One very unorthodox method that can help you get tighter as an actualy bandplayer is to have your band cut a few tracks on a cd or tape without you. Have the bass player or keyboard player (whoever keeps the rhythm) utilize a click track or drum machine to keep themselves solid and even. Now you have some tracks to practice with that will both help you to learn your bands material as well as give you something to practice with on your free time which is metronomically accurate, and wide open for your own creativity.
You can also modify this advice to include drumming along with music that has no drumming in it, such as some classical music. Try putting different patterns and rudiments together which match the notes of your favorite Bach concerto or Mozart sonata. You'd be surprised at the cool patterns and rhythms that you may come up with by utilizing the old masters. (And you thought music appreciation class was just an easy A!)
Here's a great tip for "Four-Way Coordination" and it is especially good for double-bass drummers: Play Paradiddles like this:
Hands: LRLL RLRR
For all those who didn't understand, it's a regular Paradiddle played with the hands and an "opposite" Paradiddle played with the feet at the same time. To take this to another level, play Double-Paradiddles, Triple-Paradiddles and Flamadiddles this way.
Well, I would consider foundation to be misinterpreted in this situation. When it comes to Drumming, Consider your practice your foundation. period. And until you gain control of the sticks and kicks, Just jamming will thwart your progress. Just know that throwing your sticks all over the kit for 6 hours, won't help you as much as 15 minutes of warmups, and 30 minutes of practice. oh. Speaking of which, lets get to it.
To this day I sit down at my kit and give the bass drum a whole note and high hat half notes(perpetually) and juggle between quater notes & 8th notes with my hands, then switch up measures of quarter notes, 8th notes, triplets, and 16th notes if your ambitious (boring? maybe, but effective. I usually do this for 20-25 minutes, or until time stops) Oh, and if you don't have a metronome, shoot yourself. I prefer metrophones, if you can find them. Then once your warmed up and you feel the groove, move on to rudiments or flam/drag quater notes from tom 2 tom, and bounce parradiddles around, and you'll find it comes easier after completion of the previous excercise. then go through your rudiments and any other excersize you may have picked up. your probably gettin antsy, so jam on!! but do this everyday. I'll be back for another tip, but i have to run. Have fun. This is true to life Danny Carey, and I will be back, take care.
I have been drumming for several years now and I consider myself pretty good for never having touched a single lesson of any kind. Alot of people ask me how I learned so well with no teaching. I always tell them the same thing. Listen to music, and just go at it.
Start small. I started with AC/DC. His beats are simplistic yet structured and static. There are other bands with similar drumming which are perfect to learn to.
Slowly build up. After gaining the basic ability to keep simple, steady beats, I started listening to more complex drummers. A few names to drop are Dave Lombardo, Danny Carey, Tim "Herb" Alexander, and I feel bad for forgetting his name but the guy from Fear Factory are all drummers that make you keep guessing how they did what they just did etc.
All in all if you don't practice you will never get anywhere.
As we all know, practicing rudiments are a must for all drumming, but practicing them for hours sooner or later is boring. Here is a free animated lesson on how to have more fun practicing basics, such as paratittle RLRR, LRLL: Lesson #1 Paratittle Exercise for The Contemporary Drummer:
I've been playing drumset for about four years and snare for about six years ind I've figured out a few things.
using the all drum set (breaks) - hi-hat developing technique (funk) I hope you answer me!
Playing along with the radio favorite cd anything realy,whilst doing this play of the beat, solo around the beats, keeping in mind where the the time is of what your listenind to, well doing this also come back right on the beat, go of with it, work all around it it gives me a good sence of time.
I am not a professional drummer, so, after 9 hrs working on my PC, I go to the drumset for 2hrs exercices with not very much energy and motivation.... I cannot start with conventional exercices.....I start with simple and slow quarter alternating notes on the snare, then including the Hihat, the bassdrum and the other elements, just following a simple ryhthmic idea... trying to play always with the left hand not only on the snare but also on the Hihat. After 2 hours and often more I play spontaneously and with much fluidity and independence, "open" to the drumset....Recently I practice with the left foot on the clave....Its like playing with another musician ! Follow just a simple rhythmic idea and play!
Do aerobic exercises (running, swimming, martial arts, anything that gets your heart pumping) and anaerobic (weight-lifting, push-ups, etc) to keep your body in shape. I recommend at least three workouts of both types, but I'm no expert. Consult fitness magazines, health experts, your gym teacher, anyone who knows what they're talking about.
Second, EAT HEALTHY!!! I'm not saying you should forsake all junk food forever, but exercising is only half the equation. Want something sweet? Eat a fruit or yogurt.
