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Offline bosk1

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Question for the drummers
« on: July 23, 2009, 11:31:54 AM »
I'm perhaps not using the proper terminology, so forgive me for being a n00b.  That being said, I am wondering whether there are any particular recommended practice exercises or routines to develop limb independence.  What I mean is, for example, being very new to playing, it's very challenging to get my limbs to be able to play different things.  I can play some simple 4/4 patterns where I am basically hitting the hi-hat or ride on every beat with the right hand, hitting the base and/or snare on beat, and possibly using my left foot to open and close the hi-hat if called for.  And I can throw in a cymbal crash as long as it is on a beat.

What I cannot do is play more complex patterns or any pattern that really calls for hitting part of the kit off beat.  For instance, trying to play a pattern where the bass and snare are hit in between beats on an eighth or sixteenth note pattern completely messes me up and I lose my beat altogether. 

So are there drills or exercises that improve this?  I know it takes "practice, practice, practice," and that I just have to work at it.  I'm not knocking that or looking to somehow unrealistically shortcut that.  I don't expect to be playing ocmplex patterns and fills right off the bat.  But I am wondering specifically what to practice to develop those skills. 

I also have a question about counting.  When initially learning, is it important to always count the beat to yourself?  Sometimes I find it valuable.  Other times, I find it distracting and feel like it is just one more thing to try to keep going at the same time that seems to be too much all at once.  Thoughts?
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Offline Hyperplex

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2009, 05:49:51 PM »
I'll address your questions in reverse order:

Many teachers will hammer it into beginning drummers that counting out loud is an absolute necessity, and for some people it is. If you have no musical background, counting out loud is a way to embed the habit of rooting yourself to a beat pulse. That said, if you have no problems maintaining the count in your head, more power to you. Now, is it necessary to always count, no matter what? This is often opinion masquerading as fact, but for the most part, yes it is. That doesn't mean that every drummer you see is always counting in his or her head. Over time, through counting and practicing, you develop feel. You can feel the beat and the count even if you aren't actually counting it. That was something that came rather easily to me when I was young. You learn to feel where the downbeats fall and how the syncopation and offbeats meander around the pulse. Unless you're freeforming, being able to stay rooted to a pulse is essential.

As for developing limb independence, as you said it comes with practice. There really aren't exercises, per se, that develop it, it simply kind of flows from developing your technique. You can stumble for months on the most basic rhythms until you buid up the muscle control to fluidly maintain them. Then, you throw an odd beat or two in there, fuck yourself up all over again so you can build up more control. Gradually, as you try different things, you'll find that you won't have so much trouble with newer rhythms and tougher compositions.

Practice rudiments to develop stick control. Work on basic rhythms and small riffs to build up your fluidity around the kit. Coordination and independence will come with time.
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Offline icysk8r

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2009, 06:08:56 PM »
well I am not sure/.  I come from a long line of drummers, so I had rythem right of the bat and could do a littlemore complex stuff than other beginngers.  it wasn't dream theater right away, but I could play more things that a begginner might not be able to at first.  anyways, not bragging.

as for you, I would suggest you take lessons.  I know you are thinking it is stupid probably, but it really helps.  1. they teach you technique.  If you don't learn that, then you will have to relearn it later, which is hard. [that is what I am doing now]
2. they will progressively make you better, and teach you more comoplex beats.  [also, you will understand what you are hearing, and not just remember when to hit.]
so lessons are a huge help. and I would take them off the bat.  I wish that I had taken lessons from square one.  but I waited over a year later, and it is hard to reinvent the way you play after that long.  good luck.  try playing some 80's hair metal stuff.  easy beats, easy fills, easy everything, but it will help you.



p.s. although you hate another day, whenever you get a little better, make that your first dt song.  it is impressive and kinda easy.  not that easy though.
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Offline icysk8r

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 06:10:50 PM »
well I am not sure/.  I come from a long line of drummers, so I had rythem right of the bat and could do a littlemore complex stuff than other beginngers.  it wasn't dream theater right away, but I could play more things that a begginner might not be able to at first.  anyways, not bragging.

as for you, I would suggest you take lessons.  I know you are thinking it is stupid probably, but it really helps.  1. they teach you technique.  If you don't learn that, then you will have to relearn it later, which is hard. [that is what I am doing now]
2. they will progressively make you better, and teach you more comoplex beats.  [also, you will understand what you are hearing, and not just remember when to hit.]
so lessons are a huge help. and I would take them off the bat.  I wish that I had taken lessons from square one.  but I waited over a year later, and it is hard to reinvent the way you play after that long.  good luck.  try playing some 80's hair metal stuff.  easy beats, easy fills, easy everything, but it will help you.



p.s. although you hate another day, whenever you get a little better, make that your first dt song.  it is impressive and kinda easy.  not that easy though.

edit: as far as counting goes, I don't count.  counting to dream theater can be very hard. =D
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009, 06:16:17 PM »
as for you, I would suggest you take lessons.  I know you are thinking it is stupid probably, but it really helps.  

