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roll evenness

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  • roll evenness

    Hi there,

    I've tried to search for an answer in the forums but perhaps I'm just not putting the right terms in!

    I've found with single and double rolls even when I'm not going that fast, I'm clearly not maintaining an even beat i.e. one wrist is ahead of the other so instead of a steady patter its more pit-pat -- pit pat -- pit pat. Are there any tips or techniques I can try to even this up?

    thanks, Keith

    PS Happy Christmas all!

  • #2
    Metronome + practice, practice, practice.

    Are you working from a book. If not, I suggest George Lawrence Stone's Stick Control.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      As MR said, but to elaborate;

      Start slow (120 BPM). For your single stroke rolls, start with this drill:

      RRRRLLLLRRRRLLLLRRLLRRLLRRLLRRLLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL Repeat. Listen closely (and/or use some kind of visual reference) keeping your volume as even as possible. You may find it helps to raise your hands up higher than necessary (rudimental style). Be sure your left and right mirror each other as precisely as possible. Proper posture and stance are important - everything needs to be balanced and stable. Only when you are satisfied with your performance are you to go to a faster tempo.

      Same thing with your double stroke rolls. Start at a speed slower than it is possible to bounce at. When you work up to a bouncable speed, spend extra time at that speed to develop control. Once you have mastered steady meters, then start slow, gradually accelerating through the stroke-to-bounce barrier. Again, posture, symmetry and balance are key.

      If you can't lick this on your own, seek professional help before whatever flaw in your technique is causing this becomes ingrained.
      Id rather be told the ugly truth than handed a pretty lie.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by stickinthemud View Post
        As MR said, but to elaborate;

        Start slow (120 BPM). For your single stroke rolls, start with this drill:

        RRRRLLLLRRRRLLLLRRLLRRLLRRLLRRLLRLRLRLRLRLRLRLRL Repeat. Listen closely (and/or use some kind of visual reference) keeping your volume as even as possible. You may find it helps to raise your hands up higher than necessary (rudimental style). Be sure your left and right mirror each other as precisely as possible. Proper posture and stance are important - everything needs to be balanced and stable. Only when you are satisfied with your performance are you to go to a faster tempo.

        Same thing with your double stroke rolls. Start at a speed slower than it is possible to bounce at. When you work up to a bouncable speed, spend extra time at that speed to develop control. Once you have mastered steady meters, then start slow, gradually accelerating through the stroke-to-bounce barrier. Again, posture, symmetry and balance are key.

        If you can't lick this on your own, seek professional help before whatever flaw in your technique is causing this becomes ingrained.

        Good suggestions. Especially L=R. Use a mirror too, to critically look at what your arms, wrists, hands and fingers are doing. Are you holding the stick in the best balanced postion so that it works for you the most? For Firth sticks this is typically at the flag position on the stick. I would add this excercise. Play a measure of 16th notes followed by a measure of sixteenth notes that are double strokes (it will sound like 32nd notes) Repeat this. This assumes you can 16th notes evenly and controlled. So it will play like:

        RLRLR RLRLR RLRLR RLRL | RrLlRrLl RrLlRrLl RrLlRrLl RrLlRrLl | RLRLR RLRLR RLRLR RLRL etc

        Starting slow is good. However if you really struggle playing doubles slowly, try starting at a tempo that you can play the double stroke well successfully, then slow down/speed up from that point. Also try setting up a camera in movie mode and record what's going on. You may see flaws you never seen before on the regular and slow motion playback. It would be interesting if short video clips could be posted here to give you feedback.

        As mentioned already, if you can't resolve this on your own with patient, but persistant practice, a respected teacher in your area should be found.

        d4H

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        • #5
          Rolled out in disbelief

          I'm also confused by roll technique, Metro drums on Youtube is superb and say's that using the bounce of the drum is needed and he does make a great sounding roll with his build up exercises. Check him out ... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EAibGfOLXOw

          But others like Jack Bennett and Colin Woolway believe that we should use the fingers as the power launcher and they should make every hit the same volume like snapping the stick back down after the first bounce. (my fingers will not go that fast!)

          Very confusing, also my drum tutor used the grip with the thumb on top (french grip?) and he snapped the stick that way like a jazz player plays his ride.

          So who do we listen too as they all sound great?
          Last edited by daveybabes; 12-26-08, 06:37 AM.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
            So who do we listen too as they all sound great?
            That is a good question. I know two fantastic drummers who teach two different ways. And they both work!
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            • #7
              Originally posted by daveybabes View Post
              I'm also confused by roll technique, Metro drums on Youtube is superb and say's that using the bounce of the drum is needed and he does make a great sounding roll with his build up exercises. Check him out ... http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EAibGfOLXOw

              But others like Jack Bennett and Colin Woolway believe that we should use the fingers as the power launcher and they should make every hit the same volume like snapping the stick back down after the first bounce. (my fingers will not go that fast!)

              Very confusing, also my drum tutor used the grip with the thumb on top (french grip?) and he snapped the stick that way like a jazz player plays his ride.

              So who do we listen too as they all sound great?

              Yes the bounce of the drum is needed, just as where you hold the stick for the best response off the drum. I tell people do all you can to make the stick work for you, and these two thoughts are all about that.

              And fingers to play a huge part in control and power. But I think that occurs more has the roll gets faster. As an excercise, start playing a roll from your slowest to your fastest. Throughout, make sure your stick is positioned well in the fulcrum point between thumb and index. At all speeds you will use your wrist. But as you speed up, you should see a gradual transfer of movement from you forearms (meaning you elbows are moving, not your shoulders) to your fingers controlling more of the roll as you reach near press roll speed.