So why do I mention all this? Hey, drumming can be very strenuous on your body, you should take care of it and keep it fit so it can handle the stress better. Plus, you can turn your biological clock about six years and it's Scriptural to keep a healthy bod. It's also good for when you wanna take off your shirt to impress the hot chix in the audience as you bang away on the skins like the mad man that you are, heh heh >:)
Look, I'm not a fantastic drummer by any stretch of the imagination, but here is my advice to you:
Don't feel discouraged if your fills don't sound as impressive as John Bonhams' or Lars Ulrich's or any other pro that's been playing for decades. If you want to be solid with your fills without messing up, remember the KISS principle. It meanse, Keep It Simple, Stupid!! You can always get complex and fancy when you get your speed up.
So, scrape off those caked layers of dust off that metronome and practice to it because that's what'll give you a good sense of timing.
Okay, I'm going to be quiet now, bye.
A simple "side-effect" without practising: If you, like most drummers, play the hihat with your toes on upbeat, while inbetween bringing the heel down to the floor on downbeat (or reversed), then you are ready to go for this:
Mount a cowbell or else and a pedal on one of those Foot-Percussion-Holders, and place this percussionpedal behind your hihat-pedal, in an about 10:00 hrs direction, the middle of the percussionpedal very close behind your hihat pedal. Now rest your left foot on both pedals, toes on the hihat pedal, heel on the percussionpedal. There you go: play your hihat as usual, and the heel will come down and additionally play the cowbell, tambourine or whatever you mounted, you don´t even have to worry about it.
Also try this: place any electronic trigger-devise under your left heel. E.g. a handclapper adds a lot of virtual crowd to your gig or to your rehearsal room.
Relax, have fun, and don`t overdo it. Only use it as a cool surprising effect once a while.
It's weird posting up here, considering all the professional drummers out there but here I go.
First off one of my favourite exercises is doubles on the foot and and the toms/snare anything. Consisting of RR-FF LL-FF RL-FF LR-FF. This I find is awesome at building doubles and dexterity in your feet. Led alone practicing double strokes at the same time, I play this for about 10 minutes a day and it has done wonders for playing fast 16th and quick 8th's in songs.
Another would be something around the same lines, playing 4 notes on the hands 2 on the feet. RLRL-FF LRLR-FF, this is good for quick fills and endings on songs and quick build ups to the downbeat of what youre playing.
E-Mail address is there for all who could be interested :P
I hope this helps!
nother cool tip i found that works... although i dont remember where i got it from.... anyway.
get your favorite cd, band, song, drummer, whatever... and your sticks and practice pad (or a pillow instead). put on some headphones and select a track that you just love. now with the tempo of the song play a roll ( single, five-stroke, buzz, etc.) thru the entire song.... or the whole album.
ladies and gentlemen... if you do this you are gonna get some serious stamina. plus you are gonna get real accurate.
yeah this tip is boring but trust me... it works great.
THE 3 RULES of SUCCESS
Guy Hoffman of BoDeans, Absinthe and
Basically, here's the deal. I have just started drumming, but i know this works for all my friends who have some experience in the feild.
All it takes, is getting together to jam with a bunch of guys, every time you hear something from someone thats good, ask them how to do it... I know this sounds like a lame beginners thing but seirously. Every once in a while, even the best drummers hear something that they're just not fast enough to do, the trick is in asking. 9 times out of ten, it's not so much speed but skill, there are guys out there who can make some pretty crazy sounds on drums...
I have only been playing a year and a half. But i've played with enough people and in front of enough crowds to know a thing or two. First of all practice. If you can't practice on your kits then "air" drum. take your pedal of the bass and remove the beater. This removes most all noise and gives a better endurance workout than playing on a set. My second tip is even if you don't like the music your listening to, like in a party atmosphere or whatever, listen to the beat and focus on it. I'm not a fan of hip hop but it has some great beats to it. My final tip is have fun with it. If your getting frustrated take a minute to relax and focus and NEVER abuse your set. Don't kick it because you couldn't learn to do something right.
Michael Sodeman (remember it)
Hey, I have been playing for three years now and I just turned 16. well I have read most of the tips and they are all good ways to improve your drumming. I sufferd from a injury while playing and dislocated my shoulder. I could not play my best again for about three months. What happend is I was trying to do a fast fill and came back to my front crash to fast and the change in direction disslocated my right shoulder. But then the docter made me re arrange my set, I put the cymbols lower and the seat higher and it worked great. Be carfull guys the moral is you are stronger than you think!
