Practice Routine/Journal

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Ive decided im starting a practice routine and journal to keep track of my progress, wanted to run it through here to see if theres anything anyone would change! This could also help the beginners joining the forums help to develop a routine aswell :D

So despite my previous years of experience im treating this practice routine as if i have never picked up a pair of sticks in my life. I have also given myself an hour and a half a day, half on the pad and an hour on the kit (though the pad time will have to be after kit time due to my college work)

pad time:
Singles, doubles, paradiddles. At soft, mid and hard levels, 2 minutes each, but overall 6 minutes on each rudiment as i will not stop between volume levels. Then practice excersizes out of stick control for the remaining ten minutes, 2 minutes each at mid level. starting at 60bpm and increasing by a single beat every day.
After a few months i will introduce new rudiments in place of the stick control excersizes, particularly flams and rolls.

kit time:
Beginning with the most basic of basic beats, four on the floor kinda stuff, but my old teacher gave me this sheet that has almost 200 beats on, beginning with four on the floor and its variants and going into almost funk and hip hop beats. i feel i will pick 4 beats out of these sheets every two days, practicing them until i can play them at both 60 - 180bpm (i stop at 180 because i have never heard rock beats go over this tempo for the music i listen to) practicing the beats for 2 minutes at a time at each tempo, would this be a decent tempo to make sure i am nailing playing it?
While also practing rudiments around the kit for ten minutes to warm up and help me get aquanted better with my set.
But making sure i practice my punk beats EVERY day, as this is the genre that i like most drumming wise so i want to get very good at that, so about 15 minutes every day to improve my punk drumming.
I will not delve into developing my "chops" until 2-3 months time, until i can get realy stuck into a beat, i want to improve my timing more than anything at the moment.

I also have some troubles fitting my double and single bass technique practice into this routine, i am getting a bass drum practice pad to improve this but need some ideas as to how i can fit this in with the hour and a half i am giving myself...so little time....so much improvement needed :(
 

matthew

Senior Member
Right on!

WIthout getting specific about your routine I'll say one thing I think you already know. Stick to it and don't give up this regime any time soon and you will actually progress.

It seems you aren't in a rush, which is good, you will actually get things done quicker, I believe.

Keep it up and update with your progress. If you lack motivation in upcoming days/weeks/months, I recommend buying drum magazines, DVDs, books, seeing bands, seeing drummers, getting a band together, go to a drum shop, talk to the drummers there, go on here and ask for motivation (sounds too simple but I'd think the drummers here would be helpful and probably succeed at dropping you some cool youtube links or something).
 

skreg

Senior Member
You are very wise to split up your time the way you have. A few thoughts:

  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Keep in mind that some of the new beats you learn will be very difficult to play uptempo. Don't be discouraged if you can't nail that 16th note hip-hop beat at 180 bpm!
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • If you get tired or frustrated with a coordination problem, move on to something else and come back to it later or even the next day. Don't underestimate the importance of subconscious processing.
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Add variety to your practice routines. Spend 25% on the pad, 25% on new beats, 25% on playing beats you know faster and faster, 25% playing with play-alongs or with other people.
  • I do lots of stretching while I practice, in between workouts.
  • If you can't go through your whole routine one day, try to at least get warmed up on the pad and practice something like singles, doubles, or from Stick Control.
  • Set goals - realistic goals. For example, try to do a page of Stick Control a week.
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Make sure you are listening and watching video of music from the genres you are trying to learn.
  • Learn from the masters. If you want to get really good at punk drumming, find a book or DVD on punk drumming!
  • Timing is very important. Here is the BEST AND MOST IMPORTANT SET OF EXERCISES I HAVE EVER WORKED. They will make your pocket so deep that your bass player won't be able to see the light of day. http://vicfirth.com/education/drumset/gruendler2.php

Keep up the good work!!!