No, I don't think taking lessons is stupid at all.  I usually tend to want to take formal lessons whenever I am learning something new so I can learn the proper way to do it right off the bat and not have to unlearn bad habits later.  But in this case, it's not an option right now.  As I posted on another forum:

Quote
Oh, and a disclaimer:  Posts telling me to go and take some proper lessons are appreciated, but that isn't really an option.  I work long hours, and I have a family, and lots of other obligations that don't really allow that right now.  I can practice when I can practice.  And I know practicing and learning all on my own without a human instructive will mean I will get up the learning curve slower.  That's fine with me.  I'm doing this for fun--not to get into a band or to become an awesome drummer in a few months, or anything like that.  Again, I'm just looking for tips from those experiened out there on how to get the most out of whatever practice time I can put in.

So, for now, I'm putting in 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there, and just having fun with it.  

Good tip on the '80s stuff.  I've been doing that, actually.  Well, hair metal and Journey, because I like them a lot and a lot of their stuff is in 4/4 as well.  I've been playing along with Wheel In The Sky a lot.  I decided to try to take on Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' the other night, and as someone who has only been playing for a couple of weeks, the blues beat in 3/4 was giving me fits.  :lol  But as for the '80s music, I grew up on that stuff, so I know it inside out, and know how to play a lot of it on guitar.  The vast majority is in 4/4, and most of it has fairly simple, straightforward beats.  Right now, I'm mostly just playing the beat without trying to do any fills.  It has helped tremendously.  I noticed that Lacuna Coil also has a lot of simple 4/4 stuff as well, and their drummer doesn't do anything complicated, so I'm going to try out some of their stuff whenever I can get around to loading it onto the iPod.


EDIT:  Oh, and Hyperplex's suggestions sound really good too.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 06:36:19 PM by bosk1 »
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Offline sneakyblueberry

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2009, 06:20:24 PM »
well I am not sure/.  I come from a long line of drummers, so I had rythem right of the bat and could do a littlemore complex stuff than other beginngers.  it wasn't dream theater right away, but I could play more things that a begginner might not be able to at first.  anyways, not bragging.

as for you, I would suggest you take lessons.  I know you are thinking it is stupid probably, but it really helps.  1. they teach you technique.  If you don't learn that, then you will have to relearn it later, which is hard. [that is what I am doing now]
2. they will progressively make you better, and teach you more comoplex beats.  [also, you will understand what you are hearing, and not just remember when to hit.]
so lessons are a huge help. and I would take them off the bat.  I wish that I had taken lessons from square one.  but I waited over a year later, and it is hard to reinvent the way you play after that long.  good luck.  try playing some 80's hair metal stuff.  easy beats, easy fills, easy everything, but it will help you.



p.s. although you hate another day, whenever you get a little better, make that your first dt song.  it is impressive and kinda easy.  not that easy though.

edit: as far as counting goes, I don't count.  counting to dream theater can be very hard. =D
lol

I agree about the counting thing here, especially for more complex stuff.  I find its a lot more helpful to sing the riff to yourself and create a 'drum riff' to match it.  Counting confuses.

Offline PlaysLikeMyung

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2009, 06:34:06 PM »
I used to drum before I took up bass, so I have only one piece of useful advice: loosen up your limbs/joints, especially in the wrists.

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2021, 04:27:34 PM »
Thought it could be fun to chime in on this question 11 years later.  :biggrin:

If you still want some advise on gettin better at independence on drums I have to say there's one book that's really helpful with just that and that's The New Breed by Gary Chester. It's a classic within the drum community but it's really helpful for building independece in a musical way.

It's not buildt around drumbeats really but more follows a system of patterns that you combine and play with each one of your limbs. It may seem tedious but the results will show if you do it slow and properly.

This guy explains the book very well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG0an8uLYbU&ab_channel=MikeMckee

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Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2021, 07:29:44 AM »
To develop your limb independence, as silly as this might sound, I would suggest practicing the different rhythms on each limb, well, independently. Play along to a song with only one limb (let’s say you only do the kick pattern without your hands or only do the ride pattern without your left hand and feet). This will help develop the muscle memory for each limb so what you’re playing on each limb becomes second nature, and also helps you feel how the pattern each limb is playing fits with the song. As for counting, I think it’s important in the beginning to count out loud or at least consciously think about the numbers in your head.
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2021, 02:21:23 PM »
I count when I play but I do it all in my head and a lot of times it's almost subliminal or involuntary, like blinking.  To me lessons are the way to go.  Even if you only take a few just to get the fundamentals and to know you're on the right track.  Lessons, then practice, practice and more practice.  Play along to some music or play with a metronome.  Playing without it will make you into a sloppy player who rushes everything.  The natural tendency is to speed up while you play.  At least that's what I found.  Playing along with songs really helped me develop a better sense of where the pocket is and how to lock in and stay in it.

