Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 23

Hello there,

Today I recorded a video, for joining a monthly collaboration project on Drumeo. It's the second time I participate... It's really cool and fun.

Also, I practice on the pad too. Here's today practice log:

I froze the bpm on the Single Stroke Roll. I think I'll take it slower... And probably won't be reaching one of my goals this week again... But I'm not feeling the control I need for the rudiment. So, until I'm not satisfied with it, I'll be doing the exercise on 97bpm or less.
The "3's, 5's and 7's" is doing great, with one exception: accents on the AND of the 3's... I can do the rest of the exercises at 150bpm with control and definition, except the one damn accent on the AND of every quarter note that eventually takes me off for a loop... This is pissing me off. I'm focusing on the 3's a lot because of that, and I'll be intensifying this focus even more.
The 20' workout is solid. I think I got the movements nailed already... But the muscles still need the slow increase (1bpm of increase a day, to be exact), because in the end of the workout, everything in my arms burns... Better than gym I guess, right? No pain, no gain. :)

That's that. Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 22


Here's today exercises:

I tried to jam a little to a Drumeo playalong, but I've ended up using my right leg, and it started to hurt a little... So I've stopped for the day.
I'm thinking on recording a video for this playalong, and see what comes of it... But it will have to be a one take thing... My leg can't take more than one of those for now...

The rest of the exercises are going good... The Single Stroke Roll is the one that's giving me some pain though... Literally. In the end of the exercises my left arm is always burning.

See ya.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Day 21

Hello! Today is goals day!

Goals revision day #1. Yay.

So, here's my goals from last week:

I've managed to accomplish 6 out of 8 goals... And the ones I didn't managed to get were waaaay too optimistic. I admit I jumped the gun in them... So I'll be ignoring one, and lowering the other for the next week. Also, I put too many objectives for a week. I'll be trying a smaller number now, to see if I get all of them done this time.
Also, this thing made me realize I needed to better my Single Stroke Roll... The most basic of the rudiments, and I completely neglected it. Time to fix that.

Next week goals:

Only 5 of them, and I've tried to be a little more realistic this time. Let's see what comes out of it.

There was also some practice today:
It took me 3 hours today. I'm happy that I could use this much time on my practice today.
Nothing to complain about on today's practice: I could actually see progress and improvement in almost everything. I'm completing 21 days of pad practice on techniques and rudiments, and in a 15 minutes play around on my e-kit I already saw a lot of improvement in the techniques, creativity and timing/note spacing. I'm really excited now... Can't wait until I'm able to play at full force again.

I'll continue my focus on the Single Stroke Roll tomorrow... I'm getting faster with more control at it. This is important because, as I said above, is the most basic rudiment of all.

That's that. Bye.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 20

Hi there,

Today was a slow one. Repeated the same exercises as yesterday, but with more control and at a higher tempo. Took me one hour and some change.

Singles are progressing... Tomorrow I'll keeping focusing on that, and in wrapping up this week's goals.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day 19


Today was one of those days... A friggin' bad day. And that reflected on my practice as well.

One of those days that you feel like you shouldn't have get out of bed
My practice for today:

Small right? But pay attention to the Average duration of each exercise. With the exception of the 20' workout, NOTHING was getting right today, and I kept looping the same things over and over... Horrible. I struggled for 1h15m today, until I gave up for the day.
With all this crappy day, I decided that I'll be going back to basics, and I'm going to get some speed on the Single Stroke Roll before getting the "3's, 5',s and 7's" and the "Single Stroke Four" at a higher tempos... That means I'll be "giving up" 2 of my goals for this week. That's Ok I guess, because I must have more control on my singles. Speed alone means nothing without control. And, as said by John Blackwell on his lesson on Drumeo: "Whatever you play, whatever you hit, you wanna MEAN to hit it", and I just wasn't feeling it in my Singles anymore... Whenever I'm going quicker, I'm getting sloppier... So I'm going to fix that.
I fixed the starting of the Single Stroke Roll exercises in 90bpm after going over and over on them with a variety of tempos... 90 bpm seemed to be that limit between control and chaos. That's the line I'll be stretching in the next days.

