Practice Strategy for Advanced Multipedal Orchestrations

  • Posted on: 19 September 2012
  • By: sheldonkreger

Making the decision to move into advanced multipedal orchestrations was not an easy decision. As I mentioned earlier, I don't like most metal music, and so my motivation for learning this material is very different.

Rather, I'm motivated for two reasons:

1. All of the true progress on the drums today is happening by a handful of drummers, who are using advanced technical methods to redefine what is possible on the drum set. My goal is to also push these boundaries with my playing.

Now, don't get me wrong - there are thousands of amazing drummers who are playing very, very well. They have their own styles, their own music, and their own zest. I'm down with that! But, it's only a handful of drummers who are truly redefining what is possible on the kit.

2. I love to practice. I really, really love to practice. The level of focus and the mental states I achieve while working on advanced material is absolutely incredible, and I like to make it happen every day. In other words, working on this material is an autotelic experience.

The Material

I've weighed several options and have decided to work with Thomas Lang's "Creative Coordination and Advanced Foot Technique." Compared to other systems, this is the most cleanly organized system in the market. It is also one of only a handful which are not oriented strictly around double bass - it's meant to develop coordination for multipedal orchestrations. Since this is my goal, this is the right book. In addition, the DVD is exceptional: Thomas performs every exercise in the book. The production is amazing, and Thomas's playing really is the most incredible drumming I've ever seen.

The Routine

Like all musicians, my practice time is limited. I'm going to spend 4-7 hours per week on this material alone. That might not seem like much, but, for now, I think the results will be good. Speed drills are actually very quick, and coordination work at this level is really the most efficient in relatively small doses.

The key is DAILY PRACTICE. These movements MUST be driven into the nervous system in at a very deep level. To make that happen, the movements must be affirmed regularly. So, the idea is to spend 30 minutes to an hour a day behind the kit, working strictly out of this book. I've had pretty good results in the past working this way, so I'm going to stick with it until I feel like I need to make an adjustment.

More to Come

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