If you like druming fast, then this is a good tip for you. If your practicing a song that as a fast druming in it, dont start to play the song, just practice the partof the song that goes fast relly slow. Do that over and over again by going a little faster avery time you start over. And then when you fill ok or redy start playing the song. Do the same f your just practicing a beat.
Always push your self to learn something new....there is no better teacher than yourself.Push your self to do things that you think you cant do.In a month you should have lots more damage to your hands and lots more feel in your kit.Live through your drumming.
Ambidexterity is great. Beyond strengthening your weak hand,you will unleash a whole new beast of grooves and fills when you play the ostinatos with it. It's like your viewing the drumset from a different perspective. Most importantly though, ambidexterity reflects an openess to drumming--an inhibition that will breed creativity.
Thank your for this site Tomas.
Try not to worry about fitting a particular and definite style or way of playing. (For example, grip or selection of sticks.) Play whatever way it feels most comfortable not only to your hands and feet, but to your ear, mind and soul. As long as the sound is great why worry about what you look like? That is part of your own unique style. If it does bother you however, try practicing with a mirror and check yourself out. Always practice with a metronome, and always try a variety of things. I've heard many ideas on how to play. It seems though that when it all comes down to it, most percussionists have a huge desire to be different. So next time someone asks, "Why are you playing that way?" ask him or her this one: "Why not?" As long as the musical idea is present and portrayed very well, you can't go wrong. Last but not least, HAVE FUN! That's what it's all about.
To practice, I get a discman (for good sound quality) and a good pair of headphones, NOT earphones. Then play along to the beat he/she is playing on the CD, but play your own fills. The advantage of this is two fold. One, it improves your fill timings, so that you end up back on the beat at the right time, and two, it creates a skill of playing fills that have not been pre meditated, but have instead just flowed out naturally. Use headphones so that you can hear your drum playing properly.
I have one world........LISTEN!!!!!! This word is a big word and there are many people that don't really know what it means!!!!! Listening is a big part of drumming and one of the most important parts that I feel is over looked!! It is not about just listening to yourself or a bass player or your most favourite band in the world!!!!! It is about hearing your band in a whole, put yourself out were the crowd is, are you playing too loud? are you playing what the song needs? Are you playing too much or too little? Are you grooving? Are you in time? These are the questions you should be asking yourself from time to time and pretty much all the time exspecially in rehersal's.
You can have all the licks you won't to have and be the flash drummer that knows all the cool fills. But if you have that additude were the fancy licks are going to get you gigs, well your not going to get the gigs, the guy that is standing next to you with the good ears that listens to not only what he is doing but what his partners in the band is doing will get the gig!!
How do we listen? Well from my experience the first step is to listen to the music on your stereo, c.d's, records, tapes, radio etc.... Play along to records it is often said that this is one of the best ways of learning by ear, this way you listen! don't just listen to what the drums are doing listen to the guitar the bass keyboards etc.. listen to every little nick and cranny!!!! Don't play excactly what the drummer on the record plays, because you will end up becoming that player like a robot if you will. Play what you feel, visualise that you are filling in for that particular drummer, he is sick or something and you got the gig for that night.
But lastly the most important thing that i should stress is that to create your listening it is important that you listen to many different styles of music often music without drums is good i often sit there and listen to alot of music with just percussion and or just acoustic guitars or meditative albums these are good forms of just learning to be apart of the music, not just making it or playing it.
Well I hope this has helped you, this form of practicing is very helpful when you don't have time to sit and actually play when you don't have time to set up your kit or even when your running inbetween rehersal's or gigs. Give it a go, your probably are already doing it to a certain exstent!!!!
Anyway if you have any comments on my theory or you think i'm full of shit don't be afraid to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cool thanx heaps for reading my practice tip!!!!
Practice on your car steeringwheel. Whatever is on the radio, play rudiments, improvize, whatever! Switch hands back an forth (use one hand for steering...shootz), with stoplites a chance to use both hands. It's done wonders for my wrists, and traffic violations!!
Tape yourself practicing, both exercises and playing 'for real'. This has helped me realize little things I've been doing wrong; once I know what these things are, I can usually smooth them out quickly when I concentrate on making the sounds I want to hear played back to me. For instance, my rudiments have evened up quickly, and I realize I often rush my fills but am already improving in that area because I've identified it as something I need to work on (that's probably the most important step in improvement). Conversely, I sometimes find things I thought I was doing poorly actually don't sound too bad.