Now, I'll be going to bed... Tomorrow will be better than today, I'm sure of it. Bye.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Day 18


So, another busy day. Again.
I was having a lot of family gatherings this days, because my brother-in-law was in town for the easter holidays... Since that doesn't happen very often, we used every excuse we had to hang out with him... It was good times, but that also means: less practice for me.

But, since he went back home today, I guess my routine now tends to go back to normal. So, hopefully, the daily practice lists will be bigger.

So, today's exercises were:

Took me 50 minutes to complete... It was all the time I could squeeze out of today.
I did the 20' Workout along with the recorded show on Drumeo today. It was cool, but there's a lot of talk (explaining the exercise) and they misfire the transitions sometimes too... So I'll repeat the workout in this tempo tomorrow, so I can pay more attention to what I'm doing, and try to smoothly pass from one exercise to another, so I can get the note values and transitions correctly. But I managed to easily do the exercise along with them, so I'm really happy about it. And, also, that meant: another week goal completed.
The dynamics on the "De-Stupifying" series are getting better... Quieter ghost notes, louder/controlled accents. Still room for improvements on some of them though. I've started a Groove application (without the kick) too, to see how it sounds... It was fun.
I've also started the 8th "Push-Pull" exercise... It seems easy. That's another goal for this week that's now completed.

It was a short practice, but it was productive. I'm excited to see what I can get done for tomorrow. Bye.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day 17


Today was a full work-day, and I had to do my taxes as well... So, I just pulled off a 45 min. practice session and called it a day. Meh.

Oh happy day... NOT.

At least tomorrow I'll have some more free time to practice... hopefully.

Today's exercise:

Took me about 45min. to finish everything.
Tomorrow I'll be doing the 20' Workout along with the recorded lesson on Drumeo, because I finally got to try it at 80bpm. If I succeed, I'll be going to intermediate level on this particular exercise, which I find very very cool.
I've also beat another one of my goals with the Push-Pull technique in 16th notes doubles at 100bpm... I'll try to get to 120bpm until Sunday though.
As for the "3's, 5's and 7's": 180bpm is going to be tough... I'm not getting the accents solid. Without the accents is going OK though... I'll focus on the accents on the next session.
The speed accel. on the Singles 16th notes was just for fun... There's a course on Drumeo on the Single Stroke Roll that has a lesson on Speed and Control... I'm thinking on trying that to see if I get an extra speed. So I'll be using this "Speed Accel." exercise as a control for it... To see the improvements.

That's it. Bye.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 16


So... As I foretold, today I had almost no time to practice...
But I still managed to squeeze 1 hour of pad practice today. =)

Go go go.

Today's practice:

As I said above, took me 1h today.
20' Workout is solid. I'm really happy about it and pretty confident that I'll beat the 80bpm goal easily.
The dynamics on the "De-Stupifying Left Hand" is improving... The ghost notes are really quiet, but as the tempo goes up, so does the volume in them... Have to fix that.
The Single Stroke Four Variation Challenge today was a pain in the ass... Took me a few minutes to understand the damn thing all over again... I ended up having to slow down to 90bpm to get it going, and then going up to 100bpm to do the 2 minutes of the exercise... Have to practice some more reading/writing of music notation, I guess... Anyway, in the next session I'll try to start the next lesson on the course.
The 16th note doubles with the Push-Pull technique is another exercise/goal that is going to be easy to beat... I'm in 95bpm and the mark is 100bpm... The movement on this higher tempo is getting a little sloppy, but I'm confident that I can clean it up and play it at 100bpm until Sunday with no problems.

That's that for today. Bye.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 15

Hello there.

So, it was another holiday today. So I got to practice a little more than usual.

Day of Tiradentes.
Here's today practice then:

As I said, very busy practice day. 2 hours, to be exact (not counting watching videos on Drumeo this time).

