What's the one exercise you are doing right now that's having the biggest impact on your playing?

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
yep...I get about 20-30 miles a weekend on my mountain bike; and on a goos day, will also get a 2 or 3 hour session at the skatepark on my BMX; just have to be careful about the wrecks; bur biking is my 2nd love behind drumming
I’m at that age where making the heart pump is a good thing. I don’t have to go that far since everything around my community is an uphill battle. My elderly neighbors think it’s impressive 😉
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I'm curious how the teaching is impacted by the pandemic. And what would you consider to be pre-requisites to start a teaching business, particularly do your students look for a music degree? Thanks!
My business has been good all year. I've been teaching online only since March, and everyone has been fine with that.

Prerequisites for teaching-- nobody has ever asked me about a degree-- I went to college, never got a degree, I quit when it seemed pointless to continue going. But I've published a lot, and have made some records, and have a lot of background working and performing, so it's easy for them to tell that I'm qualified. But a ton of experience is not strictly necessary. Mainly you should be able to teach beginning to intermediate snare drum, and beginning to intermediate drumset-- rock, funk, basic jazz. If you're a basically functional musician yourself, and are a good communicator, there's no reason you can't start working with beginners/novices. If people really like you, you'll get referrals, and you can start building a business. You do have to be a serious, committed student yourself.

And don't be a complete hack-- just teaching people parts to songs, or teaching whatever you're currently interested in, or stuff you just heard about on youtube. People do that, but it's totally unethical and exploitive. I wrote a blog post when I was pissed off at a hack teacher in town-- my tone is pretty harsh, but you can use that as a guide.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
My business has been good all year. I've been teaching online only since March, and everyone has been fine with that.

Prerequisites for teaching-- nobody has ever asked me about a degree-- I went to college, never got a degree, I quit when it seemed pointless to continue going. But I've published a lot, and have made some records, and have a lot of background working and performing, so it's easy for them to tell that I'm qualified. But a ton of experience is not strictly necessary. Mainly you should be able to teach beginning to intermediate snare drum, and beginning to intermediate drumset-- rock, funk, basic jazz. If you're a basically functional musician yourself, and are a good communicator, there's no reason you can't start working with beginners/novices. If people really like you, you'll get referrals, and you can start building a business. You do have to be a serious, committed student yourself.

And don't be a complete hack-- just teaching people parts to songs, or teaching whatever you're currently interested in, or stuff you just heard about on youtube. People do that, but it's totally unethical and exploitive. I wrote a blog post when I was pissed off at a hack teacher in town-- my tone is pretty harsh, but you can use that as a guide.
I feel like the bolded phrase above is what makes or breaks every teacher.

I have been teaching for 30+ years; middle school and high school percussion in band, and privately as well. I have had students of all ages, who have gone on to pretty much every level of musical success. I did get my Music Ed degree, but taught for 10 years before that. Like toddbishop, I have played out in many situations, have albums out, done studio session work, a small amount of touring; I write and arrange all of the stuff my high school kids play.

In all of this, I have also come across a ton of other teachers good and bad. what I have found mostly, is that usually the best players are the worst teachers. It all comes back to communicating and being able to take the time to analyze and break down how you learn something. Many many performers don't remember, recall, or were not focusing enough on the "how" as they got better. I have had really great players come in to assist me at school, and found out that they could not impart knowledge at any level. Most of the time, they are just not patient enough with the students, or don't understand why they don't get things correct the first time

what helped me in the beginning was focusing on how I had learned stuff, and then whittling all of that down to a basic progression that will work for most students. In my first year, I told myself that my students would need to be able to read music, develop hands via rudiments and Stone patterns, and be able to analyze phrasing and musical events to apply the music reading. This would give them the ability to fit into any musical situation and adjust. Of course there was a lot of fail along the way, and adjustment. But also like toddbishop, I refused to just teach people "cool beats and how to play ____________ song". I only did that after they were a good month into the fundamental development stuff
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I wrote a blog post when I was pissed off at a hack teacher in town-- my tone is pretty harsh, but you can use that as a guide.
" it's totally insane. It's malpractice."
:love:

I don't think this is anything I'm going to pursue right away, unless I go for an online thing only - I move around too much as a contract engineer. Maybe I need to settle down somewhere and get some normalcy in my life before attempting what one could consider a... career transition.

