“This is by no means the only way to do [Stick Control], but this is a proven way to get some serious technique together. It requires A LOT of patience, and I don’t suggest starting it if you aren’t going to finish it. It’s EXTREMELY difficult sometimes. And also, the method takes about 3-5 years to complete. And you only practice the first page of the book.
THE JIMMY SAGE/CHUCK BROWN/BILLY GLADSTONE METHOD FOR STICK CONTROL.
Set your metronome to an 8th note of about 100. Most drummers should be able to do anything on the first page at that tempo after a few minutes of messing around. Now spend an entire week working [text is garbled— sounds like he means Stick Control, page 4, exercises 1-5]. Just singles, doubles, and the first paradiddle exercise. Only those [exercises], extremely slow. The doubles and paradiddles should sound EXACTLY like singles. It’s good to go over this method with a teacher, or to record yourself doing it on a snare drum to make sure everything is perfect. Then, one week later, you practice single, doubles, and the next exercise, inverted paradiddles (RLLRLRRL). If it takes you two weeks to get it perfect, fine. Give youself time on these excercises.
Another difficult part of the exercise is that every minute or so you should raise your stick to at least a 12-16 inch height and play at that height for 8 measures. Then you bring in back down. You must do this perfectly in time and make sure all the strokes are still uniform in dynamic and tonal quality and all that jibba jabba. This will give you “good pain” after a while, your muscles WILL get sore, but they will never give you terrible pain.
Remember, just like G.L. Stone said, stay relaxed 100% of the time, even when you go up. You should be putting at least 30 minutes a day into these excercises.
So you spend 2 months, going through excercises 5-24 or something at tempo 100. Done now? Great! Now you do it all over again at 104! and 108! and 112! and 116! and so on!. Never go up more then one click on a metronome when starting the page over.
The reason this exercise method is so difficult is because you have to be so patient. A lot of younger drummers especially want to start faster, speed up the next day, blah blah blah. If you do that you WILL NOT IMPROVE AS QUICKLY. This exercise really seriously does require patience. It apparently takes an entire year to get from 200 to 208.
The reasons this exercise is GREAT are numerous. First of all, you are always working on singles and doubles. Singles and doubles are what most of drumming is made of. Second of all, spending a couple weeks on only one combination of 8 notes makes you completely intimate with the pattern, and you will be able to interchange it in time with any feel you want. I guarantee you that by the time you finish this exercise (in 2112 or so) you will have some SERIOUS technique. One of my drum teacher’s older students is on 176 or something(he's been doing for 3 1/2 years) and has some crazy technical abilities.
Good technique means you can learn parts faster.
Yay for good technique!
p.s. do these excercises on a practice pad with LOTS of rebound. Don't worry, you won't need a pillow to "feel the burn" once you get to about 138 or so.”
Yay, indeed. But what do we do with that? This sort of simplicity is appealing to a lot of people— they're attracted to simple, rigorous-seeming practice philosophies, but which demand what I consider to be impossibly vast reserves of time and patience. Since there are many, many other things in drumming at least as important as stellar snare drum technique, we have to take it on faith that results of this very narrow, virtually content-free, regime will be much greater than the sum of its parts. I would also caution novices against self-teaching this regime— do not attempt it until you have spend some time with a good, professional teacher, and you have a pretty good idea of correct technique.