Pad work before kit practice

Tornado

DFO Veteran
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
2,837
Reaction score
2,847
Location
Dallas
There is something about the ability to translate what you've been working on on any surface and in any setting to any other surface and any other setting. I don't really know what it is. But you know those guys who can just sit down at any kit, not adjust the height or angle of anything, bass drum pedal is set up in the exact opposite way they like...yet it does't seem to affect them at all? That's definitely not me. I think a lot of that is experience sitting down at random kits and making it work, but I think the main thing is just big ears. What are big ears to me? The ability to accurately hear what it is you're actually playing (not what you imagine you'd like to be playing) and quickly make the adjustments to make it sound like you want. I don't know how to develop that, although I think anything can be developed if you can find a way to break it down. For me, pad work is great for ingraining motor patterns and learning parts. I have to practice it on real drums to make it musical. But I think there are those guys who can work it out on the pad, and go straight to the kit.
 

Lazmo

Be excellent to each other...
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
2,377
Reaction score
478
Location
Australia
Back when I was gigging original stuff, I would warm up on the pad for sure... just singles, dubs and paras. If there was no pad, just doing the sticking on a hard surface would do... and though it is not music, it just helped me physically get ready to play.

Same with guitar, the pointless pre gig scales make for a much more fluid live performance.

you are just more on..
 

Stickclick

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
733
Reaction score
319
Location
Florida, USA
I practice on a pad early in the morning while having coffee. That's how I limber my arms up.
 

dyland

Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
34
Reaction score
50
Location
MA
I'm not opposed to pads at all. In fact, there are certain exercises I think are equally effective or ideal on pad. That said, recently I've been doing a lot of my hands exercises on the snare because I'm trying to play close attention to dynamics between accents and non-accents, stick heights, as well as the amount of give in my strokes. The instant feedback a snare provides has helped me break some habits that weren't working for me anymore.

I'm fortunate to have a practice space where noise is not a problem, so I can practice my Moeller directly on the snare. If I didn't, the pad would surely suffice. I think the overall concept of working the hands before going into full kit practice, regardless of the surface, has some merit to it.
 

CC Cirillo

Very well Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
1,352
Reaction score
2,217
Location
Northern California
I do think some pre-kit pad warm up is a good thing in the same way I think stretching is a good thing prior to a run or bike ride. Particularly for the few of us on this forum who are over the age of 25.

The simplest of rudiments starting slowly. The issue of doing that on a pad or a kit is dictated by my practice logistics. I can’t play at home and only have access to a studio with a kit once a week after work.

So any time other than that is going to be on a DW practice pad kit with a Prologix pad for a snare and some Zildjian low volume hats. I do warm up on the snare pad before I do the whole kit, but only a few minutes with paradiddles and double strokes. On that one day I’m in the studio on the real deal I’m a kid with no patience for warm up….

Regarding the quality of the pad vs kit thing. I can try a new groove on a pad kit but that is only to get the limbs coordinated. For some reason I absolutely must play it on a real kit to understand it and make it work with dynamics and feel.

Re warm up, the hardest is at a gig, particularly where one is the last band and you’ve got to hit the stage hard with a blasting first song.

I guess some pros have a practice pad kit set up backstage. For me it’s the arm of a couch in the green room or my leg. Warming up on one’s leg is great. It very quickly taught me stick control vs bruising. I’ve been seen limping on stage a time or two.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
954
Location
SF Bay Area
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.
To me, the fact that it's a warm up is almost the whole point, with an equally important and strongly related point being that when you move to the kit, it's probably better to transition from thinking mostly technically (pad) to mostly musically (kit). The way the two feed each other is that you're still in either world the whole time, but you're in the creative world much more so when on the kit. I hope that makes sense.
 

ThomasL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
428
Reaction score
505
Location
Finland
You know, that the fun starts after page 2, do you? ;)
I do the singles and doubles and leave the rest for the pros ;-)

Seriously, I printed your version, which sound so easy when you play it, but after giving it a try I went back to the snare only version.
 

mydadisjr

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
291
Location
Prescott AZ
I disagree with ANY PRACTISE IS GOOD PRACTISE... I was fortunate to get 2 years of scholarship lessons at a local college back in the day from a very good teacher. He really emphasized MEANINGFUL PRACTICE as opposed to "going thru the motions". Doing your requisite 15 minutes of paradiddles on a pad while you think about new cars or the argument you just had with your wife is wasted time if your paradiddles are sloppy and you are not focusing on getting them tighter.

