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  1. Drumaholic

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Texas
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    Default Practice Routines

    I've been giving a lot of thought to my practice routine lately, and I was wondering what your practice routines consist of. I think it'd be really valuable for all of us to know what other drummers are doing to get better!

    I'll start.

    I try to practice full kit every day, but usually I only get 5 days a week. I work hands EVERY day religiously on a pillow and on a pad.

    My full kit routine is two hours (sometimes more), and it goes something like this:

    Feet warmup and technique study--singles, doubles, paradiddles (all varieties and in duple and triple meter), all in heel-up, heel-down, and heel-toe at various dynamics and tempos. ALWAYS with a metronome. This usually lasts about 15-20 minutes. I like to throw something down on the snare while I do these exercises. Usually straight sixteenths or some variety of a paradiddle. Every day I try to push my top tempo a little higher on each rudiment. I keep track of my progress in a spiral notebook I keep by my drums.

    Hands warm-up and technique--roughly the same type of stuff as feet, but with flams thrown in. I also split each rudiment around the toms in as many different ways as I can think of. I allow myself to get creative with this part--it's really fun to see how many ways you can split a double paradiddle around 4 toms and a snare! Hands usually last 15-20 minutes as well. While warming hands, I keep downbeats and upbeats with the kick and hats respectively.

    After this, I work on my "groove of the week." This is one of several grooves that I work on based on what I want to get better at that week. This week is the shuffle. I spend about 25-30 minutes on this part, working different permutations of the groove, and coming up with fill ideas that fit the style (and some that don't).

    Next, I work on singing and playing and showmanship. I play my bands tunes while harmonizing on top of my playing. I also work in stick flips, special movements, etc. I do this for about 15-20 minutes.

    I practice reading for the next 10 minutes, usually just something I find on the internet, or something out of the Art of Bop Drumming book.

    After all that, I just have play time. I jam to songs, drumless tracks, work on soloing--whatever I feel like doing! Sometimes I'll go for 15 minutes, sometimes I'll go for 2 hours. It just depends on how I feel!

    This isn't a hardcore, regimented, same thing every day kind of deal. Sometimes it changes, but more often than not, this is what I do.
    Share your practice routine with us!

  2. More beer.

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Where Hell froze over somewhere in Norway
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    Default

    Here's mine:

    - Write a plan for warming up and playing
    - Not being able to do the plan due to laziness and not enough time
    So instead, I'll just **** around for quite some time, and then I'll put music on and play along, or maybe I have a sheet to follow.
    Most of the 7uck around, is triplets practice and snare-bass-toms things, for instance the Mike Portnoy thing (SSSS-KK-T1T1T1T1-KK-T2T2T2T2-KK-FTFTFTFT-KK) in different tempos.
    I've been trying to follow a plan so many times, and every time I get bored. Now that I go to school and have my drums at school, I don't always get to play long enough to warm up before band practices, but I've become better at not warming up (wrists and feet not getting exhausted in no time, but sometimes my hands are painfull because of the sticks).

  3. Angoose

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Lincs, UK
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    5,206

    Default

    Ronnie, that sounds excellent. I wish i had that much time to play full kit.

    At the moment i'm doing about an hour of pad work a day, going through stick control, wilcoxin and some other snare studies etc, as well as playing full kit parts, only it's all orchestrated on the pad and floor. I have only started this pad practice recently, and am noticing a difference already. And then 20-40mins on the kit, working on some pieces, transcriptions of songs and just messing around.

  4. Banned

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Canada
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    When I could play my kit, I would generally warm up by just working up from a simple beat to working around the kit, then right into my repertoire of songs. Some days I would forego the warm up.

    These days on the pad, a warm up is just double-bounce rolling at different tempos for a few bars. Then the body of the work is rudimentary, messing around with sticking and working on the uniformity of my bounced doubles, playing around with marching-esque rhythms to rock tunes. I've also adopted an incorrect Traditional Grip which I'm beginning to get very comfortable with.

  5. Drumaholic

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,610

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice View Post
    Here's mine:

    - Write a plan for warming up and playing
    - Not being able to do the plan due to laziness and not enough time
    So instead, I'll just **** around for quite some time, and then I'll put music on and play along, or maybe I have a sheet to follow.
    Most of the 7uck around, is triplets practice and snare-bass-toms things, for instance the Mike Portnoy thing (SSSS-KK-T1T1T1T1-KK-T2T2T2T2-KK-FTFTFTFT-KK) in different tempos.
    I've been trying to follow a plan so many times, and every time I get bored. Now that I go to school and have my drums at school, I don't always get to play long enough to warm up before band practices, but I've become better at not warming up (wrists and feet not getting exhausted in no time, but sometimes my hands are painfull because of the sticks).
    My solution for boredom when practicing is spicing it up. Getting bored with double bass singles? Split some paradiddles on the toms while doing it. Getting bored with splitting paradiddles on your toms? throw in a mambo bass pattern and upbeats on the hats! There's nothing wrong with slight deviations from your plan, but you'll find your practices much more productive if you have a clear objective in mind and develop a plan to get there.

  6. The Greys

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    617

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    My practice routine isn't so much trying to improve as much as it's trying to get back to where I was. I've had a back injury for the past two years and I just don't feel comfortable behind the kit anymore. My sense of timing and rhythm feels off and there are certain things that I'm physically not able to do anymore. I don't get to play every day, but when I do have some time I just try playing to some simple music that I'm familiar with to try and get back into a comfortable groove. I can play for about 30 minutes before I start feeling some pain.

  7. Drumaholic

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,610

    Default

    That's awesome that you're getting back into it man! Many folks wouldn't bother after being away for that long. Kudos to you man.

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