Pad work before kit practice

Cauldronics

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I’m starting to get back into woodshedding and remembered an old idea I had: warm up and do rudiments on a pad for a bit before switching to the kit.

There are a few reasons why. First, when you get on the kit you’re already warmed up and probably more fluid than if you sat down cold. Next, rudiments sound a little dry on a musical instrument unless you’re working specifically on grooves and patterns that utilize them. In that case, you don’t want it to sound a like a rudiment, so it helps not making the kit part of that practice environment. Finally, when I was practicing 4-6 hours a day (years ago), the amount of head wear became expensive when it was time to gig or record and my heads were sounding flat. Bass drum heads in particular aren’t cheap so it’s worth getting a bass drum pad, which I don’t have right now.

I’m going to dig up my RealFeel and try this out. Just wondering if any of my DFO people do the same.
 

Squirrel Man

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I do more work on the pad but I think a balance of both kit and pad later on is important.

I get warming up on a pad though, I think some folks do that but I go through a series of diddles with all limbs on the kit before I lay into it.
 

tubelugs

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I’m starting to get back into woodshedding and remembered an old idea I had: warm up and do rudiments on a pad for a bit before switching to the kit.

There are a few reasons why.
First, when you get on the kit you’re already warmed up and probably more fluid than if you sat down cold.
Next, rudiments sound a little dry on a musical instrument unless you’re working specifically on grooves and patterns that utilize them. In that case, you don’t want it to sound a like a rudiment, so it helps not making the kit part of that practice environment.
Finally, when I was practicing 4-6 hours a day (years ago), the amount of head wear became expensive when it was time to gig or record and my heads were sounding flat. Bass drum heads in particular aren’t cheap so it’s worth getting a bass drum pad, which I don’t have right now.

I’m going to dig up my RealFeel and try this out. Just wondering if any of my DFO people do the same.
with all due respect, here are my responses to your reasons:
1) Any amount of practice on a non-instrument vs. an instrument is going to develop unmusical habits
2) see 1)
3) Take your kick foot off - or adjust beater angle until it’s buried in the head - when warming up.
 
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Cauldronics

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with all due respect, here are my responses to your reasons:
1) Any amount of practice on a non-instrument vs. an instrument is going to develop unmusical habits
2) see 1)
3) Take your kick foot off - or adjust beater angle until it’s buried in the head - when warming up.
1 - Explain how practice on a pad is develops unmusical habits. That doesn't make sense to me.
2 - Ok, skip what I said even though it was different and apply it to 1.
3 - Burying the beater in the head is far more destructive to the life span of a bass drum head than playing off the head, aka letting it rebound.

Not following your line of thought here.
 

mebeatee

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with all due respect, here are my responses to your reasons:
1) Any amount of practice on a non-instrument vs. an instrument is going to develop unmusical habits
2) see 1)
3) Take your kick foot off - or adjust beater angle until it’s buried in the head - when warming up.
1) Practising on a non instrument such as a pillow won't help develop unmusical habits...
Nor will practising on (some folks consider) a non instrument...drums vs. an instrument...say guitar..:blink:
2) There's 2 examples in number 1...see #1
3) ???

I like practising on different surfaces as they can certainly enhance musical habits by working on different muscle groups for example. Not to mention the musical habit of being really quiet....although I've come across a few loud pillows...
bt
 

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with all due respect, here are my responses to your reasons:
1) Any amount of practice on a non-instrument vs. an instrument is going to develop unmusical habits
2) see 1)
3) Take your kick foot off - or adjust beater angle until it’s buried in the head - when warming up.
I can understand where you're coming from; no tones or voices, and no give and take with other musicians may lead to a stiff feel. I'm willing to bet however, that the vast majority of drummers have something going in their head just about all the time, and many times whatever that may be winds up being vocalized in some form or fashion, thus you're playing along to a melody or rhythm. I've heard many drummers do this even when they're at the kit...myself included.

While it's true that playing on a pad can sometimes feel lifeless, having something musical in your mind while working on one can certainly provide an effective experience by training your limbs to work in harmony with what your creating and listening to within. You can still feel a pulse, still have a certain lilt to what you're playing, both in your mind and on the pad. A mental image of a melody or even an entire song, and the specific instruments you'd be playing were you behind a kit, can be envisioned and that can be challenging and effective. The same can be done with visualizing band mates as you replay your last rehearsal or gig, or even songs from your favorite artists. Carter McLean will lay drum tracks over songs that originally had no drums...you can apply that to your pad time.

Any practice is good practice in my view. One can have great hands from putting in the time on a pad or pillow, and also be a musical player; how you perceive things plays a huge roll in any type of development. At the end of the day it comes down to each individual's perceptions and dedication.

