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Thread: Practice

  1. #1

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    I've generally practiced every other day with a bunch of songs that I play along with. I feel like I've outgrown that, but don't know what else to do. My band isn't coming up with new material at the moment since we're still recording our demo, so I've just been playing along to our current songs and some other random songs I've learned over the years. I don't practice rudiments* because I don't know any other than a flam and I've got that down. So what else can I do behind my kit? I'm self taught, so I'm not very experimental. I stick to a straight 4/4 beat with different stuff thrown in based on the song. After just having spent $250 on a shell pack, I really would like to get more serious. The only problem is that I don't know where to start. Any advice? I'm looking mainly for different beats and ideas to incorporate into my playing as opposed to practice drills and exercises because then it just feels like homework.

    *I know half of the people reading this thread are going to be baffled that I said that I don't practice rudiments, but let me explain. I've tried many instruments over the years and none of them worked out. The reason for that is very simple: Practice. Whenever I was given something to practice, it felt like homework and that completely sucked the fun out of it. I've been doing stuff at my own pace behind the kit and throwing in things that I would have to make into homework would kill it for me. Call it lazy and half-assed playing if you will, but it's how I work.
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  2. #2

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    my story is very similar to yours. one thing i like to do is take a beat, and alter one part of it. usually my feet , if there is some double bass in it i will doubletime it for a couple of bars, then doubletime it again, makes for an awesome build up in the song. another thing ill do is replace all of the single bass hits, ill try and do them all 8th ,16th or 32nd doubles with one foot. or if its a basic part, add in quarter or eighth notes on the hat pedal. just try and find one thing you can alter , you wont even realise its a form of practice.
    MAPEX MAFIA

  3. #3

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    Try learning some songs from a genre completely foreign to you.

  4. #4

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    Drumming is like any other skill. You get out of it what you put into it. If you are serious about drumming, than you are doing yourself a disservice by avoiding learning rudiments. Sometimes you just gotta churn through stuff.However, if drumming is just a means to have fun, then why bother doing anything boring. It defeats the point of having fun.
    With that being said, it would really behoove you to learn learn some rudiments, specifically;paradiddles, double paradiddles, and paradiddlediddles. Those can really help with alternate sticking, and you don't have that daunting feeling of trying to learn the 26 standard+the 14 new rudiments, and however many hybrids. A few minutes a day, and after a week, you'll have a bunch of new sticking ideas. Then you can throw flams in for fun.
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  5. #5

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    I agree that doing rudiments on a snare drums is boring as hell. But you should try learning some rudiments and moving them around to different drums/cymbals, and accenting them in different places. This can lead to some very cool ideas for fills or grooves. Also you could look into linear drumming (never hitting 2 things at the same time)...a lot of Mike Johnston's Youtube vids are really great for this. I was sort of in a slump with drumming a while back and these two things inspired a lot of new ideas and helped refresh my enthusiasm for drumming.
    Peace, Love, and Rock N Roll

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  6. #6

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    if you learn rudiments and things like that you have more fun afterwards too, and your drumming vocabulary is greatly increased. I think northern redneck offered some great advice, too. be really creative and try out different styles. Maybe look into some other drums or hand drums. But if not any of this and you are serious about drumming then you ought to look into rudiments. There are ways to have more fun with them, like putting them in grooves like yohin said. And once you do learn them its really fun and there is so much more to do. Here's a site of a bunch of lessons with different things to practice:

    http://drumbum.com/lessons/

    some of these are really good and can open you up to whole new worlds of drumming such as Odd time and Ostinatos.

    Good luck.
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  7. #7

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    Yea, I guess there's no real way of avoiding it. I found this video exercise a few days ago. Now I'm doing it while watching TV. Wrist speed is very important to me right now.




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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoiseInMotion View Post
    Whenever I was given something to practice, it felt like homework and that completely sucked the fun out of it. I've been doing stuff at my own pace behind the kit and throwing in things that I would have to make into homework would kill it for me. Call it lazy and half-assed playing if you will, but it's how I work.
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  9. #9

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    NIM, you sound like a very talented guy that is able to pick things up rather quickly. However, without a solid foundation, you can only go so far. I recommend doing three things to challenge your talents:
    1. Begin listening to other types of music, such as, jazz, latin, funk, etc,.. This will keep your interest up and greatly improve your ear even more.
    2. Learn the fundamentals. Pick up a basics book and learn to read the basics of drum notation...this will lead you to the rudiments. Learning the rudiments by ear is not the way you do it, IMO. Learn them through drum notation.
    3. Start jamming with other musicians. You may have to get approval from your current band to keep everyone COOL. This will keep your interest up and also expose you to the different styles that other musicians will bring.

    Good luck !

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nio View Post
    3. Start jamming with other musicians. You may have to get approval from your current band to keep everyone COOL. This will keep your interest up and also expose you to the different styles that other musicians will bring.

    Good luck !
    Wholehearted agreement. I never hit the same high practicing by myself as I do jamming with a guitarist or a fuller band.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Constinator25 View Post
    Dude I love you.
    Glad to see I'm not the only one lol

    Quote Originally Posted by nio View Post
    NIM, you sound like a very talented guy that is able to pick things up rather quickly. However, without a solid foundation, you can only go so far. I recommend doing three things to challenge your talents:
    1. Begin listening to other types of music, such as, jazz, latin, funk, etc,.. This will keep your interest up and greatly improve your ear even more.
    2. Learn the fundamentals. Pick up a basics book and learn to read the basics of drum notation...this will lead you to the rudiments. Learning the rudiments by ear is not the way you do it, IMO. Learn them through drum notation.
    3. Start jamming with other musicians. You may have to get approval from your current band to keep everyone COOL. This will keep your interest up and also expose you to the different styles that other musicians will bring.

