generalizations about me personally and simply address the facts that I posted - You clearly misunderstood what I said - and I will now find the actual clinical study to prove it.

I did NOT say you shouldnt lift weights (that would be preposterous) but the act of "throwing" a heavier object than a baseball or using a cable machine to recreate the motion of throwing with heavier weights, will do more damage to your shoulder tendons than it will good in terms of performance. Light weights for range of motion is fine and in fact recommended.

My experience with professional athletes speak for itself - I was simply addressing a link as it relates to "how muscles work". Drumming against a pillow vs drumming on your leg do not make a difference with your ability to play better, or create a better response from your sticks. Any practice sticking will make equal improvements. if you still don't believe me, this would make a great trial study - we'll take a dozen (control) - people who only practice on real drum surfaces and compare their sticking ability before and after - then take another dozen who only drum on a pillow and compare the same. Then we'll take it one step further and find a dozen people to only drum on a surface of your choice (I was thinking something like a t-bone steak) and compare.

Let's see if any group is generally better/worse than the other due to the "practice surface".
 

PacificCX

Junior Member
I will say that I played baseball in college and pitched for most of my life and when I would work out we would use a heavier ball and would also do lots of "long toss" which will help stretch and strengthen your shoulder and arm. The heavy ball was the one of the best things I ever used for warming up and for strengthening. You obviously dont want to use weights that are going to create to much discomfort to where you could hurt yourself, but the increase in speed and endurance was amazing. The only thing that gave me better results was doing squats three days a week. That's where the major power and speed came in. So i think pillows would be a way to simulate using a heavier stick making your hands have to do more work without doing another exercise that would be out of the normal range of motion and could possible damage your hands.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
I will say that I played baseball in college and pitched for most of my life and when I would work out we would use a heavier ball and would also do lots of "long toss" which will help stretch and strengthen your shoulder and arm. The heavy ball was the one of the best things I ever used for warming up and for strengthening. You obviously dont want to use weights that are going to create to much discomfort to where you could hurt yourself, but the increase in speed and endurance was amazing. The only thing that gave me better results was doing squats three days a week. That's where the major power and speed came in. So i think pillows would be a way to simulate using a heavier stick making your hands have to do more work without doing another exercise that would be out of the normal range of motion and could possible damage your hands.
Listen, I thought the same way - it's almost counter-intuitive. But the FACTS are the FACTS. I'm trying to track down the article now. I NEVER said don't weight train or training with weights wont help. I simply said that doing a repetitive actions (throwing, drumming, whatever) with an advanced stimulus (whether it be heavier weights than what you would normally use, heavier sticks or a different surface) will not produce a significant difference in overall performance. Practice is practice and it's best to be as close to the actual mechanics of the action. Again, if all you have is a pillow - do it, but dont think that just because you are using a pillow, that you will improve any better/faster than without.
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
Somewhat off subject - but I'm still searching for what I am looking for:

Short-term effects of light and heavy load interventions on service velocity and precision in elite young tennis players.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
British Journal of Sports Medicine. 41(11):750-753, November 2007.
Ferrauti, Alexander 1; Bastiaens, Kenneth 2

Abstract:
Objective: This study was conducted to investigate the acute effects of a complex throwing intervention set-up, with light or heavy loads, on the service velocity of elite junior tennis players.

Methods: On 3 separate test days, 13 elite juniors (mean (SD) 12.3 (0.8) years, 149 (9) cm, 37.5 (5.5) kg) performed four sets of six serves with different between-set conditions. In a cross-over design, the players performed respectively 6, 4 and 2 maximum effort throws with a 200 g ball (LI, light intervention), 6, 4 and 2 maximum effort throws with a 600 g ball (HI, heavy intervention) and no throws (NI, no intervention) during the 2 min in between-set period. Participants were instructed to serve, with maximum speed, to a target near the midline of the deuce court service box. A two-factor analysis of variance was used to determine the effects of intervention type and set number on "service velocity", "service precision" (eg, percentage of serves in) and "service touch" (11 point rating scale).

Results: Mean (SD) service velocity decreased significantly in HI (124.3 (7.8) km/h) as compared to NI (126.6 (9.3) km/h, p<0.05, effect size d = 0.26), yet no such differences were found between LI (125.2 (7.9) km/h) and NI. Service velocity also remained constant between sets (p = 0.406). Service precision and service touch were unaffected by the interventions.

Conclusions: Under the conditions of our study, a heavy throwing intervention during service training has no beneficial effect on service velocity in young elite tennis players (under 14).

(C) 2007 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine
 

paramac

Member
Any bad practice routine can result in "playing into the head". Heck, my drum teacher--a decade ago--was teaching me to do that. This guy is currently drumming for a Grammy Award winning country pop band and has a degree in music ed from North Texas. He never talked about pillows.

I don't see the inherent connection with pillows. It's just an approach to hitting the drum that I don't agree with. You can play "into" the head having never struck a pillow.
I agree, like I said the pillow is responsible, the player or I guess teacher is.....Thing this was I didn't have a drum or drums so all I was doing was practicing on for the most part was pillows. The whole idea is to get back to the drum anyway isn't it?
 

ZootELoops

Senior Member
Last one (only because I have work to do and don't have time to keep searching the internet for a particular article - you'll just have to take my professional word on it):

Effects of Throwing Overweight and Underweight Baseballs on Throwing Velocity and Accuracy state the following:
No significant differences were found in any study. From these data it is concluded that warming up or training with overweight baseballs does not improve ball accuracy.


So if you apply this to drumming, you will not gain any additional performance by drumming on a pillow. It wont hurt and many people swear by it - so basically do what ya like!

You can also buy the reference material here if you so desire:
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/adis/smd/2000/00000029/00000004/art00004?crawler=true
 

PacificCX

Junior Member
It just states that it "doesn't improve accuracy". We are talking about speed and velocity, right????
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Hey, you know what has even less rebound than a pillow? Air! I used to air drum before I got my drum set, and let me tell you, it helped my drumming immensely!!!
 
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