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Thread: Doubles

  1. #1

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    Im having troubles with my left hand (weak hand) doubles. I play match style and have gone over my grip over and over again. is it just more practice or is there something else I should be looking for? its also worth mentioning Im trying to fix my tea pinkies. I honestly didn't expect it to be this hard. pinkies out=no problem, pinkies in= galloping spazz factory.
    Last edited by sweatydrooler; 11-16-2012 at 10:49 AM.

  2. #2

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    I feel your pain my brother. For me, doubles have absolutely been the most difficult thing to learn. I avoided them for far too long (just because they were so difficult for me). A lot of it had to do with not learning proper grip early. I guess my first teacher was more interested in teaching me rhythms, than making sure I was understanding the proper grip. I switched to a new teacher, and had to unlearn a few bad habits that I had developed. That helped quite a bit, and then she explained the idea of controlling the bounce of the stick. That one idea was a game changer for me. My doubles are not nearly as smooth as I would like them to be, or as fast, but I'm still working on it.

    Oh, and your left hand will catch up over time. Just keep going, and don't give up.
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  3. #3

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    I practice my doubles on a pillow. I developed more muscle memory by not having any bounce. I watched a video awhile back by a guy named Jim Chapin who explained the Moehler technique, but there was one key thing in the video that caught my attention. He explained, while doing doubles, the first stroke is like touching a hot pan.


  4. #4

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    The last method is the one I learned. I might give the others a try, too.
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  5. #5

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    thanks guys, gotta say this forum is awesome. Ive been practicing on pillows to develop mescle memory, but have found that when I go back to having some rebound its like playing a different instrument. Im sure a lot of this is from not playing for 5 years, but what Ive been doing now is putting a magazine on the table which gives me a 90 percent dead bounce but still some of that hard surface to get used to. im hanging out around 95 bpm right now just to try and get it super even. which brings me to my next predicament. should I be trying not to emphasize the 1 when practing my rudiments?

  6. #6

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    I have been playing well over 30 years and still am not good with smooth precise doubles. I realized I had come as far as I could using my technique, it was not going to get better or faster or cleaner. So I am stepping back and learning to develop a new motion. Probably what Chapin is doing, can't see video right now, but essentially first stroke, wrist down fingers open, then snap fingers closed to make the second stroke. This is helping, I am guessing this will take a year before it manifests properly. Hardest thing is not to go fast too soon, because the old technique takes over. Todd Sucherman has a good exercise too, a triplet pattern with the triplet accent falling on the second stroke and alternating between hands. RllrrlLrrllr. actually a triplet 6 pattern. capital letters are the accented notes.
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  7. #7

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    (dont hate me) i picked up doubles really fast and could do a double stoke buzz roll with in 6 months of learning drums

    and now I will give you the Easter egg ....start very slow

  8. #8

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    Starting out I developed a press roll then a buzz(let up on the press roll) and finally a decent double by practicing accented rolls to build muscle strength and counting(helps to know which hand to end with as you speed up). Once you master the bounce slow down and emphasize the second hit as rR lL to even things out and sound like a single stroke because as you speed up the first hit will begin to dominate.
    I still warm up with a press roll to buzz to doubles: feels really good to ease that press pressure almost relief.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweatydrooler View Post
    Im having troubles with my left hand (weak hand) doubles. I play match style and have gone over my grip over and over again. is it just more practice or is there something else I should be looking for? its also worth mentioning Im trying to fix my tea pinkies. I honestly didn't expect it to be this hard. pinkies out=no problem, pinkies in= galloping spazz factory.
    .......just keep at it............In my own experience....I spent an entire summer when I was a kid trying to learn doubles.......thought they would never come. The most frustrated I had ever been, up to that point.............then one day I woke up and could do them. Once you have it, your hands will never forget. It's just a wall and you have to persevere until you break through it.

  10. #10

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    Another way to develop muscle memory for doubles. Start out S L O W. Keep playing them until you can play them slow without even thinking about it. Watch a movie, distract yourself with something else while you're practicing them. Then practice them a little faster. Again, practice them until you can play them without thinking about it. You're trying to build muscle memory. Just keep practicing them until you don't have to think about it. If you keep doing a repetitive activity, eventually your muscle memory takes over. Don't know if all my rambling made any sense or not.

  11. #11

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    Doubles are doubles. They should be easy to learn. Mastering them, well, I'll put it this way. I've yet to see a drummer that had a great double stroke roll across the board.

    I think after reading a lot of posts about various moves, stickings, what have you, that a large part of the problems some people encounter is that they overthink what they want to do. If you are tring to get a certain rudiment or move down, first, turn the damn 'nome off. Get the sticking down so it becomes part of your muscle memory, then you can go play with the 'nome. If I thought about every beat I play, I'd be in the record books as the worlds slowest drummer.

    I've been on this forum for about a year and a half, I've put up numerous vids, and have gotten very, very, kind "reviews" on them, even the ones with bad mistakes in them. 2 things I read all the time about my vids, are my hand speed and my speed around the set.