    Good luck !
    1) Don't really have any comment there lol
    2) I'm really more of a visual learner. I pick up things much quicker if I can see it demonstrated as opposed to trying to picture myself after reading about it.
    3) I would if I could, but there's no available musicians in my area in my age group. Believe me, I looked high and low before joining my current band. The only thing around here are wannabe hardcore bands and guys in their 40's looking for people around their age to jam with.

    Where'd my video go...
    Well, in case nobody saw it, it was a video from Free Drum Lessons about practicing on a pillow. I started doing it last night while watching TV. Like I said, wrist speed is very important to me right now, so that's what I'm gonna work on for now.
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  12. #12

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    If you're looking for new material, then I suggest the Groove Essentials book by Tommy Igoe.

    I think it's got about 50 different grooves with variations, so there's a ton of stuff for a wide range of musical styles.

    I'm also self taught, but I just play music as a hobby.

    I think the rudiments are good practice, and I use them as warm up exercises sometimes. A way to practice rudiments that doesn't feel like 'homework' is through the exercises in Stick Control for the Snare Drummer. You can incorporate accents, feet, and even play them to recorded music (something in 4/4).
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  13. #13

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    As mentioned already, groove essentials 1.0 and 2.0 by Tommy Igoe are fantastic. The first DVD in the series is much simpler, where as the 2nd DVD has some very interesting and more complex grooves, not to mention the odd-meter ones which are great. Both of them touch into multiple genres of music, so you could easily learn some neat stuff in these.

    While rudiments are not always "fun" to practice, I'd suggest working with the more important ones. You already mentioned you have flams down, so I'd work with double stroke rolls and paradiddles for a bit. CLEAN double strokes can sound fantastic in the right spot, and paradiddles are in more songs than you would think.
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  14. #14

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    Here's a kinda cool exersize. You take a paradiddle and just move the first letter to the end. It makes you accent the paradiddle differently. example:

    RLRR LRLL
    LRRL RLLR
    RRLR LLRL
    RLRL LRLR
    LRLL RLRR
    RLLR LRRL
    LLRL RRLR
    LRLR RLRL

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olimpass View Post
    Here's a kinda cool exersize. You take a paradiddle and just move the first letter to the end. It makes you accent the paradiddle differently. example:

    RLRR LRLL
    LRRL RLLR
    RRLR LLRL
    RLRL LRLR
    LRLL RLRR
    RLLR LRRL
    LLRL RRLR
    LRLR RLRL

    I agree with this...I was basically going to say "learn a paradiddle and learn how to move it around the kit, and how to play a groove with it." I also suggest you teach your self how to read the basic notation (quarters, eighths, sixteenths). It will teach you the language used in teaching.


    Most of all....get some lessons.
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  16. #16

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    I think when you take lessons you can learn alot of things quicker because they, teachers, have a wide range of experience and a tendancy to push you. What you learn on your own, you tend to develop your own unique style and possibly do something that no one has thought of.
    Last edited by Olimpass; 12-26-2010 at 01:41 PM. Reason: spelling

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olimpass View Post
    What you learn on your own, you tend to develop your own unique style and possibly do something that no one has thought of.
    Doubtful........

    I mean...that's an admirable way to look at it...but in reality...you need to take off your rose colored glasses.

    You are only going to get so far on your own....then you will hit a wall. NEVER underestimate the power of education.

    A decent teacher will take you leaps and bounds farther then you can go by yourself.....then after that....can you develop your own "style".

    YOUTUBE is full over drummers that are "self taught"....it's pathetic.
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  18. #18

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    How are your double strokes? Can you play clean double stroke rolls?

    Double strokes are one of those foundational things that so many things are built upon. A great double will improve so many aspects of your playing. It literally took me months of working on them to get my doubles fast (for me) and clean. But the rewards were huge because it affects so much of your playing.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieV View Post
    Doubtful........

    I mean...that's an admirable way to look at it...but in reality...you need to take off your rose colored glasses.

    You are only going to get so far on your own....then you will hit a wall. NEVER underestimate the power of education.

    A decent teacher will take you leaps and bounds farther then you can go by yourself.....then after that....can you develop your own "style".

    YOUTUBE is full over drummers that are "self taught"....it's pathetic.
    EddieV, I do have the word possibly in there.

  20. #20

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    I also am not a fan of practicing my rudiments, that's why I have a drum teacher!

    Also, my teacher introduced me to afro-cuban, which is a really complex and fun style of drumming. If you're unaware to whaty afro cuban style is, just think of it as doing one thing with your dominant hand, something different with your non dominant, and then something completely out in left field with your feet!
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by EddieV View Post
    Doubtful........

    I mean...that's an admirable way to look at it...but in reality...you need to take off your rose colored glasses.

    You are only going to get so far on your own....then you will hit a wall. NEVER underestimate the power of education.

    A decent teacher will take you leaps and bounds farther then you can go by yourself.....then after that....can you develop your own "style".

    YOUTUBE is full over drummers that are "self taught"....it's pathetic.
    Not to sound full of myself, but don't put self taught drummers down. There's a lot of people who have come a long way without any professional instruction.
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  22. #22

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    heres a cool independence excercise from marco minnemann:
    play single strokes with your hands and double strokes with your feet so:
    RLRLRLRL
    RRLLRRLL
    After you get that done, then do it the other way around, so double strokes with your hands and single strokes with your feet. Practice this alot, it helps heaps, not only does it improve your independence but also your speed, i recommend doing this daily atleast for 10 mins.

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