Diddles

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A_Rus Offline
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Diddles

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:28 am



So I taught myself a lot of things for drumming. But it turns out i have a nasty habit of taking my fingers off the sticks when it comes to drumming. Any advice for this? Maybe things you do on your line to stop that?


Nick7 Offline
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Re: Diddles

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:01 pm



I had the same problem. The biggest thing that helped me was playing in front of a mirror. When it comes to diddles slow down and really exaggerate each stroke by using your fingers to move the stick instead of the bounce you get from the head. playing on a pillow works as well. Hope that helps.


MrSirEric Offline
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Re: Diddles

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:46 pm



Nick7 wrote:
Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:01 pm
I had the same problem. The biggest thing that helped me was playing in front of a mirror. When it comes to diddles slow down and really exaggerate each stroke by using your fingers to move the stick instead of the bounce you get from the head. playing on a pillow works as well. Hope that helps.
I like what Nick said about practicing in front of a mirror, and about using a pillow to help with back finger, but I don't think your rolls always have to come from the finger. If you're playing a roll at a faster tempo, or at a slower tempo but it's piano at the edge, you won't want to use too much back finger or you'll overplay the part.

One of the things that helped the most with my rolls is something Peter Cannon taught me a few years ago. Whenever he worked with his, there was one thing that he said all the time, and that was "contact without pressure". Basically, you always want your back fingers to be touching the stick, but they don't have to actively move to help your rolls. Just having the fingers there and using just enough pressure to keep them on the stick will help your rolls tremendously, especially at higher tempos. You'll be able to play faster and for longer, because it will be using far less energy than trying to control everything with just your fulcrum. Practicing in front of a mirror will help you with this, as well at practicing low rolls at a comfortable tempo, keeping your hand relaxed but closed.
Cedar Park High School
'15: Bass 4
'16 - '18: Snare

University of North Texas
'19: Snare

"I can't sit down long enough to absorb any kind of learning." ~Buddy Rich


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Diddles

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:25 am



You are taking your fingers off the back of your stick to allow the stick to rebound through the diddle. Check your tempos... if this is 1/16th note base I bet it starts showing up between 90-100 bpm, and you max out right around 120bpm.

Below 90bpm, it is reasonable for someone who practices regularly to be able to apply a full-stroke to the diddles. Above 120, the stick won't "bounce" fast enough to keep up. So >120 becomes the tension zone... players have to clamp down on the stick and start pumping with the arms.

I would bet that between 90-120 you are just letting go of the stick and trusting gravity to get it done, but you are sacrificing control (because you are letting go of the stick) and you are also making weak diddles... especially on the 2nd stroke (because you are letting go of the stick).

How to solve this? Well, I have two suggestions, and I think you should work them together:
1. Play open rolls via the "open-closed-open" format. This is the whole start slow... get to your max, and then back off to slow thing. You need to focus on making a seamless transition between full-stroke, partial rebound, full rebound, and (I guess I would call it) the "tension zone." If you want that transition to work seamlessly, you cannot let go of the stick, otherwise the transition will be very abrupt. Proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.
2. When I learned to play, the pillow was advocated. I have since gotten away from that (you can search my previous posts, I have nothing to hide) for one major reason. A pillow has so little rebound, that most of the strength developed is focused on pulling the drumstick away from the playing surface after the stroke is played. Not only is that that anti-focus of developing a good stroke (encourages feather tapping... which is hilarious because I never thought of it that way... pillow, feather, LOL) but that constant stress could mess up your hands. So I suggest you simply take your favorite $70 practice pad of choice, and put a dish rag or towel or old sweat shirt on top of it to practice. This leaves you with a solid surface to play into, but it soaks up just enough of the rebound that you can't rely on bouncing the stick alone. Incidentally, this is really good way to practice your up-strokes as well (like flammed paradiddle-diddles, or flam-inverts).

Good luck!
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


schorsquatch Offline
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Re: Diddles

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:30 am



For the record... the feather tapping analogy is not entirely correct, but its pretty frick'n funny, so take that for what you will.
Without a metronome its not drumming, its just hacking.


MrSirEric Offline
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Re: Diddles

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:39 am



schorsquatch wrote:
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:30 am
For the record... the feather tapping analogy is not entirely correct, but its pretty frick'n funny, so take that for what you will.
+10 respect for the analogy, and for opening my eyes to why pillows aren't a good method. I've long since moved past that point in learning and building technique, but I'd never really thought about the pulling up part of it before.
Cedar Park High School
'15: Bass 4
'16 - '18: Snare

University of North Texas
'19: Snare

"I can't sit down long enough to absorb any kind of learning." ~Buddy Rich


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