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Thread: Practice

  1. #1

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    Been playing for about a year now, still not that good to be honest. However, I saw this high rated comment on a YouTube video of a drum cover after somebody mentioned about them 'sucking at drums'.

    "Most people who are playing the drums, haven't really been 'practicing'. Mostly they're just playing around. Which is fine. But you are going to be shocked at how good you will be if you really start practicing. Keep going at it!"

    I like that comment. But I'd like to know from you guys a practice routine I can stick to?

    Whilst I'm here, I still haven't properly touched an acoustic. My apartment is too small and would be far too noisy anyway. Are there any alternatives? I really believe I am limited on such a small e-kit and having an acoustic will not only help my playing easier, but also allow me to push on properly with my drumming.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampires View Post
    Been playing for about a year now, still not that good to be honest. However, I saw this high rated comment on a YouTube video of a drum cover after somebody mentioned about them 'sucking at drums'.

    "Most people who are playing the drums, haven't really been 'practicing'. Mostly they're just playing around. Which is fine. But you are going to be shocked at how good you will be if you really start practicing. Keep going at it!"

    I like that comment. But I'd like to know from you guys a practice routine I can stick to?

    Whilst I'm here, I still haven't properly touched an acoustic. My apartment is too small and would be far too noisy anyway. Are there any alternatives? I really believe I am limited on such a small e-kit and having an acoustic will not only help my playing easier, but also allow me to push on properly with my drumming.
    I'm guilty of playing daily but not really practicing - well I do, but I practice the same songs every day until I can play them reasonably well (ahem.. cough, cough) - well less badly. And I attempt to improve my limited skills by introducing new and progressively (slightly) more technically demanding songs as I progress and practicing exercises specifically to assist with that new song. Unfortunately I neglect a lot of essential stuff like rudiments and my stick control and ability to play fills is minimal. I know my method of practicing is effectively holding me back.. I'm hoping daily practice (except Sundays) may help compensate for my lack of practice discipline, but I'm convinced my selective practicing is delaying my progress

    On the subject of acoustic v e-kits, I don't know what to advise there - if you buy an acoustic and space is at a premium there is no way around the fact that it will take up considerably more space.

    Noise can be an issue if you are in a small apartment, those rubber silencer pads can be effective but they silence the kit at different levels - kick and toms good, snare bad unless snares switched off then it just sounds like another tom. Ride cymbal - totally silent, same with hats if you have a rubber pad between and on top no sound whatsoever, if you have a pad on top and nothing between the foot chic is far too loud compared to the rest of the kit - rubber pad on crash - no volume or full crash (which will annoy your neighbours), however it will mute the crash instantly - almost like choking by hand. All in all - your e-kit will probably sound better..
    I use a combination - rubber pads on toms and kick and crash - moon gel and a piece of towelling taped to ride, towel draped over snare and a rubber mat on top of hat but nothing between. I just try not to stomp the pedal - its still a bit too loud. So far that is the best compromise I can come up with

    If you go ahead and decide to buy an acoustic kit - If I were in your position I would buy a good cheap used kit (old Pearl Export, Mapex V Series, Tama Rockstar or similar - and a used set of B8s). If it doesn't work out hopefully you won't get financially burned if you have to sell due to noise/space restrictions.

    Whatever decision you make - good luck with it, let us all know how you get on.

  3. #3

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    I would strongly encourage you to obtain the services of a professional drum teacher. If economic conditions allow, a teacher will provide you with the guidance needed to formulate a proper practice routine. If for whatever reason you cannot work with a teacher right now then I would suggest the following:


    1. Develop a warm up routine. Look into the Lifetime Warmup by Tommy Igoe. Every drummer should warm up for at least 10 minutes before starting to chop wood.

    2. Learn about and practice rudiments. There are two types of drummers, those that play rudiments and know it and those who play rudiments and do not know it. There are a million books regarding rudiments - if I had to suggest one it would be "Stick Control" - referred to as the Bible by many of us sacrileges drummers. If you can spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day working on rudiments you will become a better drummer.

