Recording practice.

\o/

Senior Member
I've just recorded myself (via a really poor built in webcam) playing a few rudiments.

Even though i thought my rudiments were pretty even and solid it turns out they still need a bit of work in the dynamic department. My strokes aren't consistently even yet.

Just thought i'd share that recording yourself can be of huge benefit to your playing. This has probably been said, but i thought i'd let you know my experiences. It seems to help iron out some of the sonic hinderances you can have in certain rooms and help you hear each stroke a lot clearer.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Good idea. What equipment did you use? I have a homestudio, about 15 mics (including the Audix DP-7 drum mic set), lots of analog and tube outboard... I should record my 'drumming' also, listening back won't be too much of a shock hopefully.
 

\o/

Senior Member
Good idea. What equipment did you use? I have a homestudio, about 15 mics (including the Audix DP-7 drum mic set), lots of analog and tube outboard... I should record my 'drumming' also, listening back won't be too much of a shock hopefully.
I'm so ridiculously poor it's untrue, i was after an iMac but my credit rating is so bad they won't let me have one on finance haha.

Just literally using the built in PC cam/mic on my Samsung notebook. Bit crummy, but you can hear and see the results well enough to be able to tell what i'm doing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWFRnCgAdMk

Any advice? I think it sounds even-ish but i've noticed i tend to start hitting harder as i get faster.

Constructive criticism is welcome.
 

Arky

Platinum Member
The last few reps were too fast for me, but I'm usually not practicing bursts (I will!! ;-).

I think the sound isn't too bad. Yes, there's a tendency of hitting harder the faster you go. Try to stay relaxed. I like playing 'closed circle' sticking = endless 16th notes like paradiddle (great for accent development), or cycles of 2x double and 1x single paradiddle (I like and practice that a lot).

Sometimes I also put a pad (I have 3 pads altogether) on my PC workbench, but that position is a bit too high to be comfy, and I hate that resonance from the desk. I prefer positioning a pad on my snare (= to the left of my PC so I can practice left hand only when browsing) or sometimes on a snare stand. That's better than having the pad on a table IMO because the height can be adjusted more to my liking. I like the snare to be a bit high (compared to many other drummers), but the pad on a table is a bit too high. -> Just some suggestions to avoid that resonance and high position when the pad is placed on the workbench.
 

\o/

Senior Member
The last few reps were too fast for me, but I'm usually not practicing bursts (I will!! ;-).

I think the sound isn't too bad. Yes, there's a tendency of hitting harder the faster you go. Try to stay relaxed. I like playing 'closed circle' sticking = endless 16th notes like paradiddle (great for accent development), or cycles of 2x double and 1x single paradiddle (I like and practice that a lot).

Sometimes I also put a pad (I have 3 pads altogether) on my PC workbench, but that position is a bit too high to be comfy, and I hate that resonance from the desk. I prefer positioning a pad on my snare (= to the left of my PC so I can practice left hand only when browsing) or sometimes on a snare stand. That's better than having the pad on a table IMO because the height can be adjusted more to my liking. I like the snare to be a bit high (compared to many other drummers), but the pad on a table is a bit too high.
Thanks a lot. When you say too fast do you mean i lost control at the end because i went too quickly?
 

Arky

Platinum Member
I meant that I wasn't quite able to play along to the last few (maybe 3) reps, simply because of the speed you're hitting towards the end. I think the acceleration is ok and to my ears, that 4-stroke pattern sounds even rhythmically. You've got speed at your disposal! For more focus on accents I'd suggest practicing 'closed' rudiments, those with no rests in-between, and also at a lower speed (not too low, but still comfy).

Keep an eye on your stick height (of the accented notes) and experiment with different stick heights at various speed, for more control.

Do you grip a bit towards the end of the sticks? It might just be the camera perspective, but I could imagine you're holding the sticks not exactly at the fulcrum point.
 

\o/

Senior Member
I meant that I wasn't quite able to play along to the last few (maybe 3) reps, simply because of the speed you're hitting towards the end. I think the acceleration is ok and to my ears, that 4-stroke pattern sounds even rhythmically. You've got speed at your disposal! For more focus on accents I'd suggest practicing 'closed' rudiments, those with no rests in-between, and also at a lower speed (not too low, but still comfy).
Ah right, thanks a lot :)

I do practice closed usually but for an exam that i'm planning on taking i have to learn the single stroke four open so i'm practising it that way for now.

And yeah the speed seems to come quite naturally for me (i've only been playing for 2 months, got my first pair of sticks back in Jan but didn't have enough for a pad until recently...talk about being poor haha), but i'd still like to clean it up because i'm not totally happy with it. When i'm fully warmed up later i'm going to record me practising singles at (hopefully) up to 200ish bpm with 16th notes. I hit that time the other day but only for about 10 seconds until it started to become sloppy. I'm definitely going to slow it right down and work on my control a bit more though.

