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How a beginner to practice 16th notes?

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  • How a beginner to practice 16th notes?

    Hi. I am a new member and a drum playing beginner. I have a Roland TD-3 drum set and am satisfied with it.

    Now I am practicing 16th notes and really bad at it. Apparently there are few problems:

    1. My left hand is weaker than right hand;
    2. So rhythm is not accurate for each beat(stroke)
    3. Speed


    Can anyone give me some suggestions about practicing?

    I did research and wonder if I should start to practice any finger control / Moeller technique at this point or I should wait later.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    I assume you are talking about 16th notes on the hihat?

    First, I would learn the 16th note pattern while counting it. Counting 16th notes goes like this:

    1 e and uh, 2 e and uh, 3 e and uh, 4 e and uh. (notice there are 16 notes there)

    Slowly say this out loud while taping for each sylable (alternate hands... RLRL etc.) You can also tap your foot on 1,2,3,4.

    If you can count it evenly, with practice you will be able to evenly play what you count.

    Once you feel comfortable with the pattern, start on the snare and practice it a lot. Eventually you will be able to move the 16th note pattern around the drums, but you will still be even.

    Counting is really important because it will help you to build your internal rhythm.

    Speed will come with practice.
    -Coop

    Roland TDW-20 Module VEX'd, Boss FS-6, two DW 9900 holding four Pintech Concertcast toms, Hart Dynamics Pro Snare on DW 9300, Hart Dynamics ECymbal II HiHat on EPedal II, Hart 14" Crash, 12"crash, 14"China, 16"ride on 4X DW 9700 , Pintech DingBat, Roland KD-120, Tama Iron Cobra doubles, Pork Pie Big Boy Throne (Camo).

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    • #3
      Forgot to mention. Use the metronome (click track) as much as you can. Practicing with the metronome will help you build your rhythm on a subconcious level. It will really, really help you in the long run.

      As far as the Moeller technique, that is something that will take time to develop, but you would be very smart to start with those types of techniques now, because it will only be harder to break bad habits later on. Learn as much about technique as you can early on.
      Last edited by labenske; 05-07-08, 02:57 PM.
      -Coop

      Roland TDW-20 Module VEX'd, Boss FS-6, two DW 9900 holding four Pintech Concertcast toms, Hart Dynamics Pro Snare on DW 9300, Hart Dynamics ECymbal II HiHat on EPedal II, Hart 14" Crash, 12"crash, 14"China, 16"ride on 4X DW 9700 , Pintech DingBat, Roland KD-120, Tama Iron Cobra doubles, Pork Pie Big Boy Throne (Camo).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jihyeu View Post
        1. My left hand is weaker than right hand;
        I've always felt that my left hand was my right hands' dumber brother. Sometimes it feels more like a club at the end of my arm.

        The best way is to start slow. As slow as you need to go in order for it to be clean and even. And then keep at it. It can get a bit boring, but eventually you will be able to increase in speed as you go. It's tempting to move ahead too quickly, but that will sacrifice the cleanness and accuracy of the pattern.
        It may take a number of hours of practice to just move a little faster in speed, but this is ok. After a couple of weeks of frequent practice, you'll be amazed at what you can do.

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        • #5
          Take a look at George Stone's Stick Control book, just practicing the first page with a metronome for 15 minutes a day will do wonders. Oh, and find a good teacher . Even if you don't stick with lessons, learning the fundamentals from a good teacher will only help.

          Adam

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          • #6
            Hi jihyeu,

            Good advice from the other guys. George Stone's Stick Control is excellent for developing technique.

            A couple of other tips:
            - add 5 mins a day of your foot technique doing the same exercises - you will really appreciate how good your hands are when you try to do the same thing with your feet.....
            - don't expect the world overnight
            - don't get despondent if you have a bad day (it happens.....)
            - enjoy even the tedious bits - there is no instrument that is more fun to play than drums

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            • #7
              Awesome information guys thanks for asking this questions jihyeu. Also thanks labenske for answering it. Now 1 e and uh practice uh for me. Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hercules View Post
                Hi jihyeu,

                Good advice from the other guys. George Stone's Stick Control is excellent for developing technique.

                A couple of other tips:
                - add 5 mins a day of your foot technique doing the same exercises - you will really appreciate how good your hands are when you try to do the same thing with your feet.....
                - don't expect the world overnight
                - don't get despondent if you have a bad day (it happens.....)
                - enjoy even the tedious bits - there is no instrument that is more fun to play than drums
                These are wise words. Take Note. Practiceing drums can be a hard slog so mix it up with some fun stuff.

                Also, taking a couple of days break from trying something can be very benificial.

