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  #1  
Old 04-02-2013, 01:02 PM
mabhz mabhz is offline
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Default Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

Hi again all... Hope all is fine with you folks!


I have been very disapointed about my hand technique evolution, or lack of.

Its true that I dont have a proper practice routine, mostly because I have a 1st and a 2nd job at night, and whatever time I have left I spend it with my kids, but when I sit late at night with them in front of the TV set I usually have my RealFeel practice pad with me, and so I manage to squeeze some 40min/1hour hand practice on 3 or 4 days a week. Mostly ramdon hand work, a few rudiments, and stuff from Tommy Igoe´s GHFLT excellent DVD.

Regardless of how much I try to practice, I still feel my hands are "out of sync", I cant get clean runs and rolls.

I always heard that practicing on a non-rebound surface, like pillows and moongel pads make WONDERS for your hand technique, so, in order to try that AND have a very quiet practice pad, I stuffed a couple folded socks inside a long sock I have and wrapped it around my leg, to work like a knee portable pad.

Believe it or not, I found it easier to practice on my "soft pad" than my RealFeel pad. It was so fun that I even stayed practicing after my kids went to bed and put in a good 1:30 ~ 2:00 practice time, just with my hands.

I could feel my forearms burning, and for the first time I could play really fast runs of 8, 12, 15, endless notes without sounding uneven or flammed.

It was really weird but very rewarding and fulfilling.

Problem is: yesterday, when I tried to play with my long friend RealFeel pad, it was a MESS!!!

On the soft pad, still great, on the RealFeel pad, horrible. Worse than before.

All my hands out-of-sync trouble when I try to "improvise" stickings was back!!!

Really awfull. And this time, I was feeling a very strong "vibration" on the sticks that I never felt before. RIght after the stick touched the pad, I would feel its boddy ressonate and feel an akward sensation, like if I was playing with much longer stick than usual and holding it righ at the butt. Get the idea?

So, you hand experts, PLEASE, any words of wisdon!!!!????

Why can I play wonders with my socks-made soft pad but suck with my RealFeel pad?

Should I keep practicing with my mute non-rebound pad or just avoid it like the plague?

Im lost here, really need some hellp. I need to figure out what am I doing wrong so I can fix it.


PS - i have a drum teacher, actually, have had quite a few, even a private masterclass with a world class pro player, and they all helped me get my hands in a good shape regarding fulcrum, tension, movement, etc,etc. But even after that, I cant feel any progress....

Last edited by mabhz; 04-02-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2013, 01:40 PM
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schist schist is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

Probably because you've spent all this time practicing on pillows etc. that your hands have been trained to no longer be able to accept the rebound from your practice pad. Try to keep your hand practice routine 75% pads/drums/rebound surfaces and 25% pillows/mattresses/low rebound surfaces. I think that's what most other guys (including pro drummers) recommend anyway - the pillow practice should only be used as a supplement to your overall practice routine.
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2013, 01:52 PM
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Arky Arky is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

You're an extreme example though. Practicing on pillows or different surfaces similarly low in rebounce does have benefits - but as said, only if you do this to a reasonable extent. It does nothing for finesse/finger control - this is developed by playing on surfaces with rebound - like most practice pads, or the drums.

I have a few suggestions for ya (do this on a pad like the RealFeel):

1) Learn to do the free stroke
2) Learn to do the free stroke
3) Learn to do the free stroke
4) Learn to do... you guessed it.

You said you have a great teacher. Did he show you the freestroke? If so, did you develop the feel how it works? The free stroke will open the door you need to expand your hand control. Really, you have to go back to the very beginning.

BTW - it's great that you did develop forearm muscles/hand control for playing on e.g. pillows - that's something you definitely will have some benefit from in the future. But you need to catch up with finger control.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:20 PM
JohnW JohnW is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabhz View Post

Really awfull. And this time, I was feeling a very strong "vibration" on the sticks that I never felt before. RIght after the stick touched the pad, I would feel its boddy ressonate and feel an akward sensation, like if I was playing with much longer stick than usual and holding it righ at the butt. Get the idea?


