View Full Version : Meh!! and then w00t!!!

11-05-2003, 11:27 PM
Well a week ago... I was struggling to do 16th note double strokes at 100bpm.

So I put myself through the efforts of doing Virgil's PD 4 stroke bass/2 stroke hand exercises to solidify and strengthen my bassdrum strokes.

Yesterday, I had a nice little practise, was feeling pretty good. Discovered I could force consistent single strokes at 200bpm on the bassdrum, which I was happy about (not relaxed). Then I had to pack up my drums and take them to church band practise, where I realised that I was able to FINALLY play double strokes with my left feet comfortably, without putting all my concentration into it! I practised some double bass rolling to see how fast I could force myself to do it (while tensed) and then said to myself "hey that's definitely faster than 100!"

Well I got the chance to measure it today..... I can do unrelaxed double stroke 16th notes at 150!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can do reasonably relaxed ones at 120.

But it's all downhill from here!

My hand to hand double strokes are also finally coming together, as is my general speed.

All it took was just a tiny bit of dedicated effort and it comes!

I'm going to start practising double strokes rolls with my hands and feet using the same sort of pattern that Virgil uses for the feet exercises, as well as the 4 stroke exercises. As well as that, I'm working through "Stick Control" with both my hands and feet with 8/4 bars of quarter notes repeated 4 times each at speeds of 90, 110, 130, 150, and 170 I think (I can't remember I haven't looked at it in a while) and yeah...

It's all good!

I have to go which is why this is all so rushed!! bye bye!

11-05-2003, 11:31 PM
Err, when I say downhill I mean it all gets easier... not it all goes to crap! :)

11-06-2003, 04:36 AM
Thats nice work man! :D but one question, where has your web page gone?

11-06-2003, 05:08 AM
live.com.au has about as much uptime as they have downtime :)

11-06-2003, 08:36 AM
Could one of you guys describe this 4 stroke exercise to me....from from DavidPartay says it certainly produces results.

11-06-2003, 01:21 PM
well basically, throughout the video Virgil plays a click track that increases in tempo. It plays 8 bars of the given tempo, then the tempo increases, plays another 8 bars and so on until the tempo reaches what I believe is 200bpm where it plays 16 bars. I *think* he starts at 120.

With mine, I wrote a midi file that starts at 100 and goes through to 240 - the 240 becomes 8th notes at 120 if you're doing exercises slowly :). After each 8 reps the tempo increases by 10 until it reaches 240, where it does play 16 reps.

Anyway, the exercises he does in the video are like:

Feeties: R R R R L L L L R R R R L L L L
Handies: R R L L R R L L R R L L R R L L
where the hands play the same speed
as the feet, and these are 8th notes.

and also

Feeties: R R R R L L L L R R R R L L L L
Where the hands are playing twice as
fast as the feet (ie. 16th note double
strokes on top of the 8th note sets of 4
on the feet)

11-06-2003, 01:54 PM

You are doing great, man!

You keep this up and you're
going to bury the lot of us!

From 150-180, these are
great tempos to isolate each
of the doubles, right OR left.

Excellent, man! Excellent! :)

11-06-2003, 02:10 PM

You perform in a contemporary Church Band?

Incidentally, great illustration! :D

11-06-2003, 02:15 PM
I was really quite happy, and the best bit is is that I've broken through several 'barriers' recently and I'm really quite confident that I'll be able to do 150 relaxed within the next 2 weeks, and be able to reach 180 tensed!!

My hands have been a lot harder to work with though. My problem has always been not persisting at certain exercises for long enough periods of time, and changing around a lot. I want to keep going at the stick control stuff but I'm also planning on continuing doing the hand power drumming exercises.

My only problem after all this is that I generally don't have much practise time (let's call it just under 2 hours on Monday nights, just under an hour on Tuesday nights, about 1 1/2 hours on Wednesday nights, anything between 1 and 2 hours on Thursday nights depending on what my plans with the woman are, and Friday nights.... I can get up to 2 hours now.

But see, 2 hours goes REALLY quickly when you're doing long exercises JUST to improve your speed, execution, endurance and power. Granted the Stick Control exercises is going to help my hand-hand and feet-feet coordination a lot, but it doesn't leave me nearly as much time for playing along to music (something I want to more of because my performing ability has dropped a LOT recently) and for working on 4-way stuff, and for working on my fills because there are a lot of simple things that I can't do because they aren't linear like a lot of things I do (they sound complex, but they are actually really really linear).

In short, my hand-hand and feet-feet syncopation around the kit sucks ;).

But oh well. I want a foot practise pad + a stand mounted hand practise pad for Christmas and I'm hoping to get them. That'll give me time to practise after 7pm (that's when I gotta shut up on the kit) on Monday nights and if I get any other nights to practise (which is rare because I'm usually occupied on those nights)

11-06-2003, 02:19 PM
Yeah, I play at my church... The music is really fun to play, a lot of a rocky and funky stuff, and the two main music leaders (one of whom is about 28, and plays bass, trumpet, saxophone, keyboard and God-knows what else!) really like to push the music into being tight and I have a LOT of freedom to play some cool stuff. That leader also REALLY likes my double bass playing. There's a local event coming up involving the churches, and my dad is playing trombone at it. This same leader at the practises spoke to the guys about "I know a guy whose double bass playing is really cool blah blah blah" and saying all kinds of nice things about me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then one guy sorta takes him aside for a second and has a quick word with him and then Greg goes to my dad and says "You're David Pardy's father?!" and I was quite amused.