Teaching just seems like it would be so much fun, because you are learning yourself, and you get to see how a beginning student learns and grows. And then the friendships you earn from doing that.
 
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rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I feel like the bolded phrase above is what makes or breaks every teacher.

I have been teaching for 30+ years; middle school and high school percussion in band, and privately as well. I have had students of all ages, who have gone on to pretty much every level of musical success. I did get my Music Ed degree, but taught for 10 years before that. Like toddbishop, I have played out in many situations, have albums out, done studio session work, a small amount of touring; I write and arrange all of the stuff my high school kids play.

In all of this, I have also come across a ton of other teachers good and bad. what I have found mostly, is that usually the best players are the worst teachers. It all comes back to communicating and being able to take the time to analyze and break down how you learn something. Many many performers don't remember, recall, or were not focusing enough on the "how" as they got better. I have had really great players come in to assist me at school, and found out that they could not impart knowledge at any level. Most of the time, they are just not patient enough with the students, or don't understand why they don't get things correct the first time

what helped me in the beginning was focusing on how I had learned stuff, and then whittling all of that down to a basic progression that will work for most students. In my first year, I told myself that my students would need to be able to read music, develop hands via rudiments and Stone patterns, and be able to analyze phrasing and musical events to apply the music reading. This would give them the ability to fit into any musical situation and adjust. Of course there was a lot of fail along the way, and adjustment. But also like toddbishop, I refused to just teach people "cool beats and how to play ____________ song". I only did that after they were a good month into the fundamental development stuff
I could see how a salaried teaching position affects the overall experience compared to a private practice. Seems like you would be even freer to experiment with things when you know you don't have to worry paycheck to paycheck. And teaching facilities are better and the equipment is paid for. A private practice on the other hand would almost always require owning a house with some sort of sound proofing applied.
 

Old PIT Guy

Well-known member
The ostinato being the feet:
_H _F _H _F

EDIT: The natural hand pattern being R_ L_ R_ L_, so the above R_ L_ L_ R_ would be difficult. I'm guessing L_ R_ L_ R_ would be as well. There's possibly a difficult physics discussion going on behind that, but I'll let someone else give that a try.
I'd wanted to work on the pattern after seeing Donati use it to great effect. I knew it was alternating single strokes between hands and feet but hadn't identified the odd limb sequence until a Greg Bissonette video (I tried to find it but failed) on YT in which he tells the story about seeing Colaiuta play the phrase and was blown away. He says he asks VC, "so it's RH, RF, LH, LF,?" and the answer was no, it alternates: RH, LF, LH, RF.

I tried it both ways and though it feels odd at first, and it's also a little harder to initiate at speed (for me), it's better balanced if that makes sense. I usually begin the sequence with the left foot. Odd, but I think I learned it that way to place the first hand on my dominant - the right - because it eased me into the sequence coming from whatever I was playing at the time.

I worked the pattern up by playing a slow single stroke roll, just hands, and then interleaving the feet. It creates a mild rocking motion, or feeling, at your core on the throne that helps center your balance. You realize how important balance is once you move your hands around onto the toms from just the snare - it nearly feels like relearning the pattern.

I notice I wrote in the other post about alternating the 4 limbs with single limb singles between hand and foot, but that's not correct. What I meant was one hand with two feet. I always had a little trouble firing off a single stroke roll RH-RF-RH-RF ... at speed, and once I'd worked on this a little bit it felt easier to accomplish that with - RH-LF-RH-RF at speed since it doesn't require your single foot to fire so rapidly in succession at the get.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
I find that general fitness, especially as I age (late forties now), has a very positive impact on my drumming. I keep myself conditioned through both cardiovascular and resistance training. Healthy muscles and tendons go a long way toward optimizing all forms of movement. When it comes to improving (or sustaining) our drumming, what we do with sticks in our hands is only part of the puzzle. The better we maintain the machine, the more efficiently it performs.
Right on! Along the same lines, getting enough sleep, being well-hydrated and eating right provide similar benefits.
 

mrfingers

Senior Member
I’m currently working on left hand control with slow doubles, emphasizing the finger snap for the second stroke of the double to match my right hand power: l L - rR, etc. Sometimes lL- r and repeat. With my left’s index trigger finger it makes control a bit problematic.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
The exercise that has the greatest impact on my playing is playing along with songs on the FM radio. I change the station every few songs. I rotate between rock, oldies, jazz, country, blues, hip hop, popular and hispanic stations. So after one hour I have played along with many songs I have never heard before and songs from many different types of music.


