Practicing Rudiments

i was practicing rudiments on a non - rebound surface(pillows) today and this makes my hands nice and supple, but is it necessary to work on a rebounding surface(pad, snare, etc...) as well?
the feel of the rebounding surface is different and i m still trying to get my fingers into play...any advice?
 

JPW

Silver Member
i was practicing rudiments on a non - rebound surface(pillows) today and this makes my hands nice and supple, but is it necessary to work on a rebounding surface(pad, snare, etc...) as well?
the feel of the rebounding surface is different and i m still trying to get my fingers into play...any advice?
You should play on rebounding surfaces as much as possible. If you play too much on pillows you will sound like you are playing on pillows when you play on drums too. On drums you need to let the drum breath and not play through it like you do on pillows. There's nice examples on this on Jojo Mayer's DVD.

I never practice on pillows. I have always my trusty pad with me.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Basic rule: You play the way you practice.

You can't only practice on pillows and then go rip it of on a snare drum, because it's a whole different world on a drum that breathes, with a head that vibrates, and sticks which bounce.

Basically you practice wrist playing only on pillows supposedly.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I was taught early on that controlling the bounce is the "Holy Grail" of drum technique, and I don't disagree. It definitely takes a considerable amount of time and effort to develop a good straight repeatable bounce, with both hands, and controlling the bounce is what you work on after developing your bounce, so I recommend practicing on a real drum, even over a practice pad, because nothing responds quite like a drumhead. A practice pad has a different feel and different rebound. However, if you can't do a drum, then a rebounding surface is what I recommend. If that is not available, practicing on pillows can't hurt IMO. I believe that as long as you have sticks in your hand and hitting something, well that's better than not picking up the sticks.
 

Hercraft

Senior Member
I will add one more thing. I agree with all answers.

But I will recomend you practice in every surface.

Snare, Tom, Floor Tom and cymbals (Hi Hat, Ride)

Because thats all the surfaces you will hit in the "Real World"


0.02
 

mind_drummer

Platinum Member
You should play on rebounding surfaces as much as possible. If you play too much on pillows you will sound like you are playing on pillows when you play on drums too. On drums you need to let the drum breath and not play through it like you do on pillows. There's nice examples on this on Jojo Mayer's DVD.

I never practice on pillows. I have always my trusty pad with me.
Tell that to Dennis Chambers ! Some of the fastest hands on this face of the earth.

I do practice on pillow and I do practice on my upper legs and I do practice on Pad and I do practice on the kit. All you need is a balanced practice routine and a good rudiments regimen ;-)
 

JPW

Silver Member
Tell that to Dennis Chambers ! Some of the fastest hands on this face of the earth.

I do practice on pillow and I do practice on my upper legs and I do practice on Pad and I do practice on the kit. All you need is a balanced practice routine and a good rudiments regimen ;-)
The original poster was asking if he needs to practice on any other surface than a pillow. I doubt Chambers plays only on pillows. Actually without knowing what else he has practiced and for how long periods of time the whole argument is quite pointless. It might very well be that his pillow bashing hasn't helped him at all. The fact that a great drummer has done something doesn't necessarily mean it's the correct or helpfull thing to do. If that was the case, I'm sure just about everything would be great for your drumming.
 

mind_drummer

Platinum Member
The original poster was asking if he needs to practice on any other surface than a pillow. I doubt Chambers plays only on pillows. Actually without knowing what else he has practiced and for how long periods of time the whole argument is quite pointless. It might very well be that his pillow bashing hasn't helped him at all. The fact that a great drummer has done something doesn't necessarily mean it's the correct or helpfull thing to do. If that was the case, I'm sure just about everything would be great for your drumming.

Well the use of pillow is to train the push-pull or open-close (call it whatever you want) technique. Dennis Chambers isn't the only one to claim the benefit of practicing on smooth no rebound surface. Obviously it's not meant to always practice on a pillow but as I said balancing it's utilisation is the key. I occasionnaly practice on pillow and IMO, I noticed, that after I practiced this way, my doubles were better and sounded better.
 