20' Workout got a lot better, even with a higher tempo. I'll try 78bpm tomorrow.
I've tried the "3's, 5's and 7's" with a really higher tempo: 150bpm... It got sloppy... But I've jumped 30bpm from the last time, so that was kinda expected. If I don't get it better the next session, I'll slow it down a little.
Dynamics on the "De-Stupifying Left Hand" series got a little better, but there's room for improvement. And I added another new exercise, marking one of my goals complete.
The "Single Stroke Four - Introduction" is finished... I'll do it once more, and then I'll go to next lesson in the course, for speed and control. Speeding this rudiment to 150bpm until next Sunday is going to be the most difficult to complete of my goals... Maybe I put it too higher. But I'll evaluate this only on Sunday.

That's it. Tomorrow is a busy work day, with a couple family events to go too... Maybe I'll have only 30min or so to practice... Let's see what i can do about that.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 14


Sunday is over, and this time, I'll start a new tradition: Setting goals for the week every Sunday.
That's another of Stephen Taylor's practice tips, this time on a lesson he gave on Drumeo called (ahem... wait for it...) "Stephen Taylor's practice tips".

So, my goals for this week:

Some of them will be easy... Some of them will not. But it is totally doable.
This weekly-goals-setting thing looks like a good strategy to give that "drive" to my practice sessions... I really liked it. Let's see how it goes this week.

Today's practice:

Among a lot of family parties and visiting today, I actually managed to practice a good 1h30 (with intervals and watching the course video on Drumeo).
The 20' workout went well... My arms got tired, but the movement are a lot less sloppy. Tomorrow I'll try it at 77bpm.
The new "De-Stupifying Left Hand" exercises need work... The dynamics are not that good, so I'm locking it at 64bpm until I fix this. That will be my focus for tomorrow.
The Push-Pull is getting solid at higher tempos... And I'm almost being able to speed it up to a really higher speed... The mechanics need a little working, but overall I'm happy with it. And I can notice the influence of this exercise on my Doubles, even when I'm not (consciously) using the technique.

Oh: And I added a new rudiment, the Single Stroke Four. It's easy actually... But very useful too... I can see a lot of applications on the drum kit... Wish I could try them. Oh well...

The Single Stroke Four rudiment. (source: Vic Firth 40 Essential Rudiments)
That's it. See ya.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 13

Hello! Happy Easter!

Today was a busy day again... Family parties and all. Little time left for my practices. But I've managed to "finish" one of the exercises today... I marked it complete, and I'll be reviewing it every two days (on a higher tempo, obviously).

Today's practice:

Tomorrow I'll be trying the 20' workout on a higher tempo... maybe 76bpm. Let's see what I can do.
The 3's, 5's and 7's is pretty much nailed. I've re-watched the Drumeo lesson again, just to make sure I didn't forget anything (There was a thing about stick heights/dynamics, that I'll focus on the next times I do the exercise). During the lesson's show, I tried the exercises at 150bpm and did OK. I'll try everything in this tempo the next time, and after that in 180bpm.

Now, I'll choose a new exercise to fit in this schedule... Maybe a new rudiment? :)

Good night!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 12


I'm a little lazy, so here's today exercise:

Took me 1h30m to finish it.
Tomorrow, I'm planning to step up the 3's, 5's and 7's to 120bpm. If I find it easy, I'll be doing it every two days (always accelerating to a higher bpm) and consider it mastered. That will open a slot for another exercise, maybe.

The 20' workout Is getting solid, but my left arm is getting really tired near to the end of it... I'll be keeping the bpm in 75 for another session, and if it continues to be this solid, I'll be accelerating it again and see what comes out of it.

Oh yeah: I've added another exercise from the "De-Stupifying Left Hand" series. It went pretty well, but still need works on the dynamics and note spacing...

That's it. Until tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 11


Today I felt a little better, but really tired. Physiotherapy is killing me. OK, I'm exaggerating... But it really is painful, and very tiring. But I can see some results already, so I'll handle.

