Strangely hard, easy sticking pattern

Griffman

Member
An easy sticking pattern is is strangely difficult for me after several months of practicing it slow and controlled and pushing it up over time - compared to other things I work on I am seeing very little improvement despite putting the time in a focused but relaxed manner

The pattern is this and it comes up in shuffles half-time shuffles and jazz grooves quite a bit.

The right hand plays the last partial and the down beat of a triplet. Let one Let two... Plain old shuffle
The left hand (or right foot) is playing both partials of a triplet. Trip Let Trip Let....

With even moderate tempo (about 140 bpm) it starts to flam on the third partial - yuck - the groove disappears

So I know the standard and good advise is to practice slow and controlled and patiently increase the speed over time. I am doing that yet so little progress compared to much more difficult things.

Is this common that there is some easy pattern that remain strangely difficult for some people? Is this a pattern others have problems with? Any possible solutions other than what I am already doing? Thanks in advance for both humorous and insightful replies (which seems standard here at DW)
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
An easy sticking pattern is is strangely difficult for me after several months of practicing it slow and controlled and pushing it up over time - compared to other things I work on I am seeing very little improvement despite putting the time in a focused but relaxed manner

The pattern is this and it comes up in shuffles half-time shuffles and jazz grooves quite a bit.

The right hand plays the last partial and the down beat of a triplet. Let one Let two... Plain old shuffle
The left hand (or right foot) is playing both partials of a triplet. Trip Let Trip Let....

With even moderate tempo (about 140 bpm) it starts to flam on the third partial - yuck - the groove disappears

So I know the standard and good advise is to practice slow and controlled and patiently increase the speed over time. I am doing that yet so little progress compared to much more difficult things.

Is this common that there is some easy pattern that remain strangely difficult for some people? Is this a pattern others have problems with? Any possible solutions other than what I am already doing? Thanks in advance for both humorous and insightful replies (which seems standard here at DW)
I have two suggestions, one of which you already touched upon, which is to practice slowly. I don't know how slowly you've been practicing it, but I would suggest you practice it REALLY slowly, like around 40-60 beats per minute. Do it for 5 minutes at a time (at least) at that tempo, and really try to focus on hitting the double stops exactly together. The second suggestion is to practice it (with your hands) on a gum rubber practice pad, that allows you to play double stops (unlike a real drum or a Remo pad, where you get a weird feeling when you hit both sticks at the exact same time). This will really allow you to hear and feel whether you're playing the double stops exactly together. I've done this a lot (like with the exercises from the Chapin book, for example), and it has really helped my precision with these kinds of figures. Good luck!
 

cornelius

Silver Member
Quarter notes at 40BPM for 5 min - that’s a great approach to digging into any type of groove that you’re working on. Also keep in mind that when Chapin wrote Advanced Techniques, he was assuming the player had a good handle on technique, to pull off the coordination and accents. Check your grip and hand motions...
 

Griffman

Member
That's helpful. I was practicing slow but not that slow so the metronome gets turned down. my only rudimental knowledge of rudiments may have also been holding me back here. I only work on the more well known ones. I was told today that I need to work on Swiss army triplets and double stop exercises which work on this technique. I was seeing it as an isolated problem rather than lack in a foundational technique. The hand practice also seems like it will help - tried it on this particular problem and a few things from Chapin. It does seem to work in a different way. Thanks for the help! Now I have a new plan to remediate this that will have a more universal application.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
This is close to a Swiss army triplet but not it (the Swiss army triplet has the flam in it ). In that groce , you do not want the flam in. You just need to practice slow and concentrate on the hand that does the "tri-plet". The other one is doing the shuffle and should be easier. Try to accentuate the second note on each hand a little more the the 1st note, that'll make it grove a little more (my point of view).
 

DrumAddik

Member
I would also suggest literally practicing for minutes at a time at moderately slow tempo hitting the pad with both hands at the same exact time. Really concentrate on not flamming at all and that will help with the coordination of that exercise you are doing.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
And by the way , it is NOT an easy sticking pattern . There is a unison on the "plet" of "1 tri-plet" and the speed is pretty fast (porcaro shuffle type).
 