-sheldon
 

Dundez

Junior Member
You are very wise to split up your time the way you have. A few thoughts:

  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Keep in mind that some of the new beats you learn will be very difficult to play uptempo. Don't be discouraged if you can't nail that 16th note hip-hop beat at 180 bpm!
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • If you get tired or frustrated with a coordination problem, move on to something else and come back to it later or even the next day. Don't underestimate the importance of subconscious processing.
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Add variety to your practice routines. Spend 25% on the pad, 25% on new beats, 25% on playing beats you know faster and faster, 25% playing with play-alongs or with other people.
  • I do lots of stretching while I practice, in between workouts.
  • If you can't go through your whole routine one day, try to at least get warmed up on the pad and practice something like singles, doubles, or from Stick Control.
  • Set goals - realistic goals. For example, try to do a page of Stick Control a week.
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Make sure you are listening and watching video of music from the genres you are trying to learn.
  • Learn from the masters. If you want to get really good at punk drumming, find a book or DVD on punk drumming!
  • Timing is very important. Here is the BEST AND MOST IMPORTANT SET OF EXERCISES I HAVE EVER WORKED. They will make your pocket so deep that your bass player won't be able to see the light of day. http://vicfirth.com/education/drumset/gruendler2.php

Keep up the good work!!!

-sheldon
Yeah I agree with you opinions but you forgot to mention that he should practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time ;)
 

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Thanks for the helpful comments guys! :D

Right on!

WIthout getting specific about your routine I'll say one thing I think you already know. Stick to it and don't give up this regime any time soon and you will actually progress.

It seems you aren't in a rush, which is good, you will actually get things done quicker, I believe.

Keep it up and update with your progress. If you lack motivation in upcoming days/weeks/months, I recommend buying drum magazines, DVDs, books, seeing bands, seeing drummers, getting a band together, go to a drum shop, talk to the drummers there, go on here and ask for motivation (sounds too simple but I'd think the drummers here would be helpful and probably succeed at dropping you some cool youtube links or something).
Yeah i have a lot of books to work out of, some my teacher gave me, some downloaded so i havent got the cd's to go with them, though my music reading is fine so i have no trouble there :p (im actualy better at reading than drumming which is going to be corrected ASAP ;D) I would like to get some dvd's and magazines but i just dont have the money, esp after buying those pearl eliminators :(
I would fancy finding some youtube videos demonstrating the best way to practice rudiments for quicker results and also how to use stick control to its full potential!


You are very wise to split up your time the way you have. A few thoughts:

  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Keep in mind that some of the new beats you learn will be very difficult to play uptempo. Don't be discouraged if you can't nail that 16th note hip-hop beat at 180 bpm!
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • If you get tired or frustrated with a coordination problem, move on to something else and come back to it later or even the next day. Don't underestimate the importance of subconscious processing.
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Add variety to your practice routines. Spend 25% on the pad, 25% on new beats, 25% on playing beats you know faster and faster, 25% playing with play-alongs or with other people.
  • I do lots of stretching while I practice, in between workouts.
  • If you can't go through your whole routine one day, try to at least get warmed up on the pad and practice something like singles, doubles, or from Stick Control.
  • Set goals - realistic goals. For example, try to do a page of Stick Control a week.
  • Practice with a metronome AT LEAST 90% of the time.
  • Make sure you are listening and watching video of music from the genres you are trying to learn.
  • Learn from the masters. If you want to get really good at punk drumming, find a book or DVD on punk drumming!
  • Timing is very important. Here is the BEST AND MOST IMPORTANT SET OF EXERCISES I HAVE EVER WORKED. They will make your pocket so deep that your bass player won't be able to see the light of day. http://vicfirth.com/education/drumset/gruendler2.php

Keep up the good work!!!

-sheldon
Im thinking i might practice with a metronome atleast 90% of the time, im surprised you havent mentioned it ;) haha
Im definately going to work on those excersizes in the upcoming weeks, i can see how they will work well! Unfortunately theres no books or dvds on the punk rock style of drumming :(

I have set myself a goal that within the next three months i will have learnt lagwagons "island of shame" so by the beginning of may i should be able to play this song without making a single mistake :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4myM63VvQ-Q
I can play the beats and fills i just cant play the whole thing all the way through some how, and my foot gets tired a lot playing the opening beat :p

And i was going to start this routing this monday but im not gonna have any free time that day, or tuesday as i am going to a gig, but hell seeing that drummer might be a great motivation to practice! missing a day or twos practice cant be very harmful can it ?
 

FelipeJose

Member
Good approach.