My Student Plan.
I'm still doing my Drumeo's Student Plan while I'm recovering... And I guess it's going pretty well so far. I'm evolving in everything and so far I'm not having any difficulties. And my left hand is improving.

Today's Exercise:

I've managed to squeeze a few Finger Control exercises today, and I also changed the order between "De-Stupifying Left Hand" and "Push-Pull Technique".
Took a little over 2 hours to do everything... 
Finger control was a real pain... The movement is sloppy, and with no control. Got to focus on that.
The 20' Workout was a lot easier than yesterday, but I still marked it as "regular" (black color), because I'm not feeling it easy or comfortable... But I'm getting there!

That's it for today. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 10


Another day under the weather... This time, I stayed in bed all day, and took some pills... I started to feel better by the end of the night then. But I'm beat...

Hmm... Pills... On nom nom.

I still managed to do my exercises though. 10th day in a row... I'm actually proud of myself... This Blog thing is working... I'm pushing myself to do more than the day before. That was a really good idea after all!

Today's exercises:
My 20' Workout is officially out of the red zone. My left hand is improving, and my doubles are getting more solid every day. I'm happy, but I still see space for improvements.
I added the 3rd exercise from the De-Stupifying Left Hand series, and It was pretty easy... It's a lot similar to the 1st one, changing only the Snare.
I'll be adding the others one by one whenever I have extra time, and I'll focus more on the "De-Stupifying Left Hand" over the "Push-Pull Technique". The reason: I'm focusing on getting my left hand better... While the Push-pull really helps with that, the De-Stupifying FOCUS on that... So I think it's a better approach for now.

That's it. Bye.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 9


Still kinda sick... But I'll live...

Today I decided to get off the pad a little, so I did the "De-Stupifying Left Hand" exercises on my e-kit, without the kick.
My e-kit: a Roland HD-1. Good clean fun, but a little small for me...
Tomorrow, I'll invert the pedals wires on the kit, and I'll try using the kick on my left foot. I don't know why I didn't thought of that before... It's going to be a good training for my left foot. And my right knee won't do much, since I just have to play with the hi-hat closed, and open it reeeeally slow if needed.

Today's exercise:

My Doubles got better. I focused on it, pay attention to the movement, changed the grip, the posture... Experimented a lot. It worked. I'm not totally happy with it, but I finally saw some improvement. But I'm still leaving the 20 min. Drumming Workout frozen in 75 bpm... I'm doing that until I'm satisfied enough to mark it green.
The De-Stupifying Left Hand exercises on the e-kit was also a lot of fun... And I managed to transition them from the pad with no difficulty... Let's see tomorrow, when I'll add the kick, and see how it goes.

That's it... Time to take some pills, and hit the bed. Bye

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 8


Today I was feeling a little sick, so I just did the minimum exercises and called it a day.

My Doubles are not recovering... They seem to be getting worse. I'll focus ONLY on that tomorrow. This left hand of mine is pissing me off.
I definitely need to get the De-Stupifying lesson to my kit... I'll won't be able to play the kick with my right foot, but at least I'll get a feel of the exercise on the Snare and Hi-hats.

That's it. Hopefully I'll be feeling a little better tomorrow. Bye.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 7


First week of the blog ended. That was a good week... I've managed to work on the pad everyday. I hope I keep this rhythm for a long time.

Here's today practice:
My left hand seems to be getting worse. I don't really know what's going on... It seems clumsier than ever. I'm focusing only on it lately, so maybe it's just an impression... But I'll keep working on it 'til it gets decent.

I'm freezing the 20min. workout until I manage to get it clean and good once. It's been 3 days since the last time a got a decent one... Guess I found my BPM limit... Gotta stress this one out for a while.

Finger control Technique is getting more solid... But I'm still struggling to get my left hand work with control and speed. I just started this one though.

First thing I've decided since my first video review on Drumeo: I'll prioritize the exercises from my Student Plan: 20 min. Drumming Workout, 3's, 5's and 7's, Push-Pull Technique and the De-Stupifying Left Hand. I'm also putting the lesson on ghost notes in the line.

