Serious Question - Is there any value in drumming on a table with your hands?

equipmentdork

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I have a lot of down time at work. I know that a pad and sticks are the way to go to develop skill, but I'm thinking that my boss wouldn't take kindly to opening the door to my room and seeing me with a pad, sticks, metronome and Stick Control. Simply drumming on the computer desk is ok and easily stopped.

Could I build up any strength or agility just hitting the desk, or is that a complete waste of time?

Thanks for considering a potentially silly question.

Dan
 

CSR

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Rock Salad

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I spend down time at work practicing counting, and sometimes if it is night time with sticks and counting.
It does seem to be helping!
 

Tama CW

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Absolutely, and especially if matched grip is what you're using. One year when my body was pretty beat up, all I did was "air" drum on my legs any time I had a chance. I was surprised that within that year my right hand doubling had jumped to a whole new level of speed and accuracy....without any time on the drum pad or using sticks. I figure you'll get 75% of the benefit hand drumming on whatever you can use. To challenge yourself, use all 4 limbs in various patterns when sitting down. You'll develop your total independence a lot faster...and without having a kit at your disposal. Check out some videos of Joe Morello, John Bonham, Louie Bellson, and others playing their drum kits without sticks or brushes. There is considerable value in practicing without sticks when there's no other options.
 
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Murat

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Some of the most complicated things (for me anyways) that I know how to play, I figured them out at places like dentist offices or a doctors office waiting for my appointments. Mostly coordination related stuff. I am a huge believer :)
 

wayne

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Very good point; Training is training, no matter how you look at it. Boxers train with weighted gloves to increase forearm strength and endurance, drummers can do the same with weighted sticks or rods. It all helps to achieve your goals. A good point about desk top- playing is the use of all the fingers. This increases flex and finger control...not to mention its great for the wrists where most playing comes from.
 

gwbasley

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I use this method to introduce my beginners to paradiddles. It is muscle memory training and the great part of it is that it takes away the excuses for not practicing. They do not need their books, sticks, pad, etc. to spend daily time improving their drumming.

That said, I also caution them not to do it where it will be an annoyance to others.

I still do it myself...usually when I have to wait somewhere.
 

CSR

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Very good point; Training is training, no matter how you look at it. Boxers train with weighted gloves to increase forearm strength and endurance, drummers can do the same with weighted sticks or rods. It all helps to achieve your goals. A good point about desk top- playing is the use of all the fingers. This increases flex and finger control...not to mention its great for the wrists where most playing comes from.

I’ve been warned that heavy sticks may bruise or damage hands. Also, won’t the rebound provided by the weighted sticks be somewhat reduced with the lighter gig stick? I’ve read that some players practice on pillows to train to play without depending on rebound.
 

bigbonzo

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I’ve been warned that heavy sticks may bruise or damage hands. Also, won’t the rebound provided by the weighted sticks be somewhat reduced with the lighter gig stick? I’ve read that some players practice on pillows to train to play without depending on rebound.
Not true. I trained with metal drum sticks for years. Never did any damage.
 

scottpep

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I use my legs to figure out patterns lots when out and about. Similar to a table. It doesn't build control of the stick, but it does work for independence. Try this right now. Keep time on your left foot, and think of a new pattern/groove to play that you are having trouble with. Make sure to keep the accents right too. It takes as much effort as playing it on the kit. If you want to use orchestration put a pillow beside you as a "floor tom" or something too.
 

wayne

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Pillows or foam are great for single stroke exercises. If you can get a rebound off a pillow, I need to talk to you!...lol
 

lrod1707

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Absolutely! You don't need sticks to practice keeping a rhythm. That translates over to the drums when you sit to play your kit. I do it all the time on my steering wheel.
 

Ptrick

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Using your feet heel down on the ground is also great at building timing and especially endurance. I used to do single strokes and also try to match what I played on my hands with the feet on the floor until my shins were burning in church to make the time go by faster.
 

CSR

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Not true. I trained with metal drum sticks for years. Never did any damage.
I just deleted a long debate, including references to scientific abstracts on musculoskeletal injuries caused by repetitive stress arguing my point. I quickly saw that this was futile. I’m not going to change your (or anyone else’s opinion) on this.

To each his own. Talk to a licensed chiropractor or physical therapist and see what they think. I’m glad that you weren’t adversely affected by practicing with heavy metal sticks. No point in arguing about this.
 

gwbasley

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I just deleted a long debate, including references to scientific abstracts on musculoskeletal injuries caused by repetitive stress arguing my point. I quickly saw that this was futile. I’m not going to change your (or anyone else’s opinion) on this.

To each his own. Talk to a licensed chiropractor or physical therapist and see what they think. I’m glad that you weren’t adversely affected by practicing with heavy metal sticks. No point in arguing about this.
I think it boils down to the individual and physiology. Stick manufacturers produde a vast and diverse array of sticks for a reason...they sell and drummers want them. Sam Ulano worked out with light weights and practiced with short lengths of 1/2" electrical conduit up into his eighties, so go figure...!

 

Balance

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It worked for Dave Letterman, Jon Stewart, Johnny Carson, Jenny Jones, Jimmy Kimmel, perhaps many more talk show hosts.
 

TheElectricCompany

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99% of my practice is done on my desk at work and it's been that way for years. I haven't lost a beat. In fact, like others here, I've grown a whole lot more by removing the desire to just sit down and jam on a kit and get distracted. I'm more focused when I'm trying to learn something this way. My technique is good enough that I don't worry about the physical aspect when I take it to the kit.

If I have something in mind I want to focus on, instead of sitting down for an hour on a kit and working it out I'll leave it in the back of my head and just think about off and on it throughout the work day. I find that's a much more effective learning tool than trying to force myself to play something to a met.
 
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