Always practice with intention. If the mind wanders, get in the habit of bringing it back to the task at hand.

I believe this is partly why I always practice drum set beats with a metronome (usually set to 2 and 4) so I cannot let things slop around tempo-wise.
 

Base

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
194
Reaction score
161
I do the singles and doubles and leave the rest for the pros ;-)

Seriously, I printed your version, which sound so easy when you play it, but after giving it a try I went back to the snare only version.
I strongly recommend that you try going further into it! Rudiment by rudiment (snare only of course. That's what I did in the beginning. It did take what seemed like forever to play through the whole thing )
Every line will help you get more control over your hands and, more importantly, sticks. And this definitely will transfer to your kit playing and it's articulation! And a few lines also have some serious independence going between hands and feet and you will also work on your timing and subdiv8 without even noticing it. Also don't forget to give it a try with brushes (like it was meant to be played in the beginning...). It might be frustrating at times,.... But very satisfying and helpful in the long run!
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
6,032
Reaction score
954
Location
SF Bay Area
I disagree with ANY PRACTISE IS GOOD PRACTISE... I was fortunate to get 2 years of scholarship lessons at a local college back in the day from a very good teacher. He really emphasized MEANINGFUL PRACTICE as opposed to "going thru the motions". Doing your requisite 15 minutes of paradiddles on a pad while you think about new cars or the argument you just had with your wife is wasted time if your paradiddles are sloppy and you are not focusing on getting them tighter.

Always practice with intention. If the mind wanders, get in the habit of bringing it back to the task at hand.

I believe this is partly why I always practice drum set beats with a metronome (usually set to 2 and 4) so I cannot let things slop around tempo-wise.
In writing my OP and replies, I took the bastardized motto "perfect practice makes perfect" for granted, but truly not everyone will approach rudiment work (or kit work for that matter) intending to perform each the way they're intended. If you're not focusing on the detail and playing it correctly, you're pretty much not practicing, IMO. I think it's fine to space out on the kit, get fully creative and shut off the technical side, as well. Ironically, that is part of practice.

Zen and the art of drumming, maybe...
 

Deafmoon

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
635
Reaction score
565
I am such a big believer in this that I own 4 different drum pads for different workouts at different times. I have a Blue Pad from Cappella that is quite old, a TapOff pad that is new to me this year, a Pro Logic Red Storm and a Off World Black Invader. I generally work on rudimental variations that can move the lead from right hand to left hand and back. I have used a Gibraltar bass drum pad in the past with a hat stand that just had rubber hitting. But that was when I was in an apartment. I am in my own house now, so rather than isolate the feet away from the kit, I work on the set.
 

drums1225

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
119
Reaction score
140
Location
New York, USA
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) This may be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read on the topic of drums, and I've seen some whoppers back in the day on Usenet. Exactly how does "any amount of practice" (or warming up on a pad before sitting down at the kit) develop unmusical habits? Does practicing on a golf simulator or at the driving range cause a golfer to develop "ungolfy" habits? Do off-ice shooting drills damage a hockey player's ability to shoot in a game situation? Does working out on a speed bag or heavy bag hurt a boxer's ability to hit an actual opponent?

2) See 1)
3) What??

When I have the opportunity to play my kit, I play the kit over the pad, 100% of the time, so I'm not some pad warrior. The pad is a tool that allows me to work on my hands when noise is a limiting factor, plain and simple.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
3
I've been using the pad a lot more recently - working on my microtiming and building my inner clock using a metronome that goes silent when I'm in time. It's been hugely helpful to my kit playing (which I also do to a metronome). As someone said above, it's about meaningful practice. I haven't played for a few years and I need to get my muscle memory and timing back, so that's what I concentrate on. I've also been finding it oddly meditative, which is a bonus!
 

Stickclick

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
733
Reaction score
319
Location
Florida, USA
When I get bored with metronome, I practice along with drumless backing tracks on Youtube. This morning I practiced 7/8 time signatures. Now everything that I hear sounds like Mahavishnu Orchestra.
 


Top