Tomorrow I'll be back to work... Let's see how much time I'll be able to practice... Bye.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

First video review on Drumeo

Friday (April 11th), one video I posted in the Drumeo Forums was reviewed live by Dave Atkinson.
It was an awesome review... He gave me a lot of tips on things I have to get better, techniques I can use/improve, and my posture.
Dave Atkinson, Drumeo Instructor
 So, I'm writing this post just to enumerate what was said, so I don't forget, and so I can plan my next training sessions according to it.

My overall timing was OK. But my note spacing needs work. I sound sloppy, but on time with the click because of that.
I tend to lean backward when I use my kick (Mostly because of the kit... When I switch to my acoustic drums, I need to pay attention to this, and train some balance). I'll try to put my throne a little back, to see if I can solve that.
My ghost notes were not clean... I just throw the sticks down, and hope for a few notes on the rebound, and that won't give me any definition or articulation. There a lesson by Adam Smith on ghost notes that can help me on that.
Focus on the De-Stupifying Left Hand exercises and the Push Pull Technique. My Student Plan already has those lessons, and I've started to work on them.

That's it... I'll come back later to post my exercises for today.

Day 6


Busy day today... Barely stayed home at all... But I've managed to squeeze a little practice before bed.
This will be my minimum practice time from now on: 30 minutes/day.

Time is about to become a issue for me...
The exercise of today:
A lot smaller... But in a few months, that will be common, probably... And sadly.
I chose Finger Control for today, just because it's a new exercise... I wanted to keep it fresh.
The 20min. Workout I'll be doing everyday until I can get to 120 bpm minimum.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 5


Rockin' the Geriatric Ward

Today I'm really tired, so I'll just post the exercises of today, and a quick comment and that's that.

Click on the table to zoom in.
Today I've started Finger Control exercises, and I'm giving priority to the 3 groups of exercises in yellow/gray... I'll work on my left hand now, because it's impacting the other exercises, and I'm starting to get pissed off about it...

Push-Pull still going good, the movement is getting solid in a constant rhythm... So far, so good.
Finger Control looks like fun... The movement and the muscle exercises seem to help a lot.
The dynamics on the De-Stupifying Left hand is getting more and more solid too... Can't wait to get these exercises to my kit.

Today was my first review on Drumeo... But I want to watch it again, so I can post here everything Dave Atkinson said... Really good stuff. Definitely want to take notes so I won't forget it.

That's it. Bye.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 4

Hello there. Today was another day with the pad.

The pad, the metronome and my first broken stick.
Well... Nothing different (drumming-wise) really happened today, so I'll just talk about today's exercises.
Well... Today I started a little off... After the first exercise, I thought to myself... "oh... it's gonna be one of THOSE sadim-touch days." (sadim, which is Midas backwards... google it up). But it actually went well.

The downside of the day: stress, and concentration... Today I was off, stressed for no reason... I think I'll need to cool down... Isolate my practice time from the rest of my daily life. That will be my focus for the next days.

The good stuff: Push-Pull Technique is definitely stable. I think I'll just record me and upload the video to my member page on Drumeo, and see what my fellow Drumeos think about it. I'm pretty sure some good tips will come out of that.
Also: while I was doing the Singles 16th notes Speed Accel exercise, I managed to figure out what I was doing wrong with my left hand grip... Just mirrored the right hand, focusing on the angle of the stick in my hand, and that was it... I'll be practicing with the new I-think-that-it-is-now-correct grip on the exercises from now on, so it gets stuck in my head. Already helped to nail the exercise... So I'm hopeful. =)

That's it... See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 3


Today, I received new stuff on the mail again: a new snare stand (for my pad) and a new Evans HD Dry head for my snare.