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                • #9
                  Another approach that helped me was to practice each hand's part separately so that I could concentrate on making sure each hand was doing it right and with the right form. If the hands can't do what they need to do alone, they certainly can't do it together. And playing them together makes it twice as hard to figure out what's wrong. For instance, try this:

                  1. Get a metronome going so that it's playing eighth notes at the tempo you want to work on.

                  2. With the right hand, do: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and until it starts to feel good. That's just playing each metronome click, btw.

                  3. The stop the right and with the left hand play all the "e's" in between all the notes the right hand just played. It will be playing syncopated with the click (which is playing eighth notes). Do it until it feels good.

                  4. Now try to put both hands together either all at once or get one of them going and try to add the other one.

                  5. Do 2-4 again, but switch hands.

                  Also, be open minded about where your problems might lay. I've struggled with playing left hand first (like 5 above). I would concentrate on my left hand assuming that I just couldn't get my left to lead well, but then on a lark I decided to try to concentrate on what my right hand was playing instead, and it suddenly came together. My right wasn't staying evenly syncopated naturally (while I was concentrating on the left) whereas the left had little problem leading naturally (while I was concentrating on getting the right straight).

                  Also, remember that endurance is important to playing clean. If you muscles are too tired, they won't respond evenly. Sometimes they'll be on time, sometimes not. Endurance comes with more playing. So play. A lot. If you become discouraged to the point that you don't want to play because you think that you will never develop "time" or "coordination," then you will never play enough to get the endurance that you need to let your natural time and coordination shine though. So enjoy playing badly. In fact, savor it, because after a while you'll never play that badly again.
                  Last edited by wrees; 05-19-08, 01:59 AM.
                  Will

                  TD-9 + VH-11 + PD-105 + 3 PD-85's w/PDX-8 mounted as kick, Superior Drummer 2.2, Logic 9

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                  • #10
                    Another thing that has been helping me a lot...and doesn't involve your drums at all! Use your weaker hand for everyday tasks.

                    -drinking water, brushing your teeth, reaching for something etc. sounds dumb but it helps "wake up" that portion of your brain so to speak so you're more able to have independence in your limbs.

                    It helps you to build muscle memory more easily too because when you do practice, your weak side is more used to being more than a side car to the stronger sides motorcycle. -goofy analogy, but makes sense if you think about it.

                    -The 16th notes... play your normal speed 8th notes. (1+2+3+4+) but count them as (1,e,+,uh 2,e,+,uh) you are effectly playing 16th albeit too slowly(will help you get the feel for counting them in your head though). You want 4 16th notes to "fit" into the same span as 2 8th notes: 1,e,+, uh = 1+. Set your metronome to let you play 8th notes comfortably. Leave the metro. at the same speed, then try your 16th. Make sure they are even and in a 2-1 ratio. (2 16th for every 8th that you'd normally play.) You'll nail it pretty fast I'm sure dude!

                    Rock on brother,

                    E
                    - your source for electronic cigs. Use coupon code "" for 10% off every order!!!

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                    • #11
                      As you get faster playing

                      1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a (alternating L R L, or R L R)

                      on the snare, use the natural bounce of the pad/drum and only a little wrist, and before long you'll be into a single stroke roll. This is the first rudiment I was taught. It's all about controlling the bounce at higher speeds.

                      Moeller is slightly more complicated as you need to know the different strokes.
                      They were explained to me this way for matched grip, no doubt there are variations, and I may have forgotten some details:

                      1. Tap - about 15 degree angle between the stick (using the wrist to lift the stick, not the hand) and the drum head.

                      2. Full - a 45 to 90 degree angle between the stick and drum head, then drop through the natural fulcrum of the wrist. Louder, fuller sound, depending on the angle. Hence the name.

                      3. Up - effectively dropping the stick (but keeping it between the thumb and middle pad of the index finger) while raising the hand and wrist in preparation for a down stroke. It hits the drum as you raise your hand. Same sound as the tap stroke. (This one is difficult to master - but useful when you get it.)

                      4. Down - accented flick or whip of the wrist to give a loud snap on the drum (like cracking a whip or playing a smash in badminton - which is all about the wrist too). Should always be preceded by a tap or up stroke (supposedly) - unless it's the first beat of the whole pattern.

                      So, a normal eight note pattern might be a series of Taps:
                      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
                      T T T T T T T T

                      Whereas Moeller could be a combination of Down and Up strokes to give it a whole different feel:

                      1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
                      D U D U D U D U (e.g. HH pattern on Head Over Heels - Tears For Fears)


                      or in 12/8 time a series of Downs, Taps and Ups:

                      1 + A 2 + A 3 + A 4 + A
                      D T U D T U D T U D T U

                      When you get the hang of it the whole DUDU dynamic starts to feel pretty natural.

                      Oh, and some lessons help too, which is where I learned just about all of the above. You really need someone to demonstrate and point out where you're making mistakes (and I made plenty of those).

                      Hope this helps.

                      Ramondo.
                      Still miss you baby, but my aim's gettin' better...

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