Soundless practice

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Due to recent events I can't make any drum practice noise. Even pads are too loud most of the time.

So far all I can think of is imagination and trying to learn to play ultra quietly. What have you done to keep things ticking along when in a very restrictive environment?
 

Arky

Platinum Member
What about clapping on your thighs and/or tapping your feet? There's quite a lot one can do to simulate strokes/kicks and right vs. left side. E.g. simulating polyrhythms... or going through rudiments Sadly this doesn't work for rebounds or effects. It's not completely soundless but you have some control to get it almost soundless. I've learned doing e.g. some hands/feet combos in this manner is far better than doing nothing (having no access to a kit/pad at a given time).

I think it would be a good idea to incorporate all aspects you wouldn't think of when practicing on pads/playing on a kit.
E.g. counting out loud (or at reduced volume) for more rhythm/note/space awareness (especially w/ odd signatures). Or 'practicing in your mind' imagining being at the kit - imagining would both refer to the coordination (which hand does what) and the sounds produced (not only which drum element, but also the way you want it to sound like - hitting stronger/softer, or the position you're hitting a cymbal etc.). Being away from a real kit (for a limited time) might lead to renewed enthusiasm or even fresh ideas when you return to the kit.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Tough call Pol, on every level.

Practicing with a pillow is something I used to do, & of course, it's ultra quiet. As you're in a sort of holding pattern right now, the pillow practice brings on a totally different set of skills to using a pad too, so satisfying in a different way. Playing feather light (excuse the pun) on a pillow is certainly a great dynamic control tool.

It's either that, or get one of those surround control perspex screen things with a lid on it.


Good luck girl!
 
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Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Yep, whatever I do - be it thigh slapping or pillows or pads - it has to be feather light. A challenge in itself, tho not very exciting. A Perspex cage would make a fine B&D implement :)

Arky, I can still get to play with the band one night a week and while I've been a bit rusty my ears have been a bit more refreshed.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Ok here's what you do. ( I did this for years in an NYC apt with wafer-thin walls, where not only could you not play drums, but you almost could not have sex.. )


1) BASS DRUM: Hook up your pedal to a sofa chair ( leather lazyboys work great )

2) HIHAT- RIDE CYMBAL: put a hard pillow cushion on a stool with a metal plate on it ( add some keys, to give it a snare/ride cymbal jangle )

3) TOM: put a cardboard box on another stool ( cover with bedspread if too loud )

4) SNARE: put newspaper on the arm of the sofa chair ( keep a supply next to it because you'll shed it ever couple of hours )



Voila, you are ready to go.



OR




You could do what Dennis Chambers does. SIt down on the easy chair with a cigar, and imagine it all without moving a muscle.


...
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Ok here's what you do. ( I did this for years in an NYC apt with wafer-thin walls, where not only could you not play drums, but you almost could not have sex.. )

OR

You could do what Dennis Chambers does. SIt down on the easy chair with a cigar, and imagine it all without moving a muscle.
I lack the space to set that "rig" but it's inventive :) Before I got my first kit I used toy sticks on a bongo (snare and tom) with a metal ashtray on a stand (loosened so it could ring) as the cymbal. I'd sit cross legged on the floor and bang my right knee on the ground as the kick.

I like the DC option. Are you sure it's a cigar?


Where is the naked girl dancing in a cage gone?
Ha! Andy must have had a fit of tastefulness and deleted it. I saw it, though ... that's why I put in the B&D reference in the previous post :)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
..........but you almost could not have sex.. )
Almost, Abe......almost.

Where there's life there's hope mate. :)

Where is the naked girl dancing in a cage gone?
Good question. Where did she go??? Damn it. I'm late to this party and you're tellin' me all the easy chicks have gone already?


I'm doing it now Pol. Silently tapping away on a pad with a towel over it. I'll also tap my feet and play on my knees...........my kingdom for a sound proof studio!!
 

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
Time to brush up on your brush work Pollyanna. A folded newspaper on a hard surface gives a nice (and very quiet) sound for brushes. If you want a real challenge, work on something like Alan Dawson's Rudiment ritual using just brushes.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I lack the space to set that "rig"
OK re-boot. I'm not giving up that easily.

1) Pedal against a wall ( cardboard sheet on the wall )

2) Stool with a hard cushion

...

Almost, Abe......almost.

Where there's life there's hope mate. :)
PFG, we've got to hang out, dude if only to tell you the story about my shower stall to get into which one had to climb on the sink and take a short leap.

How's the Barcelona thing panning out?

...
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
How's the Barcelona thing panning out?