And if you want a real laugh i'll upload my Six Stroke Roll and Paradiddle later too haha.
Do you grip a bit towards the end of the sticks? It might just be the camera perspective, but I could imagine you're holding the sticks not exactly at the fulcrum point.
No i hold them about evenly at the fulcrum point sort of area. I aim to have my index pretty close to the logo on the sticks (which always seem to be in a similar place), i can't hold them near the ends because i can't keep any control at all. Probably the camera angle as my laptop screen was facing downwards.
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
You're trying too much too early. You get on a metronome ...you set it at 100...and you go RLRLRL with close observation to stick heights and eveness of attack hour after hour until all that evens out. About a month later you move it up to 120 etc, etc...The faster you go the more relaxed you try to play. If you drop your sticks...no problem. That issue will go away in a year or two. But while the stick is in your hand ...Arky's right...alternate the singles with paradiddles for accent development...but you still don't slack off the singles until you've built up endurance...because without that you won't have the stamina to begin the real practice that mostly begins in the second year.

There's a lot more to this drumming stuff than you believe. It's hard work and deserving of a practitioners respect. A beginner who claims that speed comes naturally for him is someone not showing that respect. I don't care who you are or how I feel about them. If someone claims to really want to play I want to be part of encouraging all that to go down the right way. I'm sure you respected your guitar in university studies. Percussion is no different.
 

\o/

Senior Member
You're trying too much too early. You get on a metronome ...you set it at 100...and you go RLRLRL with close observation to stick heights and eveness of attack hour after hour until all that evens out. About a month later you move it up to 120 etc, etc...The faster you go the more relaxed you try to play. If you drop your sticks...no problem. That issue will go away in a year or two. But while the stick is in your hand ...Arky's right...alternate the singles with paradiddles for accent development...but you still don't slack off the singles until you've built up endurance...because without that you won't have the stamina to begin the real practice that mostly begins in the second year.

There's a lot more to this drumming stuff than you believe. It's hard work and deserving of a practitioners respect. A beginner who claims that speed comes naturally for him is someone not showing that respect. I don't care who you are or how I feel about them. If someone claims to really want to play I want to be part of encouraging all that to go down the right way. I'm sure you respected your guitar in university studies. Percussion is no different.
I do respect it. But my yardstick for saying it comes naturally is seeing people elsewhere who've been playing rudiments for years complaining that they can't get past 175bpm in 16th notes. If that's true then i'd say it comes naturally to me in comparison to some people. Maybe i just picked it up slightly quicker? Or maybe it could be because i played snare rudiments as an extremely small child and have retained some of the dexterity. I dunno. Obviously i'm not happy with my sticking at all and there's an awful lot more that can be improved. I know i need to slow down and clean it up an AWFUL lot, but i didn't see the point of me playing that at 100bpm and uploading it, because i can play it evenly at 100bpm. I wanted opinions of me as i get faster, because something doesn't sound right to me.

Also, i do play paradiddles, diddle-diddles, triple para's and double para's, as well as the single stroke six, double stroke, triple stroke and some of the flam rudiments (i thought too many more than this would be saturating my practice) but this was just an example of the one which i happened to be doing when i had the idea of recording myself.

I do know i'm no where near people like yourselves, and probably most on this forum, and there is more about drumming to learn than i can ever even comtemplate. This is my biggest musical challenge yet and i am diving into it headfirst. My respect for people that can play evenly and with dynamic control at high tempos is huge, because i know how much work it will have taken them to get there. I'm just saying the physical action of playing quickly seemed to come to me effortlessly, that doesn't mean the sound i'm producing whilst playing that fast is any good, because i don't believe it is. It's quite poor compared to the standard i want it to be at and isn't even at a quarter of the standard as some of the non-professionals on this site.

Just out of interest Matt, how many years/hours of practicing singles did it take you to break the 1000 stroke per minute mark?
 

mattsmith

Platinum Member
Just out of interest Matt, how many years/hours of practicing singles did it take you to break the 1000 stroke per minute mark?
I practiced singles a half hour a day for several years in the method I described before I even thought about speed. I got my hands on a Drumometer (counting machine) and was cracking 1000 the first 3 days into it. People in that sport know I seldom practiced hard for it because I never thought practicing speed hour after hour was a requirement towards anything. But I had the necessary requirements to get it done because I had developed very serious endurance from all those singles that I had used as part of my warmup.