Offline Spiritus

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2021, 05:11:12 PM »
Im really curious to see where bosk is at. 

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2021, 12:44:05 PM »
California, I think  ;)

Offline Spiritus

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2021, 05:30:26 PM »
I'm....sorry? 

Nah come on, I dont know why I am so curious lol

Offline Stadler

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2021, 08:45:40 AM »
I don't know if I can piggy back off Bosk's question, but I have one:  Is there a difference - theory-wise - between playing what Phil Rudd (AC/DC) plays - boom boom BAP, boom boom BAP* - and what someone like Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) seems to play a lot - BAP boom boom, BAP boom boom. It's totally a different feel, but is it technically different, or is it just accenting different things with different instruments?

BAP = snare
boom = kick drum

I can't name a quick Rudd example, but a great example of the Bun E. line is in Writing On The Wall from Dream Police. 

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2021, 11:59:28 AM »
.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2021, 10:45:40 AM by Kotowboy »

Offline Spiritus

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2021, 01:50:46 PM »
Arrrrugghhh , this is killing me.  Kotowboy,  its a bumped thread from 11 years ago.  He is past the point of practice pad...  or not... bosk , we need answers!

Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2021, 10:26:53 AM »
I don't know if I can piggy back off Bosk's question, but I have one:  Is there a difference - theory-wise - between playing what Phil Rudd (AC/DC) plays - boom boom BAP, boom boom BAP* - and what someone like Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) seems to play a lot - BAP boom boom, BAP boom boom. It's totally a different feel, but is it technically different, or is it just accenting different things with different instruments?

BAP = snare
boom = kick drum

I can't name a quick Rudd example, but a great example of the Bun E. line is in Writing On The Wall from Dream Police.

Theory tends to cover the harmonic side of music more than the rhythmic side, but putting the snare on 1 and 3 (like in BAP boom boom) gives a more “square” feel (like for square dancing) while putting the snare on 2 and 4 (like in boom boom BAP) is called a back beat and gives songs a more upbeat and energetic feel.
People figured out that the white thing that comes out of cows' titties could be drunk, and the relation between sweet desires and women's bellies growing up for 9 months. It can't be THAT hard to figure out how a trumpet works.”

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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2021, 02:27:42 PM »
The snare on 1 is more of a Reggae thing to do like Stewart Copeland in the Police.

Apparently he HATED the snare on 2 and 4.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2021, 10:16:33 AM »
Thanks for the insight (seriously).  I've been listening to a lot of Cheap Trick lately and noticing that Bun E. Carlos is (or can be) a boss. He does a lot more than just play the beat.

Offline TheCountOfNYC

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2021, 10:35:48 AM »
The snare on 1 is more of a Reggae thing to do like Stewart Copeland in the Police.

Apparently he HATED the snare on 2 and 4.

Which is funny because the only two Police songs I really like are Message in a Bottle and Next to You, both of which feature a backbeat prominently.
People figured out that the white thing that comes out of cows' titties could be drunk, and the relation between sweet desires and women's bellies growing up for 9 months. It can't be THAT hard to figure out how a trumpet works.”

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Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2021, 12:24:35 PM »
It's really interesting when bands hate their most popular song.

Imagine if Metallica refused to play Enter Sandman after 1993.

I know Radiohead refuse to play Creep but hey thats radiohead.

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2021, 12:26:27 PM »
I know Radiohead refuse to play Creep but hey thats radiohead.

This is actually not true. Though you're right in that they play it very rarely indeed.
Hey dude slow the fuck down so we can finish together at the same time.  :biggrin:
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2021, 09:51:43 AM »
Wow...I forgot this thread even existed. 

As far as where I am, I somehow almost feel like I'm letting you guys down, but...I ended up dropping it, unfortunately.  The short explanation is that I enjoyed it, but have had so many things on my plate over the past 11 years that I never felt like I could make it a priority to do any sort of playing or practicing regularly.  And I never really had a workable practice space since we moved 11 years ago, so that also contributed.  I mean, if it was something I really wanted, there's no excuse for not prioritizing it.  But while it was fun, and I enjoyed it, it wasn't as much a priority as other things, so it fell by the wayside.  For most of my music time through the years, the guys I play with have usually needed me to sing first and foremost, so most of my music time has focused on vocals.  So that's kind of where it is.  I did see some improvement, and I liked it, but it was never anything I felt I was ever able to really dedicate much time to.
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Offline Spiritus

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2021, 07:40:28 PM »
Finally!   I am at peace.

Offline Kotowboy

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Re: Question for the drummers
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2021, 03:15:24 AM »
I quit drums for about 5 years and I ended up missing it like crazy - hence my e-kit in 2019.

Maybe you'll get the bug again ;)

I've played guitar and drums live and sang a bit too and I would 100% want to be the drummer in a band. It's the easiest by far.

You get to sit down - you don't have to be in tune - your 'notes' are these big circles that you can't easily miss.

Plus if you're a good drummer - who practices regularly - you'll make the whole band sound better.