    3. Footwork. Every practice session of mine includes 10 to 15 minutes of work with just my right and left feet. I play simple rudiments with my feet, always to a click, with the goal being a steady increase in tempo. There are a ton of feet exercises available online - if nothing else you can play page 5 of "Stick Control" with your feet.

    4. Beat and groove work. I spend about 30 minutes working on beats from the book I am learning out of, "Essential Rock for the Drumset" by Doug Auwarter - a local guy. Again there are many books out there that illustrate different beat combinations. A kind of fun challenge I try to do each day is play a fairly simple beat (time keeping should be on the ride cymbal) for 5 minutes straight without any fills or deviations from the groove. Sounds kind of easy - it ain't.

    5. Song work. This is where I spend the majority of my practice time. This one needs no further explanation.

    So there you go - you have a ~ 2 hour practice routine! Cut everything in half, except rudiment work to minimize your practice time...

    Warmup x 10 minutes
    Rudiments x 15 minutes
    Footwork x 10 minutes
    Beat and Grooves x 30 minutes
    Song Work x 45 minutes
    Last edited by MikeRoyale; 06-17-2014 at 12:52 PM. Reason: gramer

  4. #4

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    I'm certain this isn't the best approach, but it's my approach and works for ME. I can't, just can't spend countless hours pounding out rudiments and such. Bores me to tears. So, I find songs that help me develop certain skills and I play these almost every night to keep those specific chops up.

    For example..."Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey - play that song as Steve Smith did, and you learn to play open-handed. This one song/technique alone, has really helped my dynamic drumming. I can switch back and forth very easily now and has opened up a whole new world for my left hand.

    Wipeout - Yes, I know every accomplished drummer on this site hates that song. But it's a decent tempo and a great way to maintain consistent single strokes for an extended period. Plus the accent on the snare forces you to concentrate and vary the snare emphasis.

    Any song with a fast tempo - is a great way to practice various forms of the train beat.

    Etc.

    Tex

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    I'm certain this isn't the best approach, but it's my approach and works for ME. I can't, just can't spend countless hours pounding out rudiments and such. Bores me to tears.
    I understand what you are saying Tex - I think a lot of others share your opinion. I would suggest that any new person only spend a short amount of time on rudiments, no more than 15 or 20 minutes, unless of course they enjoy working on them, as many of us do. Drummers further along in the journey who don't like practicing rudiments get their rudiment work in when they play songs - one way or another we all end up practicing them.

  6. #6

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    You can alternate rudiments with keeping time on your kit after figuring out the rudiments, making rudiments less boring. Find a comfortable, simple beat, then insert a single stroke roll, then a double stroke that matches it, then a paradiddle matching it. Alternate between toms and snare, and hats. Start each rudiment group right handed then switch to starting with the left. I often warm up using those 3 rudiments that way, mixing them for different combinations.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

    http://www.screaminmelinas.com
    http://www.facebook.com/DerailedRockers/

  7. #7

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    If I said what my "practice routine" was, and has been since I was a kid, someone would come here and take my sticks away.

  8. #8

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    Oh goahead and tell us Rick we wont send the drum police

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    If I said what my "practice routine" was, and has been since I was a kid, someone would come here and take my sticks away.
    Yes, clearly from your videos, you need help...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by not him View Post
    Oh goahead and tell us Rick we wont send the drum police
    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    Yes, clearly from your videos, you need help...

    My routine is..............................no routine.

    No drum teachers when I started in my hometown, so I wrote down what I heard on records in my own form of "tab" and took it to the drums.

    I (seriously) didn't know what rudiments were till I was 15 or so. I bought Buddy Rich's book on them, spent about 3-4 months learning them, and that is about the most time I ever spent on anything that remotely looked like a routine. The rest was all hit or miss.

    The 1 thing I do know, is that you can't be afraid to try ANYTHING.

