Monthly Archives: December 2011
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Right guys and girls. I’d like to start by stressing the importance of getting a good practice pad to use on a regular basis.
What is a practice pad?
What is a practice pad I hear you say! Well basically it’s a lump of rubber placed over wood designed to imitate the feel and response of a normal snare drum, but with out all the associated noise attached. They are usually small, light weight and easily transportable. Meaning we can practice anywhere and anytime we feel the need. One of the main problems with learning drums is the inability to do this due to noise level and the inconvenience of having a none easily transportable instrument.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a practice pad I will attempt to cover all these for you now. But I will add im a big pusher of the drum practice pad I think all drummers should own and use one. Not let it sit there as a coaster.
So the pro’s of using a Drum Pad is the obvious ability to sit down and practice your drum rudiments in front of the TV producing very little noise on something that will react like a real drum. This also brings us into the next advantage of easily been able to hear and play along to a metronome. Which incidentally is another must have piece of kit for a drummer. These days there is no excuse not to have one as most phones are now able to download free apps that contain these within them. This used in conjunction with a metronome allow us the ability to be able to track our progress and keep records of our improvements in that search for faster rolls and slicker drum licks. Record keeping should be done as a matter of course when having your practice sessions. Which incidentally should be set out to achieve a goal you have in mind, Be it faster double strokes or a more accurate flam. These things don’t happen over night and take ages to master.
Protect your hearing.
I’d like to start by first stating that your hearing once damaged does not heel itself. If you cause and keep causing significant damage you WILL develop tinnitus or worse may end up losing your hearing all together.
Experts say that hearing damage occurs at sounds louder than 85 decibels for an extended period of time (a phone rings at around 70db). I believe this is estimated at more than 6-7 hours. But an average drum stroke kicks out around 125db with cymbals being a tad higher. To put this into context it’s the same as An Ambulance siren, pneumatic drill, heavy machinery or a jet plane on ramp. Hearing damage will start to occur after around 4-5 minutes without protection if exposed directly to this. This isn’t to say that after that time you will notice it. The build up of damage could take years before you will notice it happening. But when you do it will be too late.