    Here is the secret to it: You have it too. The difference is that I know I have it, and some off the drummers here haven't realized that THEY have it, they just don't use it the way I do. Learning to lead with your left hand (for right handed drummers) is the first step. All drummers are fast going from left to right, it was going from right to left where I got them back in my youth and battles of the bands and drummers. I can go from my back FT to my MT which is a space of about 5' without (usually) missing a beat. That's because I can lead with my left hand which is something I've messed with since I was a kid.

    I throw in all the cross-overs to keep people looking at the visual effect and not notice that most of my sticking is simplistic to the core. With due respects to Itchie, when I got my first set of drums, which was months after playing on pillows. I set them up and the first thing I did was a press roll, because I wanted to hear THAT sound.

    All the BS leads us back to doubles. They aren't hard as far as sticking goes. If you can do a paradiddle, you can certainly do a double. If you want to perfect it, forget about it. Even Rich didn't have a "perfect" double stroke roll.

    The guy here that probably has the best double, is Shane. Mainly because of the style of drums that he plays, his technique is very clean. Kenny has a really good technique. He probably tries things like I do, to let him do things that some others can't. I admire both of them. It's nothing against the other drummers here, it's just that I haven't heard most of them play, so I can't judge what I can't see.

    The bottom line: No matter what you are trying to learn, do it for about 10 minutes, then leave it alone for a while. I learned that the hard way. I would play for hours on 1 thing and just get myself more p***** by the minute. Once I learned to practice something for 10-15 minutes tops, and come back to it later, a lot of things became easier.

    This little diatribe wasn't brought on by just the doubles topic. I have seen so many really good drummers over the years, that reached a level of playing and just stayed there. I'd see them maybe 2 years later, and they hadn't improved 1 iota. They played the same song, the same way, and, if they took a solo, it was the same 1 I saw 2 years earlier. I've never understood that. I'm always looking for different things, different sounds. If I were smart, I would quit because my wrists, especially the left 1, hurts so bad after I play that I have to soak it in warm to hot water for 20 minutes or so every time I play, but, I'll go tomorrow and try different things because it's what I do, and as long as I can hold the sticks, it will continue to be what I do. The only thing that will stop me from playing is when I'm gone, up in smoke, and in 1 of them silver urinals they put you in on somebody's shelf.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    I've yet to see a drummer that had a great double stroke roll across the board.
    What?
    - Tom

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    What?

    Fast, slow, accents on the first hit, second hit, move around the set and keep it smooth. That's what I mean.

    A true, even, double stroke roll would sound like a single stroke roll. It would purr. I've never seen 1 drummer, from Rich, to the guy down the block make it sound that way.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    I've never seen 1 drummer, from Rich, to the guy down the block make it sound that way.
    That's because perfection doesn't exist in humanity.
    - Tom

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    That's because perfection doesn't exist in humanity.

    Tom, that's exactly what I'm saying. A "perfect" double stroke roll would sound like a exceptionally fast single stroke roll. Never gonna happen.

    You work the rudiments to gain sticking control. Virtually everything in drumming is done off 1 stroke or 2 strokes, eg, LRR RLL LLRR and variations of that. It's how we put them together that makes some drummers interesting to watch, and others, not so much.

    If someone has 1 hour to practice. You spend 15 minutes (give or take) on rudiments. 15 minutes on groovin' (read that as working on your time) and the rest playing whatever will allow you to work all of them into making yourself a better drummer.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by itchie View Post
    (dont hate me) i picked up doubles really fast and could do a double stoke buzz roll with in 6 months of learning drums

    and now I will give you the Easter egg ....start very slow
    Exactly. It's also a common mistake for a lot of people, whether as rank beginners, or even those with a number of years playing, to go through an exercise a couple of times slowly, and then to all of a sudden speed it up but with diminished control. Slow exercising helps to develop muscle memory....something that can't be done overnight, as I tell people time and time again. Unfortunately we live in an age of everything being instant, done fast and done now. If you're not a superstar drummer within a few weeks of picking up the sticks, then you're nothing. Any wonder why there's a bunch of drumkits on the second hand market due to people giving up too easily.

    But I digress. Rick nailed the thing on the head there about leading with the left hand when doing exercises. It's definitely something I work with as much as possible, with singles, doubles and so on. Also, try doing double strokes with hands as a percussionist, whether playing djembe, conga or doumbek, you'll be surprised how much that works you. One thing that got me working on left hand lead more was the fact that years back I injured my right thumb and had it wrapped up (then in a cast) for a while....which meant I had to stop playing with it for a period of time. It also meant that virtually everyday tasks that I took for granted with my right hand had to be relearned with the left....from buttoning shirts, to opening doors, brushing teeth etc (had to get people to write for me though.....I haven't become that ambidextrous as yet!). So I also used to get my practice pad out and just kept hitting doubles with my left, start doing accent exercises and so forth. Then once the right thumb was slowly 'getting there' I started working with left hand lead on the hi-hat which, when you come to think of it, is keeping time with a series of left hand doubles (1+ 2+, etc).So doing that, warming up with exercises such as triplets phrased as RLL RLL, going through the first few pages of "Stick Control", doing all manner of musical and physical exercises, even practicing in front of a large full-length mirror has helped me.