  11. #11

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    I have a real appreciation for guys who are self taught - I can imagine how much discipline that would take, especially back in the pre-internet days when information was not nearly as available as it is today. As a newer drummer I am certainly fortunate to have access to a wealth of drumming information made available via the internet as well as access to an affordable instructor. I think becoming a drummer is as hard today as it was 30 years ago, but today we certainly have access to a lot more tools to become better, faster.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRoyale View Post
    I think becoming a drummer is as hard today as it was 30 years ago, but today we certainly have access to a lot more tools to become better, faster.
    ...and more confused about style vs technique, etc.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

    http://www.screaminmelinas.com
    http://www.facebook.com/DerailedRockers/

  13. #13

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    I wouldn't say you are restricted completely. I think you have the option to work on some technique, reading and independence no matter electric or acoustic.

    Tell a little more so I may offer up some suggestions....

    - Can you read drum notation?
    - Do you own any existing learning material?

    You don't need to own a million things. A few books can take you farther than you could envision.

  14. #14

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    I like what Mike Royale wrote.

    How you develop depends on three things: natural talent, time and money.

    I have no talent, so my development has come from having time and some money.

    I've been playing for over 2 years (played a few years in high school 15+ years ago), and when i got back into playing, I got a Yamaha dtx500 entry kit, to which I've added extra e-drums over time. I don't want to start an argument, but this kit will improve your abilities on it's own more than a normal kit would. I really kick myself for not using the practice tools on it for the first 18 months. The progress I've made in the last 9 months has been huge, the result of having a drum mentor, and using the rhythm gate function (it measures how well you play inside the beat). The total cost of my kit as you see in the pic is about $1500 (purchased over 20months). Certainly a lot of money, but not a crazy sum.

    So first thing, differentiate between practice and playing around. Practice with the click...ALWAYS!!

    Second, understand that practicing might not always be fun, but what is fun is being able to play cool stuff, and that comes from doing the exercises. They are kinda boring, I'm lucky to have an e-kit which I use to measure my progress and how well I can play. One day, I got bored of the exercises, and just started playing around. I was shocked at the growth of my independence, and the next day when my guitarist came over with a new riff, I used my 'newly' found abilities and viola, a new song was born!

    It's good to have a mentor, for once a month consultations. Especially when an e-kit can tell you how accurate you're playing, once a week lessons simply aren't needed.

    Stick control is a great book, also learning the rudiments is useful, especially all the paradiddles and rolls. And there are a lot of good online resources. I personally think just trying to learn songs is a mistake, it does develop your ear, but you only learn how to play those specific songs, which may or may not give you transferable skills. Exercises are designed specifically to give you transferable skills, even if that isn't clear when you see them.

    I teach and train adults, and I can give you two more tips.

    1. Be emotionally engaged. This simply means be motivated. I practice everyday to be better, which for me is really wonderful that I can play in a band, and play original songs that I influence, and play covers of my favorite musicians. That's the main reason why 90% of the time while im on the drums I'm doing exercises, not playing around.

    2. Measure your progress. Some suggest keeping a journal, I don;t because I know I won't keep it updated. If you're the type for journalling, go for it! If you're like me, the easiest way to measure your progress is with the click. When you get a pattern down, increase the speed by 5bpm, try it again, and keep increasing by 5bmp. I've doing a bd exercise for months, I started at 70bpm, and now im at 90. Because my kit can measure accuracy, I use that as another criteria of how well I can play something.

    In short, get the yamaha e-kit, practice with the click every day, do the exercises, and you'll be amazed at your progress. There will always be an wide ocean in front of you, with no end in sight, and that's ok when you know the starting point is far behind you...
    Yamaha DTX 500 module
    Anatolian Kappadokia 14" Rock High Hats
    Sabian El Sabor 20" Ride
    Zildjian A 18" Crash Ride
    Istanbul Agop 16" Trash Hit
    1950's Zildjian 14" Splash/light crash
    Istanbul 8" Splash (pre 1997)
    Mapex Black Panther Steel Piccolo
    1965 Premier 3 piece 10, 16, 22


  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmacc View Post
    I wouldn't say you are restricted completely. I think you have the option to work on some technique, reading and independence no matter electric or acoustic.

