Drum Practice Pad Rudiments: Using Two Pads to Hear Patterns

  • Posted on: 8 August 2011
  • By: Sheldon Kreger

For a few years now, I've been doing all of my drum practice pad work on two pads at a time. This opens up a whole new world of practice away from the drum set. By simply using two different kinds practice pads, different sounds are created. This allows the brain to better adapt to the phrasing that each motion produces. In other words, you train your mind to hear the sounds that are possible with the use of any pattern you desire to play. It is easy to layer ostinatos for grooves, or to simply take a paradiddle and split it between the pads.

Although I do not maintain many rudiments as part of my playing vocabulary, I have personally benefited greatly from practicing the ostinato patterns on two separate practice pads. Claus Hessler's book with Dom Famularo - "Open Handed Playing Volume 1" - contains several sections which require coordination with the hands before the feet are inserted. These kinds of exercises lend themselves very well to the two-pad practice work.

I often find that I don't have the space available to play on a real drum set. However, I still want to be able to practice something groove oriented, rather than just constantly working on technique. By using two different pads, I can imagine one as the snare drum and the other as the hi hat. I then choose a pattern with my left hand - like the hi hat - and a snare drum pattern with my right hand - like the snare. This will usually duplicate something I play as part of the groove, just without the feet. Now - instead of just drilling singles or rudiments - I can work on grooves on my pads.

In the following video, I explain this concept in more detail, and play some examples with a simple paradiddle. I hope this lets you visualize what is happening and inspires you to pick up your drum sticks and burn some holes in your practice pads.

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