Stick Control book with Heather

JUZZI

Well-known member
RECOMMENDATION:
I just came across this really awesome video on how to use the Stick Control book effectively. It's well worth playing along with her video during quarantine to help even out those strokes and get your un-dominant hand up to scratch.

Check it out in the link below


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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
This is my favorite training text of all time. It was a central component of my lessons when I started drumming almost four decades ago, and I continue to use it a few days a week. Backbeat drumming can certainly weaken your non-dominant hand if you don't keep it conditioned. I've found no better means of maintaining balanced dexterity than performing the exercises in Stick Control. The book is a timeless reminder that top-notch chops demand disciplined effort.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
While I'm sure playing every exercise 20 times through the first page in a row is helpful, I wonder if there are better uses of one's time for the 20 minutes or so it'll take to do that.

I can see doing this, like she said, maybe for a week, just to try something new and different, but I don't see this is a long term practice routine, compared with something like the Lifetime Warmup.

Maybe next week I'll give this a shot, except my copy of Stick Control is at my parent's right now and I don't have access to it :p
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
While I'm sure playing every exercise 20 times through the first page in a row is helpful, I wonder if there are better uses of one's time for the 20 minutes or so it'll take to do that.

I can see doing this, like she said, maybe for a week, just to try something new and different, but I don't see this is a long term practice routine, compared with something like the Lifetime Warmup.

Maybe next week I'll give this a shot, except my copy of Stick Control is at my parent's right now and I don't have access to it :p
I have a couple of stories to relate.

One summer at a music festival I studied with a teacher with pretty close to the best, most effortless technique I’d ever seen. I asked him how he achieved it. He just said it was from practicing the first page of Stick Control.

Thr kid that won the World’s Fastest Drummer single strokes competition at age 16, Tom Grosset, said he just practiced mostly slow singles for about an hour a day for several years.

And I just notice that I improve MUCH faster when I slow down and just enjoy the moment.

But do what you want.
 

Seafroggys

Silver Member
Hmm, may be worth a shot. I guess my point is that if you only have, say, 20-30 minutes a day to practice, I wouldn't dedicate that whole time to one page out of stick control. If you got an hour a day, yeah, it might be beneficial. It's really a matter of managing the time well.

Also, why do the other pages never get love? The rolls section is fun, and the flam section is just freaking pure craziness. And the back of the book is the only book I own that even goes after weird tuplets, which aren't super applicable but does definitely get your mind off autopilot when working out of.
 

JUZZI

Well-known member
Hmm, may be worth a shot. I guess my point is that if you only have, say, 20-30 minutes a day to practice, I wouldn't dedicate that whole time to one page out of stick control. If you got an hour a day, yeah, it might be beneficial. It's really a matter of managing the time well.

Also, why do the other pages never get love? The rolls section is fun, and the flam section is just freaking pure craziness. And the back of the book is the only book I own that even goes after weird tuplets, which aren't super applicable but does definitely get your mind off autopilot when working out of.
Of course if you have limited time then you should prioritise what areas you need to practice in that case. Though I guess the idea /overall goal for this exercise is to train and achieve absolute discipline, which i'm sure you could only achieve to a really high standard by doing this sticking consistently on a very regular basis.

I'm gonna check out the Lifetime Warmup now you mentioned it, not heard of that one! thanks
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Hmm, may be worth a shot. I guess my point is that if you only have, say, 20-30 minutes a day to practice, I wouldn't dedicate that whole time to one page out of stick control. If you got an hour a day, yeah, it might be beneficial. It's really a matter of managing the time well.

Also, why do the other pages never get love? The rolls section is fun, and the flam section is just freaking pure craziness. And the back of the book is the only book I own that even goes after weird tuplets, which aren't super applicable but does definitely get your mind off autopilot when working out of.
I think 15 minutes of every practice session should include slow work with the first 4 exercises of Stick Control. If I only have 30 minutes, I’ll still do 10 minutes of that or some other simple exercise, very slowly, with very high stick heights. The only exception I can think of is if I need to work up a very difficult part in a short time, and I have limited practice time. Even them, 5 minutes should still, IMHO, be devoted to very simple, slow stuff.