Griffman

Member
And by the way , it is NOT an easy sticking pattern . There is a unison on the "plet" of "1 tri-plet" and the speed is pretty fast (porcaro shuffle type).
Well it's not easy for me, and I am glad to know I am not the only one who finds it so, but shouldn't it be in a way? It is just double strokes that happen to overlap, I can do double strokes as straight eights or as a shuffle well enough. And I can coordinate my hands and feet and not unintentially flam very much. So what makes this so different or hard? I still don't know. I am happy to have advice to help remediate the problem but still wonder if there is some quirk of the nervousness system is responsible. Porcaro type shuffles is exactly what made me aware of this issue in the first place so we are on the same page I guess.
 

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
What makes it hard is that unison . All the rudiments you practice don't have a unison.

On the kit , the unison you have are the ones between the hat keeping time and snare/kick.

That's why that is so hard to do.
 

johnnylaw

Senior Member
I would call it a simple sticking. Simple does not imply easy.
I am very much a learning drummer, so I face myriad challenges/opportunities such as this all too frequently. :-/
I too would throttle back to 40 BPM and use all that space in time between strikes to allow the sticks to rise well up (close to vertical) within your grip. For me, this exaggeration helps tune my body awareness/mechanics yielding improved stick control as well as a deeper, tighter groove. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but to exploit/honor all that empty space between strikes really helps with my timing.
And when you swing the two sticks (pedals, etc.) this should really help refine the motion to the head contact. Once it is coordinated with all that "extra" stick swing, gradually reduce the distance from the head the sticks are allowed to rise. You're moving from gross to fine motor movements, but do so after you've felt the time.
I do this with lots of rudiments, and it has really helped.
As an aside, I play the pattern you describe often with my left and right feet (hat/bass); never thought of doing it with my hands. So many drums; so little time...
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
Does anyone have a video demonstrating this beat? I'm having a hard time mentally hearing it. Or maybe I've heard it before but cant tell what it is by reading it.
 

Griffman

Member
What makes it hard is that unison . All the rudiments you practice don't have a unison.

On the kit , the unison you have are the ones between the hat keeping time and snare/kick.

That's why that is so hard to do.
This is not exactly what I am finding. I can play the same old shuffle with the right hand on the ride or hi-hat, and play the down beat and first partial with the left hand on the snare - in this case there is a unison on the downbeat but basically the same overlapping pattern - and it plays so much faster - this is what led me to wonder why something that was so easy in one context (unisons in triplet patterns) was so hard in another i.e. my original problem.

I am finding it strange but maybe why it is happening is not a helpful focus - just correcting it - I was thinking if I understood the cause of the problem it could be more effectively fixed. Now I am thinking that's not really helpful - just fix it.
 

Griffman

Member
Does anyone have a video demonstrating this beat? I'm having a hard time mentally hearing it. Or maybe I've heard it before but cant tell what it is by reading it.


I have attached a jpg that show the exercises. The fifth measure is the one that is hard, the fourth measure is similar but so easy
 

Attachments

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
:( I'm sorry but I really don't know how to read drum charts. I'm actually going to start lessons to learn. I vaguely know the basics.
 

Griffman

Member
I will admit it is not easy not to flam but it is the first time doing this rudiment lol
If you play the fourth measure instead of the fifth in the posted exercise do you also find it appreciably easier to avoid flaming at a good tempo? That what made the issue seem strange to me in the first place, why is one easier and one hard when it's just a very slight variation. Maybe because the unison/double stop occurs on the quarter note pulse and not a subdivision of the underlying pulse?! I am going to do some similar exercises with sixteenth notes instead of triplets and see if this is indeed the case.

Addendum. The difficulty of unisons on the subdivisions rather than the quarter note pulse is not as noticeable with sixteenth notes as apposed to triplets.
 
Last edited:

drum4fun27302

Gold Member
This is not exactly what I am finding. I can play the same old shuffle with the right hand on the ride or hi-hat, and play the down beat and first partial with the left hand on the snare - in this case there is a unison on the downbeat but basically the same overlapping pattern - and it plays so much faster - this is what led me to wonder why something that was so easy in one context (unisons in triplet patterns) was so hard in another i.e. my original problem.

I am finding it strange but maybe why it is happening is not a helpful focus - just correcting it - I was thinking if I understood the cause of the problem it could be more effectively fixed. Now I am thinking that's not really helpful - just fix it.
That is what I was trying to say. That unison you play is the easy one (ride/hat on downbeat and snare on downbeat ).
Here is what the hands do

Right hand: R-rR-rR-rR-rR etc
Left hand: -lL-lL-lL-lL etc
 
Top