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What exercises/drills/concepts have had the highest return on investment for your development?

aarono2690

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Sometimes when practicing I feel like with some exercises I’m wasting my time and what I’m working on isn’t really expanding my overall abilities. I’m curious what things you’ve practiced or incorporate into your practice that have had the biggest returns on your playing ability.

Was there a way you approached Stick Control that really pushed your self to grow? Did you approach rudiments in a unique way that you found beneficial?

I’d like to cut fat from my practice routine and I’m curious how I can make my time more efficient.
 

Ian S

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We can say what we do, but we don't know how you currently practice, so what are we doing differently... what do you already do that feels a waste of time?

What do you want to get better at?


I’d like to cut fat from my practice routine and I’m curious how I can make my time more efficient.

It almost sounds like you're hoping for a shortcut. Maybe not, maybe you've just got an inefficient routine right now, that needs an overhaul. But otherwise, one plain truth is that a high level of familiarity takes time, repetition, building muscle memory, it can only be expedited so much. Of course if there's specific road block, the pro teachers here will zero in on it and perhaps be able to help. But if it's that you just don't want to spend the time doing the singles, doubles and flams, you might be in for a let down.
 
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Sinclair

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Sometimes when practicing I feel like with some exercises I’m wasting my time and what I’m working on isn’t really expanding my overall abilities.
I was just in Minneapolis at the Dakota. Great place. Anyway..
Sounds like you're bored and practicing the wrong stuff. You need a purpose and more structure while practicing.
Practicing is rewarding...but without a focus on a specific musical idea or technical task it can lead to the feelings you're describing. This is where a great teacher might help you reach your next plateau. Maybe somebody at Klash Drums, what a great shop.

If you don't want a teacher then go on YT and listen to someones playing that really inspires you, anyone, playing any style of music. See if you can play what they're playing. I don't mean play "like" they're playing...I mean play "exactly" what they're playing note for note. Be diligent, this stuff takes time. Transcribe it and learn it exactly. Learn it slowly, say at half speed, many times over and then play it at tempo.

There...see, now you're focused on something you want to play.
If you tell me there's no music out there that excites you, then become a plumber, electrician or a doctor. There is some amazing music being played today and most of it is built on a drummer playing some really hip stuff. Have fun.

 
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Rock Salad

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I'm like the op in that I practice a bunch of stuff that I don't know how to use yet. It's not frustrating to me though, I can feel the concepts sinking in slowly. I got an exercise from a member here that has given my beginner playing a boost though: with a metronome unison on all four limbs at a good clip as quietly as possible, then each limb, one by one loudly, and back to the quiet keeping it clean- no flamming. Also working on my technique, all four limbs again, to play cleanly but whisper quiet is super useful.
 

Mcjnic

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I'd have to say, the biggest push I get is when I drastically change my setup ... which I do every couple of years.
It takes away the comfort and familiarity of past grooves and fills and forces me to think outside the box.
It's helped to keep me on the edge ... so to speak.
 

JDA

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turning nuts and bolts for a living; for the physical aspect.
for mental exercise- once past even numbers, seeing 5, 7, 9, even 11 also as evenly divisible even numbers
overlaying a simple 4/4 pulse
still working with the second one; it's unending

solid repeatable pulse on the bottom.
Top, as far as your imagination can go logically evenly and with the bottom the simple- relatable to anyone- boundary
guardrail.

other than that
need a strong solid short reliable sound
 
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bigbonzo

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I'd have to say, the biggest push I get is when I drastically change my setup ... which I do every couple of years.
It takes away the comfort and familiarity of past grooves and fills and forces me to think outside the box.
It's helped to keep me on the edge ... so to speak.
Curious.....how do you "drastically" change your set-up?
 

multijd

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As previously stated there are no shortcuts. Without knowing your abilities it’s virtually impossible to give worthwhile advice.

That being said an exercise that I try to get all students to master (some take a few weeks, some take months) is Stick Control p.5. #1-12. Practice alternating lines with hands alone. (I like 1-3, 2-4, 5-8, 9-11, 10-12) then practice with Bass on 1, hihat on 3. Next Bass on 1&3, hihat also on 3. Next a “samba” pattern. Bass 1-(2)+3-(4)+, hihat on 2&4. Make sure every thing that is intended to be in unison is really in exact unison. Start slowly and increase the speed only when you can do it perfectly and consistently with relaxed limbs. This is a good exercise even for advanced players to use as a warm up.
 
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Mcjnic

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Curious.....how do you "drastically" change your set-up?

These represent several years of changing setups.
I had several kits during each of these … all setup the same way.
Meaning, when I change setups, I sell or give away the previous kits and start from scratch.
I pick up multiple kits … each with different woods for different sounds.
Same with cymbals.
I pick up new setups for each kit.
All of this keeps it fresh and very edgy when I sit down to play.

22,13,16
hats,ride,1 crash

24,24,8,10,12,13,14,15,16f,18f
an obscene amount of cymbals

24,14,16,18
medium amount of cymbals

22,8,10,12,13,14f,16f
an obscene amount of cymbals

22,22,12,13,14f,16f
lots of cymbals

22,10,12,13,14f,16f
medium amount of cymbals

22,12,13,16
minimum amount of cymbals

20,12,14f
hats and two cymbals

22,13,16
hats and three cymbals

22,12,13,14f,16f
medium amount of cymbals

I’m currently messing with my own head.
I‘m running three kits in the studio with three different setups.
Each time I sit down, I have to focus on that specific setup.
 

bigbonzo

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These represent several years of changing setups.
I had several kits during each of these … all setup the same way.
Meaning, when I change setups, I sell or give away the previous kits and start from scratch.
I pick up multiple kits … each with different woods for different sounds.
Same with cymbals.
I pick up new setups for each kit.
All of this keeps it fresh and very edgy when I sit down to play.