Why can I play wonders with my socks-made soft pad but suck with my RealFeel pad?
Imagine that you've been kidnapped, duct tape over your mouth for a couple of days and you finally work yourself free. What would be the first thing you'd do?!?

I know I'd be screaming, "HELP!!!".

Your sticks aren't screaming though. They're just vibrating a natural song, "I'm freeeee!"....

Nothing wrong with pillow practice; it's great for building wrists and a certain type of stamina. It's also good for making sure your hands don't flop all over the place. So it's a good basis for setting you up for control and occasionally revisiting. But it's just one facet of your technique and at this point you have gotten everything you can out of it.

So don't panic that you've wasted effort. You haven't. And don't be shocked that the stick feels longer, vibrates and feels a bit awkward in your hand. It will, if you try to force the same grip and technique. Stick vibration is natural except that you don't want to feel it in the hands. You want those vibrations to transfer to the drum head where they will be amplified. Just play on a real drum or bouncy pad- in fact many other surfaces and know that you've set yourself up for developing a well rounded technique. I would talk to your teacher about it.

-John
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:23 PM
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brady brady is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

I have had a similar experience from going back to the pad (or drum) after working on the pillow or moongel pad.

I think your best bet is to use it in moderation. There is a bit of transition time learning, or re-learning, how to accept the rebound from a drum or pad.

With that said, I do use a moongel pad or pillow for occasional double stroke practice. It has helped quite a bit to get that second hit to pop out a little more. Working on "double stroke triplets" have helped a lot too... RRL LRR LLR RLL...
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2013, 03:20 PM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

The pillow in my opinion makes you forget about your fulcrum and we all know without a fulcrum the free stroke or rebound stroke cannot be executed.

Slow free strokes on a pad for hours on end as in the stick control book are a better choice in my opinion. Then spend hours on your rack tom working out free strokes using the stick control book again.

Throwing the stick down at the pad and burying the click will require a serious commitment to perfect and you'll be training your wrists and fulcrum simoultaneously. <=== that's the ticket ;-)
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:46 PM
cornelius cornelius is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

I don't recommend playing on a soft surface - when you mention the transition from pillows to pad, I know what you're talking about. I tried the pillow thing when I was on tour, because it was convenient and quiet - but it did zero for my technique...

The cool thing about a practice pad, is they help you get the concept of rebound - so yeah, get the Freestroke down, so you won't be working as hard when you get on an actual drum. Remember to use a loose, natural grip to let the sticks do the work - on a pillow, it's easy to grip the sticks too tightly - probably the worst habit many players have.
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2013, 04:58 PM
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Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

I would second Arky, brady and the prevailing mood: free stroke, freestroke, freestroke. A couple of master opinions, just for keeping a broad perspective:

Dom does not advocate pillow practice
Morello recommended 10-15% of your practice time spent on soft surfaces.
Dennis chambers credits part of his ability to playing on telephone books extensively.

But the free stroke is such a safe bet, and a much more important concept, whether or not you end up playing a bit on a pillow.

Once you have spent about 1000 hours on the free stroke, you can begin worrying about pillows or not. At least, that is what I did.

Casper

PS I know this thread just got posted and the responses are still coming in, but it is interesting to note that a few years ago, whenever this discussion would come up, as it does about once every few weeks, it seems to me there were more pillow proponents than there is now. Mayne I am wrong though.
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:39 AM
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Wavelength Wavelength is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casper "DrPowerStroke" Paludan View Post
PS I know this thread just got posted and the responses are still coming in, but it is interesting to note that a few years ago, whenever this discussion would come up, as it does about once every few weeks, it seems to me there were more pillow proponents than there is now. Mayne I am wrong though.
My theory is that nature has taken its course, and the pillow users have DIED from the lack of rebound...
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2013, 01:01 PM
rdb rdb is offline
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Default Re: Hands better on pillow than pad - WHAT???

My other theory is that with a pillow each stroke is isolated. If you do something badly with one stroke, it doesn't affect what you do with the next. On the other hand, on a surface with rebound, if one stroke goes badly, then everything goes caddywumpus from there.
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