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Thread: George Stone/Stick Control - Need Help!

  1. #1

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    Default George Stone/Stick Control - Need Help!

    OK, so I got the Stick Control book by George Stone, in the beginning it says the author recommends doing each rhythm 20 times. Then the next paragraph says it's also recommended to do the rhythm at several different speeds? So now I'm confused, do I do it at several different speeds 20 times or what? Or should I just do it, increasing the speed until I can do it comfortably 20 times and then move to the next rhythm? AHHHHH, HELP!
    Last edited by drum_chick; 05-25-2007 at 08:22 PM.

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    OK, I'm going to answer my own thread LOL I found this while goggling and figured I'd post for all of those interested in stick control and technique.

    Set your metronome to an 8th note of about 100. Most drummers should be able to do anything on the first page of the book at that tempo after a few minutes of messing around. Now spend an entire week working on the singles, doubles, and the first paradiddle exercise. Only those two , extremely slow. The doubles and paradiddles should sound EXACTLY like singles. It’s good to go over this method with a teacher, or to record yourself doing it on a snare drum to make sure everything is perfect. Then, one week later, you practice single, doubles, and the next exercise, inverted paradiddles(RLLRLRRL). If it takes you two weeks to get it perfect, fine. Give youself time on these excercises.

    Another difficult part of the exercise is that every minute or so you should raise your stick to at least a 12-16 inch height and play at that height for 8 measures. Then you bring in back down. You must do this perfectly in time and make sure all the strokes are still uniform in dynamic and tonal quality and all that jibba jabba. This will give you “good pain” after a while, your muscles WILL get sore, but they will never give you terrible pain.

    Remember, just like G.L. Stone said, stay relaxed 100% of the time, even when you go up. You should be putting at least 30 minutes a day into these excercises.

    So you spend 2 months, going through excercises 5-24 or something at tempo 100. Done now? Great! Now you do it all over again at 104! and 108! and 112! and 116! and so on!. Never go up more then one click on a metronome when starting the page over.

    The reason this exercise method is so difficult is because you have to be so patient. A lot of younger drummers especially want to start faster, speed up the next day, blah blah blah. If you do that you WILL NOT IMPROVE AS QUICKLY. This exercise really seriously does require patience. It apparently takes an entire year to get from 200 to 208.

    The reasons this exercise is GREAT are numerous. First of all, you are always working on singles and doubles. Singles and doubles are what most of drumming is made of. Second of all, spending a couple weeks on only one combination of 8 notes makes you completely intimate with the pattern, and you will be able to interchange it in time with any feel you want. I guarantee you that by the time you finish this exercise(in 2112 or so) you will have some SERIOUS technique. One of my drum teacher’s older students is on 176 or something (he's been doing for 3 1/2 years) and has some crazy technical abilities.

    Good technique means you can learn parts faster.

    Yay for good technique!

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    DC, you're awesome. I confess that I like to play a lot more than I like to practice. You do a good job of reminding me to stay grounded in the basics if I am to progress. Thanks!

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    Yea, when I started that book I read the front and all where is says to do each one at least 20 times perfectly and at different speeds and such. But I never really did that I just kept playing each exercise until I was comfortable playing it and at different dynamic levels and speeds. I don't think I spent a week on just one exercise. Do it until you know you have it down good. And it can also help sometimes to watch yourself in the mirror so you can see how your technique looks. Pretty much what I'm trying to say is you don't have to be as rigid as it says and the guy you googled says. Just play it until you feel comfortable playing it and when I say playing I mean in every way possible. But a lot of the exercises won't take you a week. After you get down some of the basics a lot of the others are really similar and you should be able to pick them up pretty quick.

    Sorry this post is kinda sloppy but I'm kinda tired.

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    I agree with EONs about not being quite as rigid as Stone suggests. I play each exercise until I have it down at the tempo I'm playing it at, then I'll play it a few more times to lock in the muscle memory thing. I set the metronome to a slower tempo (usually a 1/4 note = 70), and I'll play through a page, the next day I'll move the metronome up one or two steps and play through the same page (until I can play the whole page well at 1/4 note = 110). I haven't gotten very far in the book this way but I have seen improvement in my control and my endurance.

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    I never do anything exactly as a book tells me. I rely off of my own gut instinct. I practiced all of those not 20 times each but hundreds of times each. Possibly thousands of times through the years.
    - Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by drummer
    I never do anything exactly as a book tells me. I rely off of my own gut instinct. I practiced all of those not 20 times each but hundreds of times each. Possibly thousands of times through the years.
    Let's see . . . I'm 52 now and just beginning, so I'll be an accomplished drummer when I'm 95! Oh, well, that'll be news, won't it!

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    Its all guidelines. Everything is guidelines. Do whats comfortable with everything. Not even just drumming.
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