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beginner trying to understand pillow practice

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  • beginner trying to understand pillow practice

    Hi there,

    I think I understand how to play a double. When I practice on the snare or tom (TD-3 pads) its fine. I've read that the way to really get good at the technique is to practice on a pillow or your thigh. I've tried hitting my thigh and there is just zero rebound, how can I use my fingers for the second hit if the stick doesn't rebound at all? I'm guessing you get the same effect hitting a pillow.

    Thanks, Keith

  • #2
    There is a post on this a couple of posts down from yours. And I posted a link to a youtube video in that thread showing a guy playing on a pillow.


    • #3
      It really comes down to technique.

      For some, there are essentially, two ways of playing doubles.

      1). Use - and control - the bounce/rebound of the surface you are playing on.


      2). Actually, physically, 'Play' the strokes.

      Method 1 is perceptably easier when playing fast doubles. The surface, if possessing a high rebound factor - such as a snare drum - will effectively play half of your strokes for you and is the easiest for a drummer to discover.

      However, in comparison, Method 2 is neccessary for slower tempos as Method 1's rebound speed is dictated to by drum surface tension and strokes using this method cannot be played slow enough for certain given playing situations. Some players, like myself, use both methods and have developed a kind of switching mechanism involving a 'grip technique change' as tempos change.

      But there are those... who have solely developed Method 2 to work across the board. From slow to very fast... using minimal rebound, by practicing on a non-rebound surface such as a pillow. For this, you'll inevitably have to use a relaxed, but firm, stick grip... and - essentially - your fingers... for stick control, in order to develop speed and accuracy. If you're new to this, the initial tendancy will be to just grab the stick and go as fast as you can... but chances are that you'll end up gripping the stick too hard, elliminating your wrists from the equation and trying to use your forearms and shoulders to develop speed. If you find yourself doing that... STOP!

      You know what... just get Dave Weckl's 'Back To Basics' video/DVD. He has an excellent 'how-to' with regards to grip technique. And while he doesn't use a pillow in any of his demonstrations, he does basically explain both Method's 1 and 2 fairly comprehensively.


      • #4
        Thank you MisterMR and JohnQ. I checked out the video by Jason Kay and found that he has a good explanation and it is quite apparent that the non-rebound thing I noticed is exactly the point! OK, I can sit and watch TV with a pillow - I'm sure my wife will think its a little strange but no matter...


        • #5

          I would whole-heartedly recommend picking up the JoJo Mayer "Secret Weapons" techniques dvd. That has enough techniques to really build a strong foundation and stuff to practice for the next 20 years.

          Note he discuss traditional and matched grip techniques too!


          • #6
            I personally never liked the pillow practice.. just felt silly to me, but the skill you get from it is very valuable.

            I use this instead : Moon Gel Practice Pad. You get the same skill set out of it as playing on a pillow... minus the playing on a pillow.

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


            • #7
              what can help with less rebound and doubles, is to use a 'snap' of the wrist
              and fingers for the 2nd stroke,
              but most often, a pillow is used to get stronger wrist single stroke rolls..
              besides practicing with less rebound, you should also practice WITH
              rebound, (a HQ real feel pad or smth like it) imho..
              Last edited by Ericdrumz; 01-17-09, 07:42 AM.
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