JPW

Silver Member
Well the use of pillow is to train the push-pull or open-close (call it whatever you want) technique. Dennis Chambers isn't the only one to claim the benefit of practicing on smooth no rebound surface. Obviously it's not meant to always practice on a pillow but as I said balancing it's utilisation is the key. I occasionnaly practice on pillow and IMO, I noticed, that after I practiced this way, my doubles were better and sounded better.
Or you can just use a normal surface with rebound and practice inverted doubles and/or accent some of the notes. That achieves the same thing and you won't ignore the physics of the drum head.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Any practice is beneficial. Manually lifting the stick, or letting the rebound return the stick to it's starting position, it's all beneficial.
The more you hit ANYTHING, the more precise you will become at hitting things, hopefully anyway.
I prefer practicing hitting the drum because nothing audibly accentuates the varying velocity of the stroke quite like a snare drum. If you hit it with 1 gram more force it tells you. But I still practice on my steering wheel when driving because it's better than not hitting anything.
 

JPW

Silver Member
Any practice is beneficial. Manually lifting the stick, or letting the rebound return the stick to it's starting position, it's all beneficial.
The more you hit ANYTHING, the more precise you will become at hitting things, hopefully anyway.
I prefer practicing hitting the drum because nothing audibly accentuates the varying velocity of the stroke quite like a snare drum. If you hit it with 1 gram more force it tells you. But I still practice on my steering wheel when driving because it's better than not hitting anything.
Indeed, hit whatever you can, except living things. =) Sometimes when my better half is sleeping and can't use a pad I tap my leg with the sticks. (but I still think if I could, I would always practice with a real drum)
 

Hedon

Senior Member
i was practicing rudiments on a non - rebound surface(pillows) today and this makes my hands nice and supple, but is it necessary to work on a rebounding surface(pad, snare, etc...) as well?
the feel of the rebounding surface is different and i m still trying to get my fingers into play...any advice?
if you admit your fingers need work practice alot with rebound!!!
 

Styx

Senior Member
The wrists are the engine room, where we get power for the strokes. Practising on a pillow will definitely benefit this area, however it will not assist you with controlling rebound. The fingers are the key to controlling rebound, so I'd suggest practising on a surface with rebound which will allow your fingers to eventually master this.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
i don't see what the point is in playing on pillows. is it so that your wrists/fingers become more powerful? i've always just used my arm if i wanted the snare to be louder? when i'm not playing accents i use all wrists/fingers. i bet people who play into pillows hit their cymbals pretty hard.. i bet the producers aren't too fond of them.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
I bet the cymbals aren't too fond of them either :).

My opinion stays the same: Always practice what you want to play, and practice on, and with what you want to play.
 

toddy

Platinum Member
definitely. i don't see why you would play on something with no rebound, when you will play on something that will allow you to rebound? it just means you'll end up

a) hitting or 'digging' in / your accents will likely be terrible
b) you'll waste energy because you'll probably be quite tense
 

Styx

Senior Member
definitely. i don't see why you would play on something with no rebound, when you will play on something that will allow you to rebound? it just means you'll end up

a) hitting or 'digging' in / your accents will likely be terrible
b) you'll waste energy because you'll probably be quite tense
This is not true but let's agree to disagree. This has been discussed infinatum in other threads and some folks find it useful, some don't care much for it. It all depends what you find works for you.

I have practised on a pillow for the sole purpose of strengthening the wrists for many years and it has worked beautifully (I still do to this day), however, to practise just on a pillow I would strongly discourage as we do play on surfaces with variable rebound and as such must practice on these surfaces in order to control any rebound they would offer.
 

JPW

Silver Member
This is not true but let's agree to disagree. This has been discussed infinatum in other threads and some folks find it useful, some don't care much for it. It all depends what you find works for you.

I have practised on a pillow for the sole purpose of strengthening the wrists for many years and it has worked beautifully (I still do to this day), however, to practise just on a pillow I would strongly discourage as we do play on surfaces with variable rebound and as such must practice on these surfaces in order to control any rebound they would offer.
I would still argue that it would be more beneficial for your wrists to do let's say full stroke free-strokes on a snare drum or a pad rather than ignore the rebound physics alltogether with a pillow. That way you won't get carpel tunnel later when you start hitting harder surfaces.

This is just my logic. Yours may vary.
 
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