If you have a solid aesthetic in your mind of the sounds that you enjoy hearing on the drums (or any instrument), this is a good way to make sure that those are the sounds you produce when playing. I guess my point is that sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the physical act of playing and not realize how you truly sound, so check the tape because it's not gonna lie, unless you run it through ProTools.
Another thing is if you are practicing songs by yourself, sing or hum the vocals or the parts of any other instruments (especially bass) in the tune. It helps me to keep time and to be tasteful, and it's more fun for me too.
OK, that's it.
I was reading some of these practice tips, and i had to send this in... This idea of playing relaxed must be stressed, all drummers in the world would like to play fast, but its not about speed, its about building a strong foundation... play sitting straight up, and play relaxed, i have witnessed first hand so many pulled muscles and my friend even got tendonitis last year, so please please, play relaxed. and slowly push yourself... if you really want to work on those chops, get some old drum sticks or some wooden spoons and tie them to milk bottles full of water, holding your arms straight out and not using your elbows or shoulders, just flex your wrists up and down 5 times, and build your way up to 10 times, and so on... then play heeltoe on a hard surface and that will work to stretch out those muscles and build them up evenly.. again i must stress, relax, and breath, don't think about it too much, just do it. By next year if you keep it up you will as fast as you want to be and you will also have built a foundation upon which you can endure through your speed. and practice all these rudiments and independance exercises they will teach you a lot.
To the guy who wrote "Never practise repetition, always practise perfection", the truth is repetition is the mother of skill, and perfection ONLY comes after hours of repetition!!!
Ever since I started taking drum lessons from Rob Watson (South Africa's top drummer) I've developed an intense passion for Jazz in general, and Latin(not overnight). After attending a Yellow Jackets concert (with Marcus Baylor behind the drums) I formulated this opinion.
If you can't appreciate Jazz music, you're not a musician, you may be a drummer, or a pianist, or a guitarist, but you're not a true MUSICIAN, until you can find appreciation for that thin' called Jazz music. Ask your drumming instructor to teach you the basics of jazz and latin, it will do wonder for your independence, and it will influence and absolutely enhance whatever style of music you specialise in!
"Welcome Frustration, but don't throw your kit across the room, you WILL regret it about 2 minutes later!"
I've seen quite a few entries regarding practising on a pillow. YES and NO, in my opinion! Practising on a pillow is great, but for the real raw beginner drummer, I recommend getting a practise pad. The key to speed and smoothness of execution, isn't the lack of bounce-back, bounce-back is, in fact, ESSENTIAL to speed, I'll even go as far as to say that you will never ever build speed without dedicating MOST of your rudiment practise to a surface that gives you good rebound(A plastic 2l Coke bottle gives rebound, but a proper practise pad is preferred) Yes, the wrist too is essential to speed, and it's the wrist which you're working when practising on a pillow, but, the wrist NEEDS to work in conjuntion with the fingers, and yes, indeed the elbow, almost like bouncing a tennis ball off the floor while your're walking.
For all beginners reading this, PLEASE don't do your self the injustice of taking the "tennis ball technique" as I've now dubbed it, lightly!(This applies to the most common, palm above stick, technique)
While reading through the tips I came across an anonymous tip, "Sit on a plain black stool. Sit up straight. Drum from your wrists not elbows. Practice Practice Practice!"
I agree with everything, except...
I'm from South Africa, and I had the good fortune of taking a lesson from Efrain Torro, more famous as one of the worlds great percussionists. I've been playing for since age 10, for ten years now, and I thought after 10 years experience, he'd show me this chop and that excercise. No sir, he didn't show me anything, he went straight to my technique. My strokes came directly from my fingers and wrists, Mr. Torro told me that my execution should be similar to throwing a tennis ball. Okey, now you try throwing a tennis ball while keeping your elbows still. I applied his technique, which was hard, since I'd been used to playing my way for 10 years (out of my wrist and fingers), but I went back to basics, and did it slow, and I finally broke through the speed barrier as I call it, where a drummer dramatically increases speed by utilising stroke-rebound - stroke-rebound. or stroke - rebound-rebound for triplets, etc.. etc...
Beginners can however practise accentuating the wrist's pullback action after a stroke, or as other have tipped, practise rudiments for a while on something above your wrist instead of the normal stroke downward. This will be the next thing I implement in my practise routine!
Be patient, and welcome frustration, it WILL be worth it!!!
Try not to think about it to much.If you dont get it the first time try taking a break.Dont stress to much if u dont get it.
This is what you do:
Tighten the bass pedal spring to the MAX... get a pair of leg weights (the ones you jog/run with) and strap 'em on your leg just above your ankle. Start out with one weight then add another... Play like this everytime you practice and in a month or two you'll feel speed and strength in your bass drum like you've never felt before!!
