teacher trust issues...

i don t trust them...they tell me to practice everything on surfaces with no rebound, but there are certain exercises that simply cannot be carried out on such surfaces, like in jojo mayers dvd, the moeller exercises and the finger exercises...i ve found the 'real feel' pads and practicing on the kit has done better, my rudiments are much smoother these days...any advice u may have regarding the issue?? why have my teachers never emphasized or even mentioned practice on rebounding suraces, which i have found to be useful??


Platinum Member
I don't have my students practice on lesser-rebounding surfaces unless it is something that they will need to perform on - such as playing on a low pitched floor tom or playing with brushes. Practicing doubles with brushes does seem to improve technique. I do know that many people like practicing on non-rebounding surfaces - even Dennis Chambers mentioned something like that in clinic. But I have always tried to practice on the instrument or a close approximation like the Quiet Tone pads.



Platinum Member
Truthfully, in this day and age I can't imagine why anyone would not encourage a technique that is premised on rebound. As complex as it all can become, I have of late realized that everything I need to know about playing I learned from Joe Morello.


Platinum Member
yeah! i don't get all these people who tell everyone to practice on a pillow. a pillow is nothing like a drum. we play drums, not pillows.


Platinum Member
yeah! i don't get all these people who tell everyone to practice on a pillow. a pillow is nothing like a drum. we play drums, not pillows.
I wouldn't advocate using a pillow and nothing but a pillow. But as a drill, I think they're great for strengthening muscles in the wrist and forearms.

To a degree I do support your statement that "we play drums not pillows". But if used purely as an excercise as opposed to the 'be all and end all', I can see the positives. Much in the same way that a boxer hits people and not speedballs or heavy bags. Yet the speedball and bag training provides much of the conditioning whereas sparring will give them the skills and technique neccessary to actually fight.

In short, I think there is no substitue for time behind the kit, but there is a place for the conditioning tools such as low rebound practice pads, playing heavier sticks, pillows etc etc.


Gold Member
I agree that some teachers have taken this concept too far, but it's a darn good idea for three things:

1. Practicing on surfaces with little rebound (technically, even the floppiest pillows have SOME rebound) helps you learn how to work with little rebound...thus building your muscles, much like lifting weights, or a baseball player swinging two bats (or a weighted bat) before going up to hit. They never actually hit with two bats, but they use them to build those muscles, and warm them up.

2. Using rebound in drumming involves a lot more than just the rebound...it involves controling the minute muscles in your hands, wrists, and fingers. By using a surface with less rebound, you really learn how those muscles work, and what you have to do to control them totally and well. I have gained a great understanding of how your hands can manipulate a drum stick by playing on surfaces with little rebound.

3. Frankly, a lot of students don't put in nearly enough time drumming, in large part because they don't want to just focus on drumming (as opposed to TV, etc), and in large part because family members complain about the noise, even on a pad. By telling your student to practice on a pillow, you gain the two advantages I mentioned earlier, and also the ability to have them practice silently, and practice while watching TV, listening to music, talking on the phone, etc.

It is a great thing to do that many professional drummers have done throughout the years, but it doesn't replace playing on a drum. Something like a Real Feel pad, well, they are usually more bouncy than a normal drum, so that can actually be detrimental...you can play stuff on there that you can't play on a drum, and really, it only matters what you can do on the drum.


Senior Member
this seems to be a bit of a sweeping statement-- is it all teachers you do not trust or just your current guy.

I have had some pretty duff teachers in the past who have obviously just got a book,latched onto a method and follow it word for word with no explanation other than what they can find in the book.

the good teachers have analysed what i need, given me an excercise to do that and explained why you need to do it.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think if you talk to enough teachers you will get almost that many opinions. I wouldn't call this a trust issue. If one tells you not to, and the other tells you to do something, how do you know which to believe. I think maybe if you have an open dialogue and ask questions as to why he teachs something and that you have heard other opinions it may help build this trust issue.

wy yung

i don t trust them...they tell me to practice everything on surfaces with no rebound,
Eh, may I ask how many teachers we are talking about here?

This does not sound like anything the professional teachers I know would advise.