As far as the more complex stuff in the book goes, I’ve played way crazier stuff in college with the wind ensemble and percussion ensemble. 10 against 3, multi-meter, etc.. There’s nothing in there that could interest me in terms of sheer complexity for more than 5 minutes at a time. But it’s as good as any other source for that kind of more complex stuff. Just be aware that music gets a lot more complex than that. And I think the Law of Diminishing Returns applies when you get into the really rhythmically complex stuff.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
Of course if you have limited time then you should prioritise what areas you need to practice in that case. Though I guess the idea /overall goal for this exercise is to train and achieve absolute discipline, which i'm sure you could only achieve to a really high standard by doing this sticking consistently on a very regular basis.

I'm gonna check out the Lifetime Warmup now you mentioned it, not heard of that one! thanks
I'm a big fan of the Lifetime Warmup. It's actually comprised of 3 "flavors": Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. They not only progress in difficulty and depth, but what I find most useful is that they differ in the amount of time it takes to complete them.

For example, let's say I only have about 10 minutes to get some playing in before "regular life" takes over. I'll do the Basic Warmup, but boost the tempo to around 160 BPM (the suggested tempo is 130 BPM).

Plus the DVD that comes along with it is almost like studying with Tommy Igoe.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I think 15 minutes of every practice session should include slow work with the first 4 exercises of Stick Control. If I only have 30 minutes, I’ll still do 10 minutes of that or some other simple exercise, very slowly, with very high stick heights. The only exception I can think of is if I need to work up a very difficult part in a short time, and I have limited practice time. Even them, 5 minutes should still, IMHO, be devoted to very simple, slow stuff.

As far as the more complex stuff in the book goes, I’ve played way crazier stuff in college with the wind ensemble and percussion ensemble. 10 against 3, multi-meter, etc.. There’s nothing in there that could interest me in terms of sheer complexity for more than 5 minutes at a time. But it’s as good as any other source for that kind of more complex stuff. Just be aware that music gets a lot more complex than that. And I think the Law of Diminishing Returns applies when you get into the really rhythmically complex stuff.
You're right about the importance of incorporating slow playing into practice routines. Oddly enough, it's one of the best forms of speed training.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Thr kid that won the World’s Fastest Drummer single strokes competition at age 16, Tom Grosset, said he just practiced mostly slow singles for about an hour a day for several years.
I've studied with Tom (nice guy, great drummer, great teacher!), and this is a HUGE oversimplification, and omits the whole Drumometer thing.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I enjoyed this video when I first saw it go up a few months ago because it's one of the few videos I've seen that runs through the exercises the way the author specifies. I messaged Heather telling her how much I appreciated it.

The "repeat 20 times" thing is a little strange, but the foreword by George Lawrence Stone does state very clearly that this is how the book is intended to be used for maximum benefit. So that is what I do when I use this book. I've wondered why the number 20 was chosen, since this is such an odd number, but I've learned to like it. I have actually learned to "feel" the 20 count, sort of like a long 5/4. I sort of wonder if the point is to NOT have it feel like music, since this stuff is about exercises and not playing music. Tommy Igoe stresses this aspect of his rebound strokes, that "we're not playing music, we're bouncing."

I don't use Stick Control daily, but when I do use it, this is exactly how I use it. And yeah, I pretty much just use page one these days. I played through the other stuff in earlier years but not recently. I also will occasionally run through page one with feet at a slower tempo.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
When I was using Stick Control, I would spend 2mins on each exercise so that, regardless of the tempos I was practicing at, I was playing each exercise at least 20 times. But, having watched the video, I can see the benefit of practicing each exercises exactly 20 times before moving on to the next exercise, insofar as it requires extra focus to keep track of each measure (much like counting measure when following a musical score).

The one thing I take slight issue with in this video is the notion that practicing Stick Control will benefit your non-dominant hand. To me, something like Stick Control will benefit your non-dominant hand only if the mechanics of your non-dominant hand are good to begin with. If not, you'll just be reinforcing bad habits. I think this needs to be mentioned, otherwise some people may get the wrong impression that Stick Control will improve their non-dominant hand regardless of their technique.