              Yes your drum tutor is has a valid point on the way to play a ride. But I personally distinguish a grip for drum set playing and for rudimental playing on one surface. If your playing on one surface, the grip for me is very formal and much like what is told a beginning student. Once you start playing a kit, your grip has to adapt to the flexibility needed to move all around the kit. For me personnally, I could not use French grip and play a paradiddle with much control. But once I start playing ride or timpani, yes I'm all for the French grip.

              d4H

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              • #8
                I've recorded an embarrassing video of me not even maintaining steadyness at 120bpm!!! The reason I'm posting is because I can't see why my right hand is sooo much worse than the left. I just don't seem to have the freedom to hold it as loosely and yet retain control (I am left handed, so not entirely surprised by this).

                http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?...80601746440271

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                • #9
                  I saw you started having trouble when you tried to do double stroke with rebound. At that speed, it's hard to get rebounded doubles. Just use your wrist.

                  It takes time to master rebounded double. IMHO, you need to be able to do it before you can practice stickinthemud's "start at a speed slower than it is possible to bounce at" approach.

                  I suggest you split your practice in 2 parts: (1) LLLLRRRRLLRRLLRRLRLRLRLR (or just single) with metronome. (2) Try to toy with double without a metronome. Try to get the fingers accustom to controlling the rebound. You may have to spend days or weeks before you are comfortable with it. Once you get it, you can get back to metronome.

                  Two more things: (1) Counting out loud. This is essential. (2) Relax. When you're striking your left hand stick, nothing else above your left wrist should move*. (Ok, you may tap your foot.) Maybe use a mirror.

                  Hope it makes sense.

                  * Until you start using moeller technique.
                  Last edited by sciomako; 12-27-08, 03:55 AM.
                  My compact kit.

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                  • #10
                    If I may chime in here... I noticed near the end of the video that it looked like you were attempting the throw/grab approach. That's good. What may help, in addition to all the good advice above is practicing that throw/grab technique. Playing 8th notes at 120 bpm, RRRRRRRRLLLLLLLL. The downbeat is the throw and the upbeat (or &) is the grab.
                    Once you get that nice and smooth with both hands, shorten the figures to RRRRLLLL then to RRLL and RLRL etc.
                    Basically what you were doing with 1/4 notes but when you start to increase speed, you will notice that the 'grab' is the bounce and by grabbing it, you are controlling it.
                    Exagerate it at first and after a while, it becomes 2nd nature.
                    Remember, everything you do starting with your strong hand, also do starting with your weak hand.
                    Lock into the metronome and let it take you into a bit of a trance.
                    You'll get it.
                    The blues are here to take me and to drag me down to hell...

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                    • #11
                      I would also experiment first (without a metronome) to find out if there is a tempo where you can successfully play nice and even, then adjust the metronome to that tempo. Once this becomes somewhat controllable at that tempo, then start practicing faster and slower.

                      One thing Metro drums is doing that you are not at the slower speed is having the stick to bouce higher off the drum head on the initial stroke. This is needed to create the physical time space between the intial stroke and the bounce to match the metronome.

                      You seemed to be just letting the stick just drop and not rebound enough and as a result, the bounce off the head on the initial stroke is not letting the stick go high enough. (Maybe you choking the stick too much?) As a result, the stick bounces up from the initial stroke and comes back down too soon to match the speed of the metronome in your video.

                      Alot of good pointers here by many. The old saying different strokes for different folks certainly applies. ... for while I can play the double stroke as Metro drums shows, using the third finger and thumb.. I was always taught and still show drummers to hold and control the stick with the thumb and index finger.

                      Technique issues are always the hardest to correct and become part of your natural playing. Deliberate dedicated practice. Play simple things first that will apply to your new techniques, and once you can play without resorting to the old "bad" habits, step up the game with faster tempo or more challenging material.

                      d4H

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by drum4Him View Post
                        I would also experiment first (without a metronome) to find out if there is a tempo where you can successfully play nice and even, then adjust the metronome to that tempo.
                        Excellent suggestion!
                        The blues are here to take me and to drag me down to hell...

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                        • #13
                          For me the problem has been that the normal grip I use when playing the kit is slightly unbalanced. That is, the fulcrum points on my left and right hand are slightly different.

                          This means if I take my hands and slowly play doubles, one hand will play a sightly faster double than the other.

                          By repositioning one hand with a slight slide, up or down the stick, just before I want to play a roll, the roll becomes much more even, which makes life easier.

                          Sort of cheating compared to all the other sophisticated (and more useful) techniques others have success with. but that is my nature.
                          Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

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                          • #14
                            I've always found that slowing down to almost too slow of a tempo improves my speed. Sounds counter-intuitive. When you slow it way down, you are forced to exaggerate the mechanics and I find that this always leads to better accuracy once I speed it back up. I do this with rudiments and it works wonders. None of us want to slow down, but it definitely makes me better faster.

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                            • #15
                              Don't worry too much about having 'exact' stick positioning, as 4 teachers may teach you 4 different and slight variations of the way to hold a stick. Do work works and feels comfortable to you. The general concenceous behind playing/technique is all the same. Work on building up your wrist muscles first as you'll use those a hell of a lot more than anything else. Stay at one tempo for 5/10/15 minutes until you're completely comfortable with it, then move up 5bpm, and keep doing that until you reach your limit then go back down 5bpm and stay there for a while, then call it a day for practice. Same thing the next day and the next, that's how you build muscle memory and control.
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