New snare stand for my practice pad

New snare head
So, there I was, replacing the old head with the new one, and started tuning... When I discovered this:
Missing drum lug cover
Busted lug.
I had never noticed before, but one of my snare's lugs had no cover... And, since the head wasn't ajusting correctly in this side, I noticed the lug was busted... I'll need to replace this.
Luckly, I've found the exact same type of lug at ("our" eBay). Cost me R$ 5,00 (something like U$2.00). So, guess I'll be waiting for the mail again. =)

So... To the practice of the day:
It took a lot of effort, but I managed to continue all the same exercises I did yesterday... It's almost 3AM here, but I managed.

My Doubles are starting to get faster...  It's been 2 days since I'm not struggling (too much) on the Doubles 16th notes Speed Accel... A lot of progress there, I guess... But I'm still not happy with my left hand... Especially on the Polyrythms exercise, which has a 16th note LLLL pattern for a full bar, in 104bpm now... I can do the damn thing, but it's sounding like crap... Need to get it clean. That will be my focus for tomorrow.
On the bright side, I'm getting the Push-Pull Technique figured out... It's going smoothly now, and I think I can speed up the tempos a little more than usual.
Also, the De-Stupifying Left Hand exercises need some more movement cleaning, but, I've managed to improve a lot on that today.

Now... I definitely need some sleep. Good night!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 2

Hello again.

Today I received something on the mail: My Drumeo gifts for joining the site in March. A T-shirt and a pair of sticks. I used the sticks already, and they're really good. I'll be switching between them and my Yamaha sticks (which are really really REALLY heavier than all my other sticks, and I use them exactly because of that).

Drumeo T-shirt and sticks! Yay.
Off to work then. Here's my pad practice for today:
Today I was able to practice a little bit more, and I started the Drumeo's "De-Stupifying Left Hand" Lesson, which is a series of exercises to develop speed, control and independence with the weak hand... In my case: the left (and retarded) one. It was really difficult to control my dynamics with independence between hands... Something to work on tomorrow.
Also, I advanced in the "Push-Pull Technique" too, with a triplet-based exercise... Felt a little weird, but I guess I just need to get used to the triplet feel with the technique there.
Overall, I was able to do most of the exercises without difficulties, and increasing the BPM a little bit in all of them. Productive day!

Went to the doctor today too: said I was recovering really quickly, but that I should NOT play drums for at least another month... ANOTHER MONTH. Man...

Practice pad it is, I guess. :/

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 1

Day 1 of my log.

As I'm recovering from a knee surgery, I'm still working on my training pad only. I'm at home a lot, since I'm not working (because of the surgery I mentioned). That being said, the conclusion is quite obvious: I'm having a lot of free time to practice. And that's about to end, sadly.

My training pad.

So, this is what I did today:

As I've mentioned... A lot of (pad only) stuff.
I'm struggling with a session of the 20min. workout that is a 16th note triplet RLL RLL pattern. Those doubles start alright, but my left (and retarded) hand quickly starts to wobble around, no control at all. Same happens with another session of the same exercise: Doubles in 32th notes.
With the Paradiddles and accents the difficulty was understanding the movements and the timing... It was expected, since it's the first time I did this exercise. It was actually easier than I thought.
The Singles - Speed Accel (click track starts at 80bpm and slowly gets to 180bpm) is tough as usual. I'm able to play at the faster tempos, but I'm struggling at maintaining the beat with left hand... Practice, practice, practice, I guess... That also happens with the same exercise with Doubles.

In general: My left hand is still giving me a hard time... Guess I'll focus on getting that fixed ASAP.

Man, can't wait to be able to play again... This pad only thing is starting to suck really bad already... =(


Hi there.

My name is Elton, but you can call me Frik0. It's read "freak" + "oh", by the way.

I'm starting this blog because of Stephen Taylor. This guy is a (awesome) drummer and teacher who, in one of his (free, by the way) lessons, encouraged me to create a log for my drum learning activities. And so, geeky as I am, I've decided to create a blog.

So, I'll post here all my experiences while learning the drums, the exercises I'm working on, musics I'm trying to play, theories I'm studying, and what I'm feeling doing all that. Also, I'll post some videos too.

Well... Let the adventure begin then. =)