...
I'm still well up for that, if you'll have me (no alternative definitions of "have" necessary please, at least, not with Abe's paper thin walls)

Good question. Where did she go??? Damn it. I'm late to this party and you're tellin' me all the easy chicks have gone already?
Sorry mate, I took her home. No, wait, I suggested Polly try it out. You guys need to PM ;)

Ha! Andy must have had a fit of tastefulness and deleted it. I saw it, though ... that's why I put in the B&D reference in the previous post :)
Yes Pol, I left it up long enough for you to see it, thinking it was better for someone else to endure the mod's wrath :)

Time to brush up on your brush work Pollyanna. A folded newspaper on a hard surface gives a nice (and very quiet) sound for brushes. If you want a real challenge, work on something like Alan Dawson's Rudiment ritual using just brushes.
Now this is by far the best suggestion thus far! Foot brushes too?
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Brushes are indeed a great idea. But you can also produce some level with brushes. In case you're disturbing the neighbours ("Wadda noise??? Be quiet!!") you'd have the perfect excuse: "I'm just cleaning up."
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I'm still well up for that, if you'll have me (no alternative definitions of "have" necessary please, at least, not with Abe's paper thin walls)
Of course I'll have you, Andy,.............


......... and you wont even have to wear black lace.


Europe's been a transit destination for a long time now, unfortunately so yeah someday.. a boys trip. Food, wine, music, laughs. You'll hear from me for sure anytime I'm over on your side of the world.


...

PS- Pol, howz about the regular full practice pad drumkit?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I have a great quiet suggestion that will improve your feel, practice subdividing to a metronome.

I have been working David Stanoch's book, "Mastering the Tables of Time" There's a lot to the book, but the first exercise alone is worth the price. (link to the exercise below)
David likens the drummers subdividing exercises to a pitched instrument players practicing of their scales. I think that is right on the money.

With the first exercise, he has you run through all the duple and triple subdivisions of the respective notes.

What I mean by that is first you play a line of half notes, then a line of half note triplets, then a line of quarter notes, then a line of quarter note triplets, then a line of eighth notes, then a line of 8th note triplets, then a line of 16th notes, then 16th note triplets, then a line of 32nd notes, then a line of 32nd note triplets, and then you go back down the same way you came up. Phew! It's just the most fun exercise because it will humiliate you and make you feel retarded. This exercise means NOTHING without a metronome. Don't even do it without one, because you won't hear where you're messing up. And you WILL mess up. Lines B and D were the hardest for me to wrap my brain around.

The hard part is the verbal count. You are only allowed to count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.... even during the triplets. Harder than it sounds!

This has brought noticeable improvements to my time feel. Much steadier. I haven't used a metronome in quite some time, and boy did I need it. Going from straight to triplet time back to straight etc. really cements your time circuits in place. I've been working the first exercise for just 2 weeks, and I think it will take me at least a year before I can do this without messing up at various tempi.

The nice thing is you can just tap your fingers or play sticks or rods on a soft surface. (make sure you alternate hands for each tap, very important) You are working strictly on your time feel. You NEED a metronome though. You are ONLY allowed to count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. (It's easy to count the triplets 1 trip let 2 trip let...but you will NOT get the benefits of polyrhythmic ability if you don't force yourself to keep the straight verbal count during the triplets. THAT's the hardest part. If you like brain teaser stuff, well here ya go.

I find that it's easier to do his with the feet going. I don't want it easier, so I do it without my feet going, even better for your quiet needs.
One tip, if you do this, during the triplets, you will tend to count the 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 in shuffle time. Don't do that. The "and" falls EXACTLY halfway between the the syllables "trip" and "let"
To help me along, I would count 1 trip and let, 2 trip and let, and then slowly remove the "trip" and "let" syllables from my verbal count. I would be thinking "1 trip and let 2 trip and let", but my mouth is just saying 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. Tough stuff, those brain separation exercises.

http://www.vicfirth.com/education/drumset/stanoch/STT.pdf

Every drummer needs this.
 
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Duckenheimer

Senior Member
Due to recent events I can't make any drum practice noise. Even pads are too loud most of the time.

So far all I can think of is imagination and trying to learn to play ultra quietly. What have you done to keep things ticking along when in a very restrictive environment?
A towel on the pad layered to different degrees and focus on extremely low dynamics (<1cm strokes).

I'm in the same situation with a pad (and my practise room is mouldy so I'm stripping the place before setting up my drums again). I do flat flams + singles, doubles, up/down strokes and paradiddles (the first four accent variations in The Jazz Drummer's workshops). I do it all through the table of time - the flat flams go through every subdivision in the whole table, and the rest go from quarters to 16th triplets. 25 reps of every whole note. Very difficult and time consuming even at 'easy' tempos to me.

I still do full stroke doubles and singles but only with the towel layered over 4 times to reduce noise but still provide just enough rebound to utilise it and not muscle out every note. It really helps bounced doubles imo. I do the up/down strokes and paradiddles on the naked pad because I can just afford enough time to make loud accents with those exercises and the downstrokes are really helped by the need to control the rebound so much.
 

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
The hard part is the verbal count. You are only allowed to count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.... even during the triplets. Harder than it sounds!
When I first got the book I had planned to master the whole table of time at a moderate tempo counting all major subdivisions aloud by the end of the year.

I have now extended this plan to 2015.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
When I first got the book I had planned to master the whole table of time at a moderate tempo counting all major subdivisions aloud by the end of the year.

I have now extended this plan to 2015.
LOL right? So my plan on getting this down in a year is a tad optimistic lol?
 
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