You can make anything musical if you feel it. I used to make my daughter laugh when she was younger, by tapping on an aluminum mixing bowl while washing it. Having water in it creates an interesting sound, so tapping it with my fingers and moving it to displace the water to change the tones, or muting it with my hand became a form of practice. As silly and simplistic as it may seem, I was creating...in the sink...while doing dishes. It's all in what you feel within your soul.
 
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piccupstix

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Yes, I almost always (time permitting) go through a rudimental regimen prior to getting on the kit. I know it helps because first, it's a warm up. Secondly, when I move to the kit - and thinking musically - my hands have a fluid dexterity that allows for easier execution.
 

Ian S

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Haven't played my kit in months, but when I get back to it, I might start a habit of warming up on the pad first.

Lately (for several months) I've only been tapping/bouncing feet, and working hands on the pillow, so now even a practice pad sounds like a snare drum by comparison.
 
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Old PIT Guy

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Can't see anything wrong with warming up on a pad first, but if I have the ability to sit and play a drum (no worries with disturbing someone) I'm going to take it and leave the pad for when that isn't the case. You can warm up on a set just as easily by playing slowly and softly, and get a better return for your effort.

I knew guys who hit the pad first so that when they moved to the drums they were in better form to be overheard. But if you're alone that doesn't really apply.
 

ThomasL

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Does any other musicians use dummy instruments for practice?

I've been using the first two pages of the rudimental ritual (Smitty Smith's) as warmup lately, playing on my snare with the snares off and trying to keep the volume in line with how I usually play. In addition, I listen to the metronome through speakers, not headphones, because headphones generally make me play harder. The foot samba pattern gives some warmup for the feet as well. I also try to pay attention to the sound, that both sticks hit equally close to the center of the head and so on. I feel that both the volume and sound aspects would be neglected playing on a pad.

Sure, if you are able to squeeze in some pad time in addition to your kit practice, that's great and useful, but with a fixed amount of practice time, I prefer using it all on a real instrument if possible.
 

Dave HCV

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I use Tommy Igoe’s Lifetime Warmup on a pad as my warmup routine. How far through the program I play at any given time is a function of how much time I have before I have to get on the kit and play.
 

jaymandude

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count me out as a pad guy. I'd much prefer to work on my touch on a real drum. I find that pad technique FOR ME really doesn't translate to drums in the real world. Things can sound ok or pretty good on the pad and terrible on a drum. And lately I've been going to brushes. But that's me.
 

Squirrel Man

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Warmed up today by checking the tranny fluid in her truck. It was down a quart.

Washed my hands before grabbing the sticks.

Long day, went for a drive to visit some old abandoned mines out here in the desert, wound up hiking up a few hills to see them. Open shafts with bottomless pits, I hate that stuff.

Made the mistake of having an adult beverage during kit time, that ran my tank-o-meter to zero quick but I got over an hour in on it.

Any time you hit something with a stick, drum, pad, pillow or whatever it's progress.

I'm progressing on another adult beverage right now so I'll shut up.
 

cworrick

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Does any other musicians use dummy instruments for practice?
Many times drum pads have more to do with practicing with less volume to keep peace with the neighbors.
Brass instruments actually have a couple cheaters to practice with that do the same thing. There is a device called a BERP that goes on the end of the mouthpiece that allows them to buzz without the volume and sound of the rest of the instrument. In addition there are several types of mutes they can use that reduce the volume. However they do drastically change how they blow air through the instrument. Keyboards and electric guitars can always use headphones.
 

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Guitar players squeeze Tennis balls don't they ? : ) lol.
 

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Does any other musicians use dummy instruments for practice?

I've been using the first two pages of the rudimental ritual (Smitty Smith's) as warmup lately, playing on my snare with the snares off and trying to keep the volume in line with how I usually play. In addition, I listen to the metronome through speakers, not headphones, because headphones generally make me play harder. The foot samba pattern gives some warmup for the feet as well. I also try to pay attention to the sound, that both sticks hit equally close to the center of the head and so on. I feel that both the volume and sound aspects would be neglected playing on a pad.

Sure, if you are able to squeeze in some pad time in addition to your kit practice, that's great and useful, but with a fixed amount of practice time, I prefer using it all on a real instrument if possible.
You know, that the fun starts after page 2, do you? ;)
 

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i use the pad as extra, usually with the family in front of the TV (they just love that).
 

fun2drum

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I've got a real feel pad with narrow black tape sectioning off different areas that I can assign in my mind to different drums, cymbals, etc. When I'm in my home office between tasks or just want to quickly work out a new song, I can grab it and play along with the video or mp3. It allows me to practice some things during times and in places I wouldn't normally be able to.

Other than that, I just use the drum set. I also think Soundoffs and low volume cymbals on the regular drum set are good for warming up at lower volume and less wear.
 


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