The need for speed

tillerva

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I've been playing for awhile and I'm pretty alright but one thing I've never really achieved is greater speed, at least I've lost some of it over the years.
Curious what some of your practice routines involve to develop speed. I've been using off and on something called the 3:1 cure, an exercise where you play 3 beats in one hand for every one on the other in different combinations.
Basically I'm playing a metal band and I'd like to throw in occasionally what the kids call a blast beat, which technically it's nothing more than straight single notes (RLRLR.....).
Thanks in advance!
 

REF

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Speed is practice and genetics. Genetics because of fast twitch, A&B muscles. Some people have them, some do not, and those that do often must bring them into play by greater and greater use (practice).

You can take two people of the exact same weight, height, build, etc., and in a race one will always win. Genetics. Some players will never attain the speeds they want because they lack the necessary anotomical equipment to do so.

That said, there are practical things one can do to build speed beyond straight practice. Practicing with ankle/wrist weights, the same for using heavier sticks, and doing so on a pad with no rebound. That all develops muscles used for endurance and speed. Anything that develops hand and ankle strength will work, even if totally removed from drumming.

When you see players doing blast beats at incredible speeds it is just a fact of physics not everybody that wants to will do the same, regardless of the amount of practice they put into it. Everybody can increase speed within their own physiology but, beyond that limits begin for each individual.

Speed is fun to watch and hear at certain times. Speed can be overrated, though. Music is the space between notes. Rhythm is about a certain pace of those spaces. If there no spaces, there is only sound, no music. Personally, it seems more important to me to be able to play musically: placing a "voice" or personal imprint on the notes and spaces between the notes.

I marvel at the speeds some players deliver in their playing blast beats. But, after awhile, okay, then what? It all begins to sound exactly the same after awhile because it is the same. Some players that cannot do blast beats come up with cool combinations between feet, or feet and hands for pacing time and in many cases I find that a lot more enjoyable. That's personal taste and subjective, of course.

Back in the 90's I really began to look at what my hands and feet were doing when I played. All the small movements. I developed hand and foot exercises that helped me increase speed and endurance. The same thing as athletes do with various activities not necessarily associated with their sport. I remember Billy Cobham mentioning he chopped wood for increased strength and endurance. Or the idea of baseball players using a weighted "donut" while on deck; for increased bat speed. Same kind of thing for playing drums.
 

Seb77

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This thread might fit this subforum: https://www.drumforum.org/forums/the-teachers-lounge.77/

I recently posted a thread on some nice single stroke speed exercises. Certainly nothing new overall, but it felt more effective than just doing rolls and repetitive strokes at the same volume.
 

Tmcfour

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I've been working on blasts lately. There are tons of variations the rlrlrl is only one. The version I'mworking on is both hands coming down at the same time in sixteenth notes. Anyway, a trick I've been using is playing eighths with the right and sixteenths with the left for 3 measures and then switching eighths on left sixteenths on right for 3 measures. Back and forth for about 10 minutes. I do this on pillow but you could do it on a pad too.
 

tillerva

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Thanks for the tips. Honestly I've never been a huge fan of blast for the reasons mentioned- I prefer a good feel and pocket but I do have some spots, short spurts or build ups where they'll work well. There are some cool videos going over the different blasts, I'll start with the basics and be working through some of these suggestions.
 

pedro navahas

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Speed is practice and genetics. Genetics because of fast twitch, A&B muscles. Some people have them, some do not, and those that do often must bring them into play by greater and greater use (practice).

You can take two people of the exact same weight, height, build, etc., and in a race one will always win. Genetics. Some players will never attain the speeds they want because they lack the necessary anotomical equipment to do so.

That said, there are practical things one can do to build speed beyond straight practice. Practicing with ankle/wrist weights, the same for using heavier sticks, and doing so on a pad with no rebound. That all develops muscles used for endurance and speed. Anything that develops hand and ankle strength will work, even if totally removed from drumming.

When you see players doing blast beats at incredible speeds it is just a fact of physics not everybody that wants to will do the same, regardless of the amount of practice they put into it. Everybody can increase speed within their own physiology but, beyond that limits begin for each individual.

Speed is fun to watch and hear at certain times. Speed can be overrated, though. Music is the space between notes. Rhythm is about a certain pace of those spaces. If there no spaces, there is only sound, no music. Personally, it seems more important to me to be able to play musically: placing a "voice" or personal imprint on the notes and spaces between the notes.

I marvel at the speeds some players deliver in their playing blast beats. But, after awhile, okay, then what? It all begins to sound exactly the same after awhile because it is the same. Some players that cannot do blast beats come up with cool combinations between feet, or feet and hands for pacing time and in many cases I find that a lot more enjoyable. That's personal taste and subjective, of course.

Back in the 90's I really began to look at what my hands and feet were doing when I played. All the small movements. I developed hand and foot exercises that helped me increase speed and endurance. The same thing as athletes do with various activities not necessarily associated with their sport. I remember Billy Cobham mentioning he chopped wood for increased strength and endurance. Or the idea of baseball players using a weighted "donut" while on deck; for increased bat speed. Same kind of thing for playing drums.

So that’s why!!)
 

JDA

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Speed as with anything begins between your ears.
Hear what you want to play then keep going after it
 

polycrescendo

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One thing that has helped me both warm up and play faster speeds with my feet is to drill double stroke rolls on the bass drum for around 10 minutes before playing. Only after that am I able to attempt any high tempo stuff (not saying I'm fast at all though).
The doubles really get the blood flowing but it's not taxing on the muscles as one might think. After getting used to the doubles it is really fun to play them in place of faster 16th-32nd note singles.
I've seen a lot of guys over the years switch to double strokes for higher tempo playing, including most variations of blast beats.
 

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