Oh, and the slower songs are good for a bit of grooving as well ;).

11-06-2003, 02:43 PM
That's great, Dave.

I help out every now and
then at mine, as well.

I have not brought the
double-kicks in, though.
I don't want to scare
anybody. :D

I do a lot of doubling on
the single-kick, though.

You should post me a
sample sometime, either
here or at my e-mail


You're the man! :)

11-06-2003, 03:11 PM
Thanks for posting the exercise....I gotta try it out now...

11-06-2003, 05:19 PM
I'm planning on doing a new solo soon, hopefully a much better recording than my previous one :D

But I'm going to wait til my bassdrumming is more relaxed before I do...

11-06-2003, 06:03 PM
Make sure your seat height is good
and see if the distance to the kick
is making any diffference. What kind
of pedals are you playing again?

11-06-2003, 07:32 PM
I've got my seat as low as it goes, which is the most comfortable position for me. I've been watching my position in relation to the pedals, and the first things I do when I set up my kit is place the bassdrum and then place the pedal - I have it at the exact width I want it, so I can just set it down and it's all good :).

I'm using a heavily tweaked Iron Cobra Jr (HP200) but it still doesn't *quite* cut it, and I'm going to be quite happy when I get my Eliminator. I do feel like I should already be able to play much faster, because the pedal isn't very good.

11-06-2003, 10:05 PM
Hey Dave, do you work through Master Studies as well? If not, i think it is just as good a book as Stick Control, today i went through it just looking and trying some of the exercises, man, its one of the best hand technique books i have ever seen!! Joe is a monster! This is the second time i have mentioned him on this board hehe, sorry, just a huge fan of his playing! :D

11-07-2003, 02:34 AM
But you see DavidPartay, 2 hours is pretty good practice time, if you do it focused and with concentration, I donīt believe in 8-10 hours practice time personally, the human brain canīt be THAT focused that long time, even if take a break sometimes.
I usually practice beetwen 2-4 maybe 5 hours a day and that is really good for me. But as anything else, we are all different.

11-07-2003, 04:41 AM
Yeah, I've basically gotta target certain areas... the thing is though, is that I want to be able to target many areas each day and sometimes I just don't have the time.

Although at the moment I suppose my speed is the main priority... I can work with that!

11-07-2003, 05:12 AM
Thats so true, there is so much out there that will assist our playing, and if we think we only focus on one, then we think we are getting good at that, but worse on other stuff, so we (or i used to, still do hehe) try and cram it all into one session, then i realised, well, should i spend say 2 minutes on a bunch of exercises/ideas which ends up in me focusing on "when is the 2 minutes up so i can go to the next one" doing it that way means i cant analyse with my mind what i am doing, and i dont really give my muscles a chance to get a grip on the motion or idea, OR should i spend more time on one exercise/idea and give my self a better chance of contemplating the idea physically and mentaly, and so in further days/weeks/months i can have the task(s) done with me ending up a better player because i spent more time on it, so what I can tell you is to not target too many ideas at once, set up a routine so you know what your doing, and you dont think "well maybe i should do this, this, and this, blah blah blah". As Jonberg said 2 hours is more then enough, if you feel you need to increase your speed, then focus on that say 5 days of the week, then for the other 2 days, work on other areas, or even sit back and listen to music, and read about it. BUT an even better idea is to get a practice kit :D Maybe i have just rambled on about random crap because it is after mid-night and i cant be bothered going to bed and im talking about something completley different to what you guys are talking about! ahh well, anyhoo, there is come advice for some topic of conversation! :D

11-07-2003, 09:46 PM
If I were to choose the one thing
that I thought was most important
in practicing, it would be visualizing
yourself doing the task. :)

11-08-2003, 05:38 AM
Ive heard a lot about doing that, and have been told to, so have you from experience found that it helps? I really value your opinions and advice! :D

11-08-2003, 09:23 AM
I think with regards to practice, it helps just to be very consistent....I don't necessarily think you have to practice 8 hours a day to be really good, but if you are willing to put in a few hours everyday and do it consistently you will improve....This is something steve smith mentions in his DVD when speaking of practice....He says he practices maybe 2 hours per day everyday....as he put is, consistency is important because it keeps you moving in a forward direction....if you take days off however, smith says when you do sit down to practice, it will be more like maintenance practice where you are trying to remember all the skills you learned before as opposed to learning new things and moving forward....

Mangini also stresses the importance of being focussed in practice....as far as he is concerned, I think he feels the most important thing is to imprint a motion into your memory so that you can recall it at a later time without really having to think about it....and inorder to do this, you have really be paying attention to what you are doing and all the motions your body is going through.....you have to be in tune with all of your senses and this can only be done if you really pay close attention to what it is you are doing....

And I'm sorry for always bringing up other drummers and things they talk about....I have seen very little of Virgil in comparison to some other players and thus have very little insight from his point of view.....but hey, I figure any bit of info, regardless of who it is coming from, helps.