One thing I've done since I'm the type of person that needs proof of my progress to stay motivated and disciplined is that I've built an excel spreadsheet to keep track of specific areas I'm working on (i.e. rudiments, new grooves, fill patterns, etc...). I log the tempo info once a week and I can see how it measures over time in a line graph. It's kind of geeky but can be useful if you're feeling like you haven't been making progress.
 

JohnW

Silver Member
I haven't done a journal for many years, but I had kept one for about 3 years. I wrote down every warm-up and exercise, and noted how long I played, tempos, dynamic levels and the like. Next to each one I wrote down how well I thought my execution was and how I felt. There were weekly, monthly and 6 month goals, and at the end of each session were suggestions of what to practice the next day.

After reviewing 6 months to a year of practices, what I found was the best progress seemed to be made when I did the fewest amount of exercises in one session. For me that was one 10-20 minute warm-up and one exercise for an hour to hour and a half, and then another for 1-1.5 hours. Each exercise would be broken into 20 minute segments that I would focus in on as if my life depended on it! Then I'd take a 2-5 minute break, tops. Anything after that was gravy. To really concentrate for 20 minutes is a challenge and then to string 4 to 8 of them is another challenge indeed. You may find that you can only play at the limit of your abilities for 10 minutes, 5 minutes, or even one! But you can gradually pull together these short groups into longer session.

Anyone can sit at the drums for 7-8 hours going over stuff they already know. Pushing the boundaries for 8 hours is something else.

If you plan out well, you can pace what you work on and cross train. Maybe you concentrate on one rudiment one day, and then the next day another exercise or two. Make the previous day's workout your warm-up. Over the course of the next few weeks, alternate among these 2-3 things, nothing more. It may seem like overkill, but if you honestly focus on your progress, you'll start to develop a command over these exercises. And the skills learned are transferable. This doesn't mean that you'll necessarily be ably to pull off some new exercise immediately after these long sessions of work outs. But it does mean that the learning curve will be a lot quicker, and you'll be better conditioned and in a better frame of mind to absorb new material.

After a few weeks, check your progress. See if you've set realistic goals. If not, readjust them so that they're reachable. Most things are doable, given enough time or planning, so follow through with your plan even if you have a desire to change things midstream. This is the only way to tell what works and what doesn't. Afterward, you can revise your goals, but you should know what your limits are first.

These time of practice sessions are a luxury if you have a day job, family to support, etc. So use your time wisely. If you have the time, get used to this type of concentrated marathon planning. There will be a time when you only get 10-20 minutes a day and you'll have to figure out how to make the best use of it.

-John
 

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
Lot to take in there JohnW, thanks :D
Ive also had a thought of learning every beat i learn as left hand lead as well as right, basically my left hand sux as far as control goes, figured that would be the best way to sort it out ;D
 

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
So i started this routine a few days ago. Havent noticed a difference in playing yet (not expecting any till a few weeks anyway), except for maybe my hi hat micro timing is getting a better since use of the metronome. But i have a problem of when im practicing my rudiments, my grip on my left hand will change every now and then, one time im using fingers and another time im using all wrist, even at the same tempos. Im assuming this will correct itself after regular practice playing beats left hand lead?
 

rhythmink

Junior Member
You have to be careful when you assume in issue will correct itself. The reason we practice is to ensure that we are doing things with relaxed motions the exact SAME way every time. We are training our muscles to react instinctively while we're playing music. It is possible that your left hand is just lagging in development a little bit and your muscles are still developing their strength and coordination but your best bet when this happens is to slow down and play the left hand part of the rudiment while playing close attention, then put it back with the right hand and play at different tempi to ensure that you're technique doesn't change except to rely more on bounce as you get faster. Hope this helps.
 

Turks

Member
Good approach.

One thing I've done since I'm the type of person that needs proof of my progress to stay motivated and disciplined is that I've built an excel spreadsheet to keep track of specific areas I'm working on (i.e. rudiments, new grooves, fill patterns, etc...). I log the tempo info once a week and I can see how it measures over time in a line graph. It's kind of geeky but can be useful if you're feeling like you haven't been making progress.
Nice, I like this idea! I started keeping a log of practice at the beginning of the year but I hadn't thought of organising it excel. Thanks for the tip :)
 
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