.
 

wraub

Well-known member
I'm fairly new, so I have a list- :D

Some of what I'm working on is already mentioned upstream, but I'll add-

Pad- double stroke rolls and paradiddles, emphasizing left hand development. Playing with the metronome is great. :)

Kit-placement for ease of playing, utilizing the BD more in fills, leading with the left hand, overall relaxation.

General- no alcohol, better food, rest, and trying to exercise more. I already do a lot at work, which can be somewhat physical, but I don't so as much as I used to, that's changing too.

Overall- play as much as possible.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I could see how a salaried teaching position affects the overall experience compared to a private practice. Seems like you would be even freer to experiment with things when you know you don't have to worry paycheck to paycheck. And teaching facilities are better and the equipment is paid for. A private practice on the other hand would almost always require owning a house with some sort of sound proofing applied.
yeah...having the steady paycheck definitely helps, and the band room and all of the equipment is at my disposal. That all also forces me to keep up because it is my program "on the line" when we go out to perform in public, and (now) there is an expectation that preceeds us, and that all forces me to be current, to always be monitoring what is out there to prepare my students for <--because that has changed A LOT in the past 25 years. I have to constantly adapt my curriculum to meet programs at the next level - college and DCi/WGi - as they change their requirements. It does not allow me to be complacent, which i love!

What I find with a lot, but not ALL of the teachers who just teach privately is that they get their singular goals in mind for their students, and that is it. And much of the time, it is only focused on "playing drum set in rock bands"...like the only end goal is to be able to play in a combo at some level. And, there are also a few guys who think that playing in a symphony is the only reason to practice, and that drum set is "low brow" playing <---that is wrong as well.... <--- the odd connection to these 2 types is that they are both usually over 60 years old ;)

For me, and this is probably b/c I grew up in the school environment from 4th grade on, I feel like drum set playing is just one of the many facets of being a drummer, and ALL OF THEM directly influence success on each other. I am glad that I get to teach rudiments, set, keyboards, tymps, some hand percussion, bass guitar, jazz rhythm section, discipline, life preparation etc....

and all of my students are required to take from me to be in the program, and that helps as well. I am detailing at the individual level and then am able to apply it all the way through to the ensemble level with them

I am pretty lucky!
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There are crappy teachers everywhere, but many places it's what people are used to so they think it's good even though the effects are obviously detrimental to anyone with an ounce of intelligence, integrity and sense of responsiblity.

Should stand to reason tht to be a teacher you should have a bit more vocabulary and general vision of more than is personally interesting an relevant only to you right now. Seems though that's aleady to much to ask from 90% of those who call themselves teachers. If you're teaching only adults that come to you for that specific thing it may not be so bad, if you're actually able to teach it to others, but if you're working with kids ust any type of amateur it's pretty catastrophic.

Teaching is a craft and unless you aren't continually trying to improve that craft, hopefully based on holes and needs you see in your daily work, you shouldn't be teaching.

It's not really a competence thing, we all have to start somewhere. It's an attitude thing.
 
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moodman

Well-known member
I've been doing paradiddles as triplets, accenting the first partial, just to keep my hands in learning mode.
There are 5/4 hats exercises in the Jan MD from Steve Fidyk, I've been playing the 2 & 4 hats since '64, I want get more versatile.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
The one thing that really transformed my playing was listening to my first recording. It was shockingly out of balance.

A few years later it was timing challenges with Test of Time.

My current area of work is in composing good parts without having to “get busy”.
 
It's very important to warm up before working out. Do basic stretching exercises involving arms, back, and shoulders. Then ride a stationary bike for 10 to 15 minutes at low intensity in order to raise your core body temperature. Low-intensity cardio workouts like cycling or brisk walking also help to burn fat.
 
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