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Drumming stamina - or 'oh gosh my arm can't keep up with this'

Tufty McTavish

Prominent Member
One of the biggest problems I'm having with Expert drumming is high BPM songs. I can only keep up the beat on yellow (the Hi-Hat if you have an e-drum kit) - with my right arm/hand for so long before it just stops wanting to respond. It's like I'm gripping the stick really hard and my muscles in my arm are locking up.

There was a discussion on drum fills on/off in another thread and TBH I need drum fills ON so that I can get that moment to rest every little while. I deliberately don't hit the green note at the end to activate Star Power, I save it to get another rest in a bit.

I didn't warm-up tonight and the first song was the Ramones, some song in the RB3 set-list, on Expert drums. Oh man, that just cramped things up really quickly.

Slower songs aren't a problem. Is this likely just a stamina thing you have to force yourself through to train the muscles? Or bad technique? Or just me and I need to sack up and suck less?
 

Bursar

Established Member
Might be all three! :rotfl:

Like you I play HH with my right hand, but I've just rejigged my kit so I can reach the HH with left hand as well (it was too close previously), so I'm going to work on using alternating hands on the HH, remebering to drop one hand down to play the snare.

Something like this: Drums: 16th Notes on High Hat With Quarter Notes on the Bass Drum: Drums: 16th Note Patterns in Rock Music | eHow.co.uk

Note how he's just using his wrist rather than his whole arm. I tend to play from the elbow rather than the wrist, and that's what does me in after a few minutes of rapid playing.
 

noisecrime

Established Member
There was a discussion on drum fills on/off in another thread and TBH I need drum fills ON so that I can get that moment to rest every little while. I deliberately don't hit the green note at the end to activate Star Power, I save it to get another rest in a bit.

I'm pretty sure that you don't actually have to play the notes in the area where the fill would normally be (from memory the area is still highlighted, but not as clearly), as well as not giving you any extra points. I'm positive that i've occasionally messed up the beats within the fill area, but not lost my streak.


Slower songs aren't a problem. Is this likely just a stamina thing you have to force yourself through to train the muscles? Or bad technique? Or just me and I need to sack up and suck less?

Yep its a killer if you can't keep up, even easy beats/rhythms can become a struggle. I'd say its just down to practice at faster speeds to build up stamina.
 

Chrispyphillips

Established Member
I found that on medium (never did easy drums) my arms would ache after a while. Then I got used to it and moved to hard, and my arms ached for a while! Then I get used to it and moved to expert, and my arms... You see where I'm heading with this!!

I think it's practice mate, but I'm sure you're picking up bad habits too, we probably all are. It's like rolls, I couldn't attempt a roll b4, and whilst I'm still not as quick as a pro I have noticed an improvement. The more you get used to something, the easier it becomes. Play that song over and over till you nail it (okay, not the ramones one) but say "Let there be rock (live)" that will either destroy you, or make you!!!
 

chewyx

Prominent Member
I'm pretty sure that you don't actually have to play the notes in the area where the fill would normally be (from memory the area is still highlighted, but not as clearly), as well as not giving you any extra points. I'm positive that i've occasionally messed up the beats within the fill area, but not lost my streak.

Yeah you dont have to play the green highlighted bit so you can have a break there. Its much harder to spot than the old style fills though i find.

Ive havent played drums anywhere near as much as i used to since about september time (wanted to wait for RB3) but i did notice my stamina has gone completely.

I always struggled with fast paced songs like everlong, ramblin man etc but could just about make my way through them but now ive got no hope without hording overdrive. Played my hero and my leg felt like it was about to fall off. I used to be able to play it without breaking a sweat.

Im hoping my stamina will improve when I get the midi adapter and start playing regularly again. Im pretty sure ive got some bad habits too which probably doesnt help.
 

Stinja

Distinguished Member
For really fast hihat stuff I switch to the French grip style: so you hold the stick very loosely with finger-thumb, and let the rebound drive it up, flick down with fingers, barely using arm/wrist to drive the stick. Probably not explaining it well... Not that I play expert much :rolleyes: but maybe worth looking into.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtMQ2jppPUs&sns=em

I'm gripping the stick really hard and my muscles in my arm are locking up.
but this doesn't sound like a good playing style, I think you're on a one way trip to RSI-land :thumbsdow my drum tutor (did metal but mostly fusion jazz) said one should be relaxed and not tense?

My main problem is my knees get properly sore trying to do expert drums, i don't think it's technique as such, more just age and poor genes. I'd love an expert pads chart, but hard kicks, sadly they don't split these. My stamina still seems good; played green grass & high tides (hard pro), and didn't feel sore at all really :thumbsup:
 
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Tufty McTavish

Prominent Member
I'm pretty sure that you don't actually have to play the notes in the area where the fill would normally be

Oh, I see. Didn't know that. Might try it out to find out.

Stinja said:
but this doesn't sound like a good playing style, I think you're on a one way trip to RSI-land my drum tutor (did metal but mostly fusion jazz) said one should be relaxed and not tense?

I agree. I just find I can't 'let go' as it were. I'm struggling to keep up, I tense up, I'm fighting against the wall of my limited ability, trying too hard, whoa I'm gripping way too hard as I struggle more and more, etc. It started off just fine, but gradually descends into this spiral towards failure.

I literally have to drop my arm and force relax my right arm muscles for those few brief seconds of relief in a drum fill section. Sometimes I deliberately drop notes in the song to relieve the frequency.

But essentially I'm playing beyond my ability. I've always read comments about the harder guitar difficulties producing discomfort. I remember the first time I played that Blue Oyster Cult song from RB1 I think, on Expert. Boy did I ever struggle with that. But now, every time I play it, I just recall that first time and note how I've improved.

Clearly I don't play enough drums.
 

Wingyy

Standard Member
I've been playing expert drums for a few years and I have the same thing happen to me to the point that I have a very large "knot"-looking muscle I can flex on the outside of my elbow. I think it's just songs like Let There Be Rock or Blinded By Fear that really separate the boys from the men.
 

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