Still, I like how, despite a couple of minor flubs here and there, she kept going. All-in-all, I enjoyed watching the video, I think she has good technique in both hands, and I like her vibe.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
The one thing I take slight issue with in this video is the notion that practicing Stick Control will benefit your non-dominant hand. To me, something like Stick Control will benefit your non-dominant hand only if the mechanics of your non-dominant hand are good to begin with. If not, you'll just be reinforcing bad habits. I think this needs to be mentioned, otherwise some people may get the wrong impression that Stick Control will improve their non-dominant hand regardless of their technique.
Interesting point. To me, unless you are mindlessly practicing the exercises, your non-dominant hand has no choice but to improve doing the exercises given there is such an obvious A/B comparison being made available to you as the exercises are repeated sticking between both hands, especially on page 1. I'm constantly comparing stick heights, dynamic consistency, grip (I play matched), and that to me is one of the obvious benefits of stick control - it creates a level playing field to compare hands and identify improvement opportunities.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Interesting point. To me, unless you are mindlessly practicing the exercises, your non-dominant hand has no choice but to improve doing the exercises given there is such an obvious A/B comparison being made available to you as the exercises are repeated sticking between both hands, especially on page 1. I'm constantly comparing stick heights, dynamic consistency, grip (I play matched), and that to me is one of the obvious benefits of stick control - it creates a level playing field to compare hands and identify improvement opportunities.
And it’s a LOT easier to notice the differences between the hands if you’re practicing very slowly, with big motions. Like “arms starting out above your head” big. IMHO
 

JUZZI

Well-known member
I'm a big fan of the Lifetime Warmup. It's actually comprised of 3 "flavors": Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. They not only progress in difficulty and depth, but what I find most useful is that they differ in the amount of time it takes to complete them.

For example, let's say I only have about 10 minutes to get some playing in before "regular life" takes over. I'll do the Basic Warmup, but boost the tempo to around 160 BPM (the suggested tempo is 130 BPM).

Plus the DVD that comes along with it is almost like studying with Tommy Igoe.
is this the one that includes the lifetime warm up?

 

JUZZI

Well-known member
I can see the benefit of practicing each exercises exactly 20 times before moving on to the next exercise, insofar as it requires extra focus to keep track of each measure (much like counting measure when following a musical score).
I guess by using 20 repeats its also intended to teach discipline in actual counting and trains for endurance too, because sometimes a drummer can easily loose concentration in counting bars and stuff in a band setting, so it trains you in that sense too.

When I first started drumming years ago, truthfully I didn't get the big thing with this famous book over other rudiment books? but now I truly understand by watching this video, now I see how it is supposed to be used and exactly why its so beneficial. great vid! great book!
 
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planoranger

Junior Member
is this the one that includes the lifetime warm up?

Sorry to take so long getting back to you...I was practicing most of the day (believe it or not)...

To answer your question....Yep...that's the one....well worth the money IMO.

I'm sure you will get a lot out from it should you decide to purchase it.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Interesting point. To me, unless you are mindlessly practicing the exercises, your non-dominant hand has no choice but to improve doing the exercises given there is such an obvious A/B comparison being made available to you as the exercises are repeated sticking between both hands, especially on page 1. I'm constantly comparing stick heights, dynamic consistency, grip (I play matched), and that to me is one of the obvious benefits of stick control - it creates a level playing field to compare hands and identify improvement opportunities.
For sure, but once you start concerning yourself with stick heights, dynamic consistency, etc., you're already starting to work on the mechanics (ie. there's nothing mindless about it). I spent years not concerning myself with those things, and developed a lot of bad habits along the way. Simply working my non-dominant hand more didn't fix the problems, so I had to go back to the mechanics - to the pre-Stick Control stuff.


And it’s a LOT easier to notice the differences between the hands if you’re practicing very slowly, with big motions. Like “arms starting out above your head” big. IMHO
And that's a big part of fixing my mechanics. I don't start with my arms "above" my head, but they start a lot higher than the used to. Really, there's no way around it.
 
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