What practice software do you use?

KJIB

New member
I'm a beginner and have been using a combination of books, lessons and Melodics software.

Melodics is fun but I feel like it falls a bit short from some aspects. I'd prefer if it gave a choice to see a proper musical score rather than just the squares on lines. It would be nice if you could put your own stuff in but I've not found an editor etc. for it. It does have a "practice" mode but you have to find an existing track with all the bits of kit you want to practice with and then, well it's not really meant for what I'd like to do which is practice the exercises my teacher has written out that I want to do with a click but also have the benefit of seeing where I'm drifting on the timing, being able to add what I'm meant to play so I can compare it on the screen and to track progress with that etc.

I know Roland (use to?) do some practice software but recent reviews seem to suggest this is fairly dated, has limited songs and probably also doesn't do some of the things that Melodics doesn't do etc.

What do you use, got any tips on how you made it work for you and, if it's got something that doesn't quite work for you, how does it fall short?
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
As an old fart at 57 I've never even heard of "practice software" although I have on doubt it exists. But clealry I can't comment on that since I know nothing about it. Back when I was growing up in the 70's practicing involved doing hours of rudiments on the pad or snare. Then for work on the set, my first teacher who was a jazz player had me playing to different tunes which I would play on my turntable on the stereo. Then when I took lessons at Drummer's Collective we did a combination of listening to albums and breaking down the tune and playing the grooves on the album combined with doing exercises from the books that teach hand and foot independence. Then when I went away to college, I decided it would help my overall playing if I studied snare drum as an elective. So I took a "snare drum class" which was essentially private snare drum lessons that helped me with both my technique as well as strengthening my snare chops and gave me some more facility. I even had to pass an exam. Lastly, I would spend hours listening to albums, transcribing the drum parts on paper and then playing what was written on paper until I felt good enough to play along with the record. I found this effort of transcription and then playing what I transcribed to be extremely helpful in advancing my ability to play. But one of the things that really helped me advance was my friend, who also was taking lessons at Drummer's Collective, and was much better than me, shared with me something his teacher taught him. He called it the six-way-beat. It is basically the right hand portion of a paradiddle with the right hand either on the hi hat or the bell of the ride cymbal and 2 and 4 of the snare with ghost notes. There are 6 different versions of the bass drum beat. And you can play it with the hi hat closed or playing eighth notes on the hi hat so you get a nice open hi hat pattern or you play eighths on the hi hat while on the bell of the ride. After my friend taught me this I was amazed at how many profession drum recordings were essentially playing some version of this beat. Mostly in R&B and fusion. And the last thing I worked on was trying to play cross rhythms, mainly 5s and 7s. Getting comfortable with adding fills with 5s and 7s gave me a sound that started to differentiate me from lots of other drummers.

I'm sort of curious about the music software but here I am at 57 trying to get back into playing. I have my work cut out for me in just trying to re-learn much of what I used to be able to do. I'll stick with what I've done in the past. If I can get to a level that approximates where I was back in my 20s, then maybe I'll look for other approaches to learning. But what is missing from the above that I have on my "to do" list is to buy the drum book "The Encyclopedia of Double Bass Drumming". It is written by Bobby Rondinelli from Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult and my Drummer's Collective drum teacher Michael Lauren. I never had a double bass pedal set up until a few years ago so that is something I'd like to get some facility with to add another element to my playing. As you can see I have a full plate. Practice software will have to wait.

Just practice......A LOT.......and more importantly, have fun.
 

KJIB

New member
As an old fart at 57 ...
Thanks for your reply. You're so way way ahead of me on the drums although, in years, not so much!

If you have an electronic drum kit (which outputs MIDI) then you can use Melodics on your computer for free. If you don't buy a subscription they limit you to 5 minutes a day or something but enough to get the idea. In case you were curious.

As I have an electronic kit and a laptop and I'm new to all this, I figured I'd supplement the wise advice from people such as yourself with something extra. It's not perfect but it's also fun in a different way. I also use books etc. too so I'm trying old school and new school ways but I'm curious to know what software other folks who've tried this method have used, pros & cons etc.
 
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