Drum Practice Pad Exercises by Dave Smithey

One Hour Drum Practice Pad Routine

This is a practice pad routine that I developed in 2002. I have practiced with this (and variations of it) extensively over the years. It was on my drumming-related website Drumpendium.com (which is no longer active). There is also the original/historical 8 page PDF version of this content.


     These notes reflect some of the drum and rhythm
concepts that I am working on, as well as describing
my "usual" practice pad routine, as of September 2002.
     The "usual" pad is actually a sofa cushion that
is fairly soft, but has more bounce than a pillow.
The "usual" sticks are 2B's.


##############################################################################
"r" characters denote "right hand", "l" characters denote "left hand".
Capital letters denote accented notes.
"!" characters denote the pulse and/or actual metronome click.
"-" characters are rested notes, time value may vary based on context.
Blank spaces are used for visual note grouping and should be ignored time-wise.
"..." or ". . ." denotes repetition of the previous pattern.
What constitutes the "pattern" to repeat varies with context.
Repetition often refers to an entire line.
Repetition sometimes refers to a line and the previous line.
##############################################################################

===================================================
                  Warmup
                  ++++++
            UniStrokes (Unison)
            -------------------
  Descending note rate - Constant Tempo
---------------------------------------------------
5, 4, 3, 2, 3/2, 1 clicks per note-pair
tempo = 184 clicks per minute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

/                               \
| ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! | 
| r - - - - r - - - - r - - - - | . . . [for 1 minute]
| l - - - - l - - - - l - - - - |
\                               /

/                         \
| ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! |  
| r - - - r - - - r - - - | . . . [for 1 minute]
| l - - - l - - - l - - - |
\                         /

/                   \
| ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! | 
| r - - r - - r - - | . . . [for 1 minute]
| l - - l - - l - - | 
\                   /

/             \
| ! ! ! ! ! ! | 
| r - r - r - | . . . [for 1 minute]
| l - l - l - | 
\             /

/              \
| ! ! ! ! ! !  |
| r--r--r--r-- | . . . [for 1 minute]
| l--l--l--l-- | 
\              /

/       \
| ! ! ! | 
| r r r |  . . . [for 1 minute]
| l l l |  
\       /


==============================================
               Transition
               ++++++++++
       UniStrokes and SingleStrokes
----------------------------------------------
tempo = 184 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6 notes/second  [(184/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


/                                     \
| ! ! ! !  ! ! ! !  ! ! ! !  ! ! ! !  |
| r-r-r-r- -r-r-r-- r-r-r-r- r-r-r-r- |   . . . [for 1 minute]
| l-l-l-l- l-l-l-l- l-l-l-l- -l-l-l-- |
\                                     /


==========================================================
                    MultiStrokes
                    ++++++++++++
         Increasing note count - Constant Tempo  
----------------------------------------------------------
n = 1, 2, ... 10
---
tempo = 184 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.1 notes/second  [(184/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE: I think of MultiStrokes in the opposite of the
      usual way (at least some of the time). I look at
      n as being the number of notes that one hand
      rests, while the other hand plays continuously.
      This means that when n=0 each hand rests for zero
      notes while the other hand plays continuously,
      a.k.a. UniStrokes.
NOTE: The method here is to add one extra stroke with one
      hand or subtract one stroke with one hand in order
      to "turn around" the pattern's relationship to
      the click. This refers to the transitions within
      a pattern with a given value of "n". An example
      would be playing one run of 4 or 6 during 5-strokes.
      I actually just use this method to turn around at
      least once each way during each "n", as opposed to
      worrying about doing the exact transitions in the
      examples below.
NOTE: I usually look at a digital clock during this section
      and do each pattern for the one minute while the value
      of "n" equals the last digit of the time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

+++  n=1  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! !        ! ! ! !   |  ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! 
lrlrlrlr . . . lrlrlrll  |  rlrlrlrl . . . rlrlrlrr


+++  n=2  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! !        ! ! ! !   |  ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! 
llrrllrr . . . llrrlllr  |  rllrrllr . . . rllrrllr


+++  n=3  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! !        ! ! ! !   |
lllrrr . . . llllrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! !         ! ! ! ! 
  llrrrlllrrrlll . . .  rrrlllrr


+++  n=4  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! !   |
llllrrrr . . . lllllrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !          ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  lllrrrrllllrrrrl  . . .  lllrrrrllllrrr


+++  n=5  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! !   |
lllllrrrrr . . . llllllrrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  llllrrrrrlllll . . . rrrrrlllllrrrr


+++  n=6  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! !   |
llllllrrrrrr . . . lllllllrrrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !          ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  lllllrrrrrrllllllrrrrrrl  . . .  lllllrrrrrrllllllrrrrr


+++  n=7  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !   |
lllllllrrrrrrr . . . llllllllrrrrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  llllllrrrrrrrlllllll . . . rrrrrrrlllllllrrrrrr


+++  n=8  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !   |
llllllllrrrrrrrr . . . lllllllllrrrrrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !          ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  lllllllrrrrrrrrllllllllrrrrrrrrl  . . .  lllllllrrrrrrrrllllllllrrrrrrr


+++  n=9  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !   |
lllllllllrrrrrrrrr . . . llllllllllrrrrrrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  llllllllrrrrrrrrrlllllllll . . . rrrrrrrrrlllllllllrrrrrrrr


+++  n=10  +++++  total of 1 minute  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !        ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !   |
llllllllllrrrrrrrrrr . . . lllllllllllrrrrrrrrrrl  |

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !        
  lllllllllrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllrrrrrrrrrrl  . . .

  ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 
  lllllllllrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllrrrrrrrrr


==========================================================
                    MultiStrokes
                    ++++++++++++
         Increasing note count - Constant Tempo  
----------------------------------------------------------
n = 1, 2, ... 9
---
tempo = 192 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate = 6.4 notes/second  [(192/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[follow MultiStroke stickings above, up to n=9.]


==========================================================
                    MultiStrokes
                    ++++++++++++
         Increasing note count - Constant Tempo  
----------------------------------------------------------
n = 1, 2, ... 8
---
tempo = 200 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.6 notes/second  [(200/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[follow MultiStroke stickings above, up to n=8.]



=======================================================================
                    MultiStrokes
                    ++++++++++++
         Note count Ladder - Constant Tempo  
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
n = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
---
tempo = 208 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.9 notes/second  [(208/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[follow MultiStroke stickings above, up to n=5 and back down.]



==============================================
               Transition
               ++++++++++
       UniStrokes and SingleStrokes
----------------------------------------------
tempo = 208 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.9 notes/second  [(208/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



==========================================================
                  MultiParadiddles
                  ++++++++++++++++
  Decreasing repetition count - Constant Tempo - Accents
----------------------------------------------------------
n = 10, 9, ... 1, 0
---
tempo = 208 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.9 notes/second  [(208/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE: I look at n-paradiddles as n repititions of "RL"
      followed by "RR", and then a repetition of the "reverse"
      of the entire pattern. This means that for
      large n we get "RLRLRLRLRL...", a.k.a. SingleStrokes.
      For n=0 we get zero repetitions followed by "RR",
      which is just "RR", followed by the "reverse", which
      is "LL". This means that the 0-paradiddle is "RRLL",
      a.k.a. DoubleStrokes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

/                                                              \
| Lr lr lr lr lr lr lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rl rl rl rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                                                              /

/                                                        \
| Lr lr lr lr lr lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rl rl rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                                                        /

/                                                  \
| Lr lr lr lr lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rl rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                                                  /

/                                            \
| Lr lr lr lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                                            /

/                                      \
| Lr lr lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                                      /

/                                \
| Lr lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                                /

/                          \
| Lr lr lr ll  Rl rl rl rr |  . . .
\                          /

/                    \
| Lr lr ll  Rl rl rr |  . . .
\                    /

/              \
| Lr ll  Rl rr |  . . .
\              /

/        \
| Ll  Rr |  . . .
\        /


==========================================================
              Mixed MultiParadiddles, etc.
              ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
              Constant Tempo - Accents
----------------------------------------------------------
tempo = 208 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.9 notes/second  [(208/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr 
Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr  . . .

Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr
Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr . . .

Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr
Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr . . .

Lrll Rlrr  Lrll Rlrr
Lrlrll Rlrlrr  Lrlrll Rlrlrr . . .

Lrll Rlrr
Lrlrll Rlrlrr . . .

---

Lrll Rlrr Lrlrll  Rlrr Lrll Rlrlrr . . .

Lrll Rlrr LrLrll  Rlrr Lrll RlRlrr . . . [extra accent added]


Lrll Rlrr LrLlll  Rlrr Lrll RlRrrr . . . [some stick tosses during long runs]

Lrll Rlrr Llllll  Rlrr Lrll Rrrrrr . . . [some stick tosses during long runs]


Lrll Rlrr LrLlll  Rlrr Lrll RlRrrr . . . [re-doing patterns for cooldown]

Lrll Rlrr LrLrll  Rlrr Lrll RlRlrr . . .

Lrll Rlrr Lrlrll  Rlrr Lrll Rlrlrr . . . [drop out an accent]


Lrll Rlrr
Lrlrll Rlrlrr . . .


=====================================================================
                  MultiParadiddles
                  ++++++++++++++++
  Increasing repetition count - Constant Tempo - Accents
---------------------------------------------------------------------
n = 1, 2, ... 10
---
tempo = 208 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.9 notes/second  [(208/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[follow MultiParadiddles stickings above in reverse, from n=10 down.]


==============================================
               Transition
               ++++++++++
       UniStrokes and SingleStrokes
----------------------------------------------
tempo = 208 clicks per minute ## 2 notes/click
---
note rate ~= 6.9 notes/second  [(208/60)*2]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


===================================================
                  Cooldown
                  ++++++
            UniStrokes (Unison)
            -------------------
  Ascending note rate - Constant Tempo
---------------------------------------------------
1, 3/2, 2, 3 clicks per note-pair
tempo = 208 clicks per minute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
[follow UniStrokes stickings above in reverse, from 3 down.]


###########  End of Notes  ###########

Drumming Ideas Copyright, © 2002 Dave Smithey.