Speed drummers practicing speed for hours a day is a marginalizing urban legend so those not so interested in work have convenient excuses. Interestingly enough,these same guys often bypass that at 15, when I first broke 1000 in comps, I had placed 2nd in the Louie Bellson International Drum Comp the week before, and was playing an average of 3 or so gigs a week because the older local guys didn't have the stamina to play 4 hour gigs without making the leader mad with their dragging.. So it was never either/ or because the endurance I got from the singles gave me a leg up that affected all aspects of my playing. It just so happened that the speed that came along with all that turned into a fun bonus and a trivia based sideline that I stil use now with no reservations.
 

\o/

Senior Member
I practiced singles a half hour a day for several years in the method I described before I even thought about speed. I got my hands on a Drumometer (counting machine) and was cracking 1000 the first 3 days into it. People in that sport know I seldom practiced hard for it because I never thought practicing speed hour after hour was a requirement towards anything. But I had the necessary requirements to get it done because I had developed very serious endurance from all those singles that I had used as part of my warmup.

Speed drummers practicing speed for hours a day is a marginalizing urban legend so those not so interested in work have convenient excuses. Interestingly enough,these same guys often bypass that at 15, when I first broke 1000 in comps, I had placed 2nd in the Louie Bellson International Drum Comp the week before, and was playing an average of 3 or so gigs a week because the older local guys didn't have the stamina to play 4 hour gigs without making the leader mad with their dragging.. So it was never either/ or because the endurance I got from the singles gave me a leg up that affected all aspects of my playing. It just so happened that the speed that came along with all that turned into a fun bonus and a trivia based sideline that I stil use now with no reservations.
Hm the only thing i think controlled speed is important for is that it will make slower playing easier and more comfortable.

I will definitely be carrying on with my single stroke practice though because i've seen that early stage progress we all get when we start something. I recorded a quick take whilst still warming up. The metronome was on but i stopped playing to it because (i think you can hear in the background) my girlfriend came in half way through and started talking to me about something i didn't care about like her nails or something. This was just a quick burst at the end before i was obliged to turn it off and actually take notice of her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edRf70HzF78

I know the dynamics are poor (i can hear i get quieter towards the end, something i do regularly and something i'm trying to iron out) but it's just an example of how fast my semi-controlled sticking speed is. I'm pretty sure it's around the 14-16 note per second mark, but i could be wrong, could be more like 12-14. Still i think it's a decent improvement from not being able to do anything with a pair of sticks in my hand 2 months ago. Again, any criticism is welcome.
 
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Arky

Platinum Member
\o/,
you don't care about your girlfriend's fingernails???? ;-) Just kidding.

Matt,
that's most impressive.
I'll google for a Drumometer, no idea what their selling price is.
 

PeteN

Silver Member
You're trying too much too early. You get on a metronome ...you set it at 100...and you go RLRLRL with close observation to stick heights and eveness of attack hour after hour until all that evens out. About a month later you move it up to 120 etc, etc...The faster you go the more relaxed you try to play. If you drop your sticks...no problem.
Great advice, I would recommend \o/ to try that on the actual snare drum instead of a pad or at least 15 minutes on a pad then the other 15 on the actual snare with some hearing protection because even with low stick heights on the snare it will get old really quick on your ears.

BTW \o/ - I dig your name, and I dig Yopps avatar ;-)
 

\o/

Senior Member
Great advice, I would recommend \o/ to try that on the actual snare drum instead of a pad or at least 15 minutes on a pad then the other 15 on the actual snare with some hearing protection because even with low stick heights on the snare it will get old really quick on your ears.

BTW \o/ - I dig your name, and I dig Yopps avatar ;-)
Thanks, i'm a little mexican waver.
 

PeteN

Silver Member
You're trying too much too early. You get on a metronome ...you set it at 100...and you go RLRLRL with close observation to stick heights and eveness of attack hour after hour until all that evens out. About a month later you move it up to 120 etc, etc...The faster you go the more relaxed you try to play. If you drop your sticks...no problem. That issue will go away in a year or two. But while the stick is in your hand ...Arky's right...alternate the singles with paradiddles for accent development...but you still don't slack off the singles until you've built up endurance...because without that you won't have the stamina to begin the real practice that mostly begins in the second year.

There's a lot more to this drumming stuff than you believe. It's hard work and deserving of a practitioners respect. A beginner who claims that speed comes naturally for him is someone not showing that respect. I don't care who you are or how I feel about them. If someone claims to really want to play I want to be part of encouraging all that to go down the right way. I'm sure you respected your guitar in university studies. Percussion is no different.
Hey Matt! Question, at 100bpm on single strokes I seem to do better with a little less bounce and more wrist action, is that normal? A lil more detail...my fingers are just wrapped around the stick a little snugger than usual and I seem to have much better control at that speed utilizing a gentle relaxed wrist motion.

Thanks
 
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