To me ... practice is focused work on and improving your hands, chops, sticking,rudiments, timing, etc. , whereas playing is improving your groove and/or musicability, i.e., are you forcing your favorite fills into a spot or are you relaxed, almost playing subconsciously and truly LISTENING, then playing a fill that superbly FITS the music, even if 'simple'?What is the difference do you think?
Been working with Gadd's book as well. It's quickly becoming an instant classic for me personally. I've been working on using my fingers more, instead of all wrist like I used to play in the past 35 years, and those exercises played straight and swung are real gems to get the control of finger strokes down.Working from Gadds new rudiment book. Helping with the flams and general dexterity. Always working on uptempo bebop.
FWIW from my loooooong years as a percussionist, I've seen way too many kit drummers not understanding (or truly appreciating?) the difference between practice and playing.