Drum Set (Drums) – Very Slow Playing to Refine Technique (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on May 14, 2012

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Drum Set (Drums) Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate drums technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

Is playing a drum set piece very slowly, below tempo, a form of making mistakes? This is what many drums players believe, and most drum set players believe mistakes should be avoided at all costs. I’ve found that almost all drums players believe that a mistake made is a mistake learned. This is the central belief of drum set players that makes for fear based playing. “Thou shalt avoid mistakes at all costs!”

I do not believe a mistake made, and recognized as such as it is being played is a wrong note learned, unless this is believed. What we believe, true or not, is self-fulfilling. In other words, if you believe every mistake made is learned, you will make that same mistake over and over again to prove you are right. Humans love to be right!

So, if you accept that a missed beat on the drum set recognized is not a mistake learned, then slow practice is not playing a whole piece wrong.

What is the physical difference between playing a drum set slowly and quickly? I ask a drums player to play the snare drum slowly, and to pay close attention to what his hands and forearms are doing. I ask him to really experience how little arm and hands muscle it takes to play the snare very slowly. As he continues to play, I ask him to gradually play slower and slower.

I then stop him, and ask him if he was able to feel the place where “fast” playing became “slow” playing, and what the difference is. When he says no, then we do this a few more times, seeing if he can figure out the difference between the two. So far, no drum set player has come up with the answer on his own.

Here is the answer. At a certain tempo, as he gets slower and slower, there is a place where the moving of the sticks are usually moved non-reflexively. This is not what you want. A reflexive movement is moving the sticks as quickly as you can between the beats rather than slowing down the sticks when the tempo is very slow. So, you want to move the sticks reflexively into the snare, so that the sound of the attack is clean and precise.

Ex: If you touch a hot plate accidently, you will pull your hand away reflexively – quickly and effortlessly. So, a reflexive movement on the drum set at the slowest tempo should be done as a reflexive twitch, so that slow playing is still effortless.

If your drum set technique does break down, then what are you doing wrong? You may discover your technique has flaws in it that even the right amount of support can’t solve, so you need to troubleshoot your drums technique by yourself, with a drum set teacher, with an Alexander Technique teacher or all three. So, perform with love and an accurate sense of what it really takes to physically play the drums, and who knows how good you’ll become.

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