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Thread: Need some help with a practice regimen

  1. #1

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    Default Need some help with a practice regimen

    Disclaimer: I may ramble.

    For the most part I'm a self taught drummer. After about 10 yrs of intermittent playing, I have begun playing regularly again. Older and theoretically wiser, I am trying to approach practicing differently than what I am accustomed to.

    So, I figured I would start with learning the rudiments and brushing up on my sight reading (I think that's what it's called). For the rudiments I'm practicing paradiddles, double paradiddles, and a cool combo of those, along with a triple paradiddle, that I found on drum bum. For the reading I'm using Elementary Drum Method by Roy Burns. When practicing I try to set aside a half hour, 15 min for rudiment stuff and 15 min for reading. If I have more time I work on beats for fun.

    This seemed fine and dandy until I saw Drumbledore's (sp?) post with the videos in the how to avoid injury thread. After watching them I realized how bad my technique was. I am not using the right grip, or my fingers like I should be. Now I'm trying to re-figure how I should be practicing.

    After messing around with my grip last night, I feel that I need to focus on using my fingers when playing the paradiddles, and then, instead of reading, work on the open/close technique (2, 3, & 4 per the video). Then once comfortable with that technique, I'll move on to the Moeller and then back to the reading.

    I'm trying to focus on only 2 things at once, outside of working beats, as I have tendency to get distracted. Plus this keeps practice sessions quick and easy to fit in on a daily basis.

    With all that said, I'm driving myself insane trying to figure what I should be doing and then a direction I should head. From what I described above, am I on the right track? What should I change or add?

    I'm having to reteach myself so I want to make sure I am doing the right thing so that way I don't end up in the same place again. Thanks.
    Kit: 65 Slingerland Modern Solo Outfit

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    If you want to work on rudiments, work on them on a practice pad at a different time. Double strokes, paradiddles, and flams are all important, and if you do them on a pad later at night you have more time for other things on the kit. Just an idea.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    I hear what you're saying, but I need to block out time to make sure I'm getting something done. Otherwise I won't get anywhere, because that 'later in evening' just never seems to come around for me. For rudiments I spend at least 70% of my time on a practice pad, the rest of the time is spent on the kit.
    Kit: 65 Slingerland Modern Solo Outfit

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    Try transitioning your rudiments into your playing. Try to design new fills ect. Use those parradiddles on opposite sides of the kit. ?????? Incorperate them into your beats.

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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    Your practice routine sounds fine to me. I do something similar and I play to a metronome at different tempos; starting slow and working up, then back down.

    I use the book, Stick Control for the snare drummer. The rudiments are incorporated into the exercises, and most of the sections end with combinations of what you've learned so far.

    I also like playing this routine on the kit, incorporating bass and hi hat.

    But, something I've noticed recently, is that my regimen didn't account for playing with the dynamics. Most of my hits were played at the same level, with minimum accents added. When I listened to myself it sounded a little boring. I've adopted some other techniques and things sound a bit more interesting now.
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    There's an old saying along the lines of music being a journey and not a destination. It makes a lot of sense until it comes to practice. Practice routines should be designed with a destination in mind. Reaching the destination or not doesn't matter, but there are only so manys hours anyone can devote to practice so the time should be used wisely. Where do you want to go with drumming? What do you want to be able to do with drumming? What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths? How disciplined are you? How hard on yourself are you?

    Practice routines are designed around the individual drummer. You need to get in touch with yourself and what you're about to design the routine that is right for you. You can't go wrong practicing almost anything, but in the end it may do for you, or serve your goals at all.

    Just some thoughts.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    Thanks for the comments folks. I have read and reread your posts. It has only been within the past month that I have begun to learn rudiments and refine my practice. And then within the past week I have started examining my grip as well as my technique, mix in relocation of my toms and I am in an interesting position, rediscovering the drums.

    I have started working paradiddles around the kit. It's actually a lot fun, and I have noticed that I am working in "stations" on my kit because of them. Working them into beats is the next step. I can do the basic, alternate between the HH and the bass on the quarters, but I am not yet able to get a good groove going with them.

    As for fills...yeah that will be worked on. They seem to slip into my playing, soon I'll be able to do them intentionally.

    The metronome has been stuck on slo-mo recently. When technique and confidence allow I will start speeding up the metronome.

    Yeah I am definitely not a destination person, ask my wife. However, I am even trying to rethink that as well. In the grand scheme of things my destination is happiness, and furthering my drumming skill makes me happy. Sounds f-ing corny but it's the truth. The sub-destinations are my 15 min practice foci. Easy and attainable, they help keep the drive and interest alive, which in turn spawns the questions which bring me here... it's a vicious cycle. Thanks for the questions River, you have me thinking.
    Kit: 65 Slingerland Modern Solo Outfit

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    Ok this new info has had some time to simmer and I have a couple questions.

    When playing with my fingers, what should my wrists and elbows be doing? From what I understand, movement at the wrist must be kept to a minimum while forearms should remain perpendicular to the upper arms, with no movement at the elbow.

    As for my 3 fingers, I should be using the tips right? I have noticed the back end of the sticks have a tendency to move towards my palm.

    Looking beyond practicing my grip and the open/close technique separately, the next logical step seems to be to combine them while playing paradiddles. For example: use my fingers for the RL and open/close for RR. Then likewise for LRLL.
    Kit: 65 Slingerland Modern Solo Outfit

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Need some help with a practice regimen

    +1 for Stick Control... Its a must have
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