    Tell a little more so I may offer up some suggestions....

    - Can you read drum notation?
    - Do you own any existing learning material?

    You don't need to own a million things. A few books can take you farther than you could envision.
    Apologies for the late responses, but I've been away for a few weeks!

    I can read drum notation to an extent, yes. My mind may need a little refresher.

    I don't own any material. No books or anything to hand I can refer to.

    Thanks for all your responses, by the way. It definitely helps.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampires View Post
    Apologies for the late responses, but I've been away for a few weeks!

    I can read drum notation to an extent, yes. My mind may need a little refresher.

    I don't own any material. No books or anything to hand I can refer to.

    Thanks for all your responses, by the way. It definitely helps.
    No problem.. I've also been away and am just getting back into things...

    There's so much material on the market it's overwhelming.

    What are your goals? Is this a fun thing where you can dedicate a few hours a week to it or are you able to dedicate a few hours a day?

    I work and have a family so time is limited and as a result, focus is key.

    To me, knowing what kind of drummer you want to be stylistically helps to hone in on what to practice. Jazz? Rock? Funk?

    Too much time can be spent just on technique leaving little time for much else.

    At the end of the day we all need to play music. Different styles may require different types and levels of technique. Different styles may require a higher level of independence.

    Ultimately, begin with the end in mind and then let that be a guide for what to work on. There's no one singular correct path for everyone.

    Please share more....

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRoyale View Post
    I would strongly encourage you to obtain the services of a professional drum teacher. If economic conditions allow, a teacher will provide you with the guidance needed to formulate a proper practice routine. If for whatever reason you cannot work with a teacher right now then I would suggest the following:


    1. Develop a warm up routine. Look into the Lifetime Warmup by Tommy Igoe. Every drummer should warm up for at least 10 minutes before starting to chop wood.

    2. Learn about and practice rudiments. There are two types of drummers, those that play rudiments and know it and those who play rudiments and do not know it. There are a million books regarding rudiments - if I had to suggest one it would be "Stick Control" - referred to as the Bible by many of us sacrileges drummers. If you can spend a minimum of 15 minutes per day working on rudiments you will become a better drummer.

    3. Footwork. Every practice session of mine includes 10 to 15 minutes of work with just my right and left feet. I play simple rudiments with my feet, always to a click, with the goal being a steady increase in tempo. There are a ton of feet exercises available online - if nothing else you can play page 5 of "Stick Control" with your feet.

    4. Beat and groove work. I spend about 30 minutes working on beats from the book I am learning out of, "Essential Rock for the Drumset" by Doug Auwarter - a local guy. Again there are many books out there that illustrate different beat combinations. A kind of fun challenge I try to do each day is play a fairly simple beat (time keeping should be on the ride cymbal) for 5 minutes straight without any fills or deviations from the groove. Sounds kind of easy - it ain't.

    5. Song work. This is where I spend the majority of my practice time. This one needs no further explanation.

    So there you go - you have a ~ 2 hour practice routine! Cut everything in half, except rudiment work to minimize your practice time...

    Warmup x 10 minutes
    Rudiments x 15 minutes
    Footwork x 10 minutes
    Beat and Grooves x 30 minutes
    Song Work x 45 minutes

    That sums things up pretty well. With point number 2, not only would I recommend Stick Control, but also to get a copy of the "40 PAS Rudiments" chart (or something similar), my chart is courtesy of Vic Firth....and one video that I definitely recommend, which really made me work a lot with my hands and get a great handle of the rudiments, is Pat Petrillo's "Snare Drum Rudiments" video, which I think unfortunately is still only in VHS cassette format (I can double-check that, as I'd like to have a DVD version myself). My cassette copy also had the booklet showing the complete list of rudiments to work on. Pat also shows way to apply a number of those rudiments around the kit. Great great educator.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

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