    And remember, most if not all of us drummers all started off playing with control problems as rank beginners.

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Fast, slow, accents on the first hit, second hit, move around the set and keep it smooth. That's what I mean.

    A true, even, double stroke roll would sound like a single stroke roll. It would purr. I've never seen 1 drummer, from Rich, to the guy down the block make it sound that way.
    irrefutable evidence. well said. my doubles are "my doubles" do the best you can and stay in YOUR pocket.
    i always try to keep 4 beats ahead in my mind while im playing as i think "what the heck was that i just laid down 4 bars ago!!!"

  18. #18

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    I don't remember the YouTube drum demo but the older instructor laid down "machine gun" doubles to purposely demonstrate the method for doubles that sound like singles. Emphasis on the second hit of the double to even out the sound. Doubles still cause me timing problems because my wrists should go at half the speed of the music whereas singles are at speed or faster. Check the Jim Chapin drum vids on YouTube!
    Last edited by slinglander; 11-25-2012 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Added comment
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  19. #19

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    You're probably doing everything ok, but if you're like me, just maybe tired of the slowness to adapt.

    I've been practicing keeping my pinkie and right ring finger under the stick so I can feel the bounce as it hits the surface. My teacher has corrected my grip. It is not easy, and requires more concentration, and may cause galloping spazz factory as you suggest, or for me, tension in my arms and chest and torso (which I'm learning to relax) but there is payoff.

    I had to relearn the grip - no big deal, do-able with practice, enhanced functionality lets you snap the second stroke with verve using tiny muscles of the fingers - like pulling a trigger. I practice doubles every single day, because they are so very cool - almost as cool as flams - more powerful as drums of war - if you want powerful, expressive sound, doubles are for you. I would rather do doubles than singles any day.

    Yes your pinkie and ring finger will slip off, as do mine - I'm not worrying - I just put them back and redo, over and over, till I can do it with the stick almost loose in your hand, almost falling out - relaxed - that's sort of my goal - to be relaxed and still controlled with the fingers doing more work than the larger bones in my hands and arms. Watching Levon Helm and how he does doubles deliberately, sonically, precisely even carefully, and contrasting that with how some rock metal drummers slam out doubles fast and furiously - there's a whole continuum.

    I'm trying the Mike Johnson floor tom, kick and snare:

    RR KK S, RR KK S,...then cross hands, using the left hand on the floor tom, right on snare - fun workout for doubles.
    Last edited by Rickkus; 12-01-2012 at 12:29 AM.

  20. #20

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    There are so many slightly different variables and nuances to technique, it sometimes seems one great drummer contradicts another. Proof is in the pudding so to speak, and Chad Wackerman gave me the proof I was looking for. I have seen many great teacher/drummers who gave great information, like Famularo, and in videos from Jojo Majer, Benny Greb, Tommy Igoe. Wackerman did the smoothest most seamless double strokes, and 3 stroke closed rolls I have ever seen. And he explained his approach nicely, giving the credit to his first teacher Murray Spivak. I am not going to try to repeat or re-create it for fear of not defining it the same. He is on the drum channel, so I imagine he does the same tutorial there. I just want to express my appreciation, because I have been trying so hard to get my doubles to an expert level, and all the info available, I think it was hindering me because I was always second guessing which technique was the right one for me.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    Check the Jim Chapin drum vids on YouTube!
    See post number three in this thread.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markadiddle View Post
    ... He explained, while doing doubles, the first stroke is like touching a hot pan.
    Not exactly - I think there's a typo in that sentence.

    Chapin says at 0:40 "Imagine the pad is hot, and the 1st time you touch it, you have water on your finger it doesn't hurt you...but the 2nd time, 'Ow!', you know?"

    Then he tapped:

    RR LL RR LL

    So for the 2nd stroke the loud sound should be like a 'force' propelling the head of the stick high into the air.

    Note too - his sticks are at 'plumb' and vertical so the sticks are nearly at his eye, then snap, 'near horizontal', so the stick can 'hang in the air' between each push and pull - but it's down at his waist, which kind of awesome. The hands on the Chapin machine rise and fall like this: Rise high snap down <duplet> Rise high snap down <duplet> - about 4" to 6" rise and fall 'of the hands' with each snap down. That's no accident. He's using traditional grip and his left stick is 170 degrees - which makes contortionists wince. His sticks are sweeping out around 20" to 24" of arc between his head and waist to accentuate and show the student 'exaggerated form' when he slows the pace, but at high speed he's sweeping maybe 16" arc, which suggests to me his body (stick) form is part of the unstated instructional message.
    Last edited by Rickkus; 12-12-2012 at 09:18 AM.

  23. #23

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CexmxIaa6PM

    Here's Emmanuelle Caplette on Drum: Doubles Strokes Trick 2011

    She says '...relax' in that nice voice, sigh.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickkus View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CexmxIaa6PM

    Here's Emmanuelle Caplette on Drum: Doubles Strokes Trick 2011

    She says '...relax' in that nice voice, sigh.


    One of my favorite drummers. She has as clean a technique as I've seen among todays drummers.

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