22,13,16
hats,ride,1 crash

24,24,8,10,12,13,14,15,16f,18f
an obscene amount of cymbals

24,14,16,18
medium amount of cymbals

22,8,10,12,13,14f,16f
an obscene amount of cymbals

22,22,12,13,14f,16f
lots of cymbals

22,10,12,13,14f,16f
medium amount of cymbals

22,12,13,16
minimum amount of cymbals

20,12,14f
hats and two cymbals

22,13,16
hats and three cymbals

22,12,13,14f,16f
medium amount of cymbals

I’m currently messing with my own head.
I‘m running three kits in the studio with three different setups.
Each time I sit down, I have to focus on that specific setup.
Ooohhh....okay. I thought you meant how the drums are actually set up, not what drums/cymbals you use.
 
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Rock Salad

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turning nuts and bolts for a living; for the physical aspect.
for mental exercise- once past even numbers, seeing 5, 7, 9, even 11 also as evenly divisible even numbers
overlaying a simple 4/4 pulse
still working with the second one; it's unending

solid repeatable pulse on the bottom.
Top, as far as your imagination can go logically evenly and with the bottom the simple- relatable to anyone- boundary
guardrail.

other than that
need a strong solid short reliable sound
Are you meaning playing 5tuplets or 7tuplets? Or groups of 5, 7, 9 &11 through bars of 4/4 with standard 2 or 3 eighth notes per beat? Or both?
 

JDA

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Are you meaning playing 5tuplets or 7tuplets? Or groups of 5, 7, 9 &11 through bars of 4/4 with standard 2 or 3 eighth notes per beat? Or both?
(all types of polyrhythms and groupettes).. I'm saying setup a simple with your feet and hands; then divert your hands- into where ever you want to go ( retain making sense (but it may be elevated (advanced) Never losing the pedestrian/relatable to any one ; 3 /4 or 4/4

You never want to lose the 'dance groove; but what you lay on top or around it can be from .. Mars.
Just don't lose the beat/groove/

That'll keep one busy daily...and for 30 years.
 
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Rock Salad

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I'm saying setup a simple with your feet and hands; then divert your hands- into where ever you want to go ( retain making sense) Never losing the pedestrian/relatable to any one ; 3 /4 or 4/4
Well, I do that. But I don't knowingly use 5, 7, 9, 11 etc. I do practice tuplets though as exercises. I think the acclimate my hands to different note spaces within a pulse, so my "in the cracks" playing is stable.
 
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JDA

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But I don't knowingly use 5, 7, 9, 11 etc
eventually you'll feel them and you'll either Hint at them ; (imply)
Just to shake the groove. It's actually "so" educated it (becomes to) sounds "uneducated"
(but you know)You don't want it too clean

It's sorta like the Roll Exercises at the back of Stick Control- where he left out a note.
It's implied/ but left out/ not stated
Page 29..page 27..
 

Rock Salad

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eventually you'll feel them and you'll either Hint at them ; (imply)
Just to shake the groove. It's actually "so" educated it (becomes to) sounds "uneducated"
(but you know)You don't want it too clean

It's sorta like the Roll Exercises at the back of Stick Control- where he left out a note.
It's implied/ but left out/ not stated
Page 29..page 27..
Wow, I hope you are right about your forecast! I'm still on the first page of Stick Control lol
Thanks for the tip and encouragement
 

Mcjnic

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Ooo
Ooohhh....okay. I thought you meant how the drums are actually set up, not what drums/cymbals you use.

Well … it’s actually that, too.
I will put the second floor tom next to the hats, ride left side, etc.
But the kit makeup is the biggest thing.
It can give you a severe double take sitting down on a 4 piece after spending time on an 11 piece.
You have to focus and retrain the muscle memory for positioning.
And the fills … well ... they become very intentional.
It refreshes the mind quite a bit.
The approach to groove and fills changes drastically.
And that’s what I’m after when I do this.
 

aarono2690

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We can say what we do, but we don't know how you currently practice, so what are we doing differently... what do you already do that feels a waste of time?

What do you want to get better at?




It almost sounds like you're hoping for a shortcut. Maybe not, maybe you've just got an inefficient routine right now, that needs an overhaul. But otherwise, one plain truth is that a high level of familiarity takes time, repetition, building muscle memory, it can only be expedited so much. Of course if there's specific road block, the pro teachers here will zero in on it and perhaps be able to help. But if it's that you just don't want to spend the time doing the singles, doubles and flams, you might be in for a let down.
No, not hoping for a shortcut. A wise man will learn from those who are more experienced and will seek to do things they thought were the most beneficial while avoiding time wasters that add little to their development.

Simply looking for what you all thought were the most beneficial drills, exercises, videos, etc. to your development as a drummer. Someone in this thread mentioned how they will use Stick Control and add various drums/limbs on certain beats, etc. that's the kind of stuff I'm looking for.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I shall be burned as a heretic for posting this here, but so be it.
I've only used Stick Control a tiny fraction of my cumulative time.
In my teaching practice, I only really use it as remediation for certain problems. My more talented or advanced students have more productive things they can do than plod through sticking patterns. It can be a very useful thing or something that keeps you from practicing something more useful. Depends on your strengths and weaknesses.
Maybe for some people it can function like "russian ladders" in exercise, which seem to me like a system that helps some people get in more daily reps in a quality way than they might achieve otherwise.
But that's a more-is-more thing, which is how I see Stick Control.
 


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