I usually recommend a 15 minute warm-up to my students:
Hey fellow drummers, I've been playing drums now for around two years and i'm 14. I'm two years ahead of myself in school and i'm proud of that. I found that I was nervous of everyone when I joined the school band, I was frightened to play what I could infront of them, but I found that no matter how many times you Muck It Up you know what you can do, your own capability, so ignore evryone and PLAY! I'm in a band with my friends, we play punk rock and I find sitting down listening to a C.D with drumsticks in your hand and tapping out the beat you can hear and then mastering it on the kit, don't try the fancy stuff stright away, work on the basic rythm and then work on the fills, even if it isnt the EXACT same as the actual band play it its still a fill and more to your capability, C ya l8r dudes and dudesses!!!!!!
Damien McMullen (Damo the Drummer)
Some people arnt gonna like what im gonna say but im gonna say it anyway. If you only play punk and rock music, such as MXPX and Metallica you are going to be incredibly disadvantaged. Lars Ulrich is not a good drummer and definately not a good role model. He has terrible technique and his theory that hitting hard=good sound is frankly, a load of rubbish. If you train yourself to play at a very low volume you will find it easier to fit into any musical situation and your control will improve drasticly. You will also discover all sorts of dynamic possibilities. I play in 3 bands, a jazz trio, a fifteen person big band, and a nu metal band, this range has given me incredible tehcnique and i have discovered things i thought would take years. Try it: play a soft as possible for a few hours and see. happy drumming, (unless you are Lars Ulrich)
i found that if i use ear phones, and but head phones over the ear phones, it makes my kit sound like they are mic'ed. you can get a great sound out of a not so great drum kit. full warm thumpe. KEEP IN MIND THIS IS WHEN YOU ARE PRACTICING.
Last year I met a guy who gave me a set of "lightning rods". since then, I have found that they are great for practicing just about anything I would need to practice on the kit. In other words, I can play them on my shoe, knee... a table top.
I have been playing for 35 years now and am 44 years old. I have traveled and played with big bands, progressive rock groups, wedding bands, done off broadway musicals, and am currently playing in a jazz piano trio. The point I am making is that I don't think you should limit yourself to any particular style of music. Your tastes will change as you get older and I know many musicians who only learned one style and they no longer play music. If you keep an open mind you will find that many of the things you are having trouble playing will come to you with patience and practice. Dont try to cram everything into your practice sessions. Take small bits of excersizes and master them. This will reinforce your confidence and there wont be gaps in your playing as you go along. Music is truly the most satisfying thing in my life and I can tell that it will only get better if you truly love it and understand how to improve. It is a life long journey, so sit back and enjoy it and dont be so hard on yourself.
PS STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS. THEY WILL INHIBIT NOT ONLY YOUR MUSIC BUT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE AS WELL. LET MUSIC BE YOUR DRUG
I've learn after years of practicing that you don't learn anything if you dont try anything new! You need to explore new things and perfect each one! If you cannot do them at first PRACTICE!
When you practice don't just hit random drums making up any old thing, keep the timming in your head (dont just count 4/4).
A good thing to do (if you play fast punky music) is to practice double bass beat with your single pedal; I play for two bands, one of which is punk rock and I use my double bass drums in most songs, without getting tierd, this is because the muscles in my heel/ancle have built up and can cope with constant fast beats. This is also what happens with your wrists. I find it rewarding if you learn many songs, if you do this you will get alot of satisfaction (especially with amatures).
Hope that helps.
to help play faster with ur weak hand just rap some rubber bads around the lower part of ur stick and play alot with it. to makelet u get faster on bass just hit heel toe heel toe ect. try this it's a cool thing to do play a paradiddle with the bass and snare and hit the ride cymbo on notes 123 and 4 then after that 3 or 4 times just go all out insane drum hard!!!!
Well here are some of the 1st tips I learned:
~when ever you play you should keep your eyes close this will ake you think about your surroundings
~try all kinds of set ups(no toms, 1 cymbal, floor tom on left side, etc....
~when gripping your drum stick always keep your pinkys around the stick
~use thicker & heavier sticks when practicing
~get rid of the double bass instead use 2 snares(its feakin awesome)
~tape batteries to the bass drum beater(makes much quicker)
~my last on is a big one start off easy when play, like a simple beat then progress and see if you can keep time when just playing fills then work your way back to the simple beat
See the notes....once you can break the music into its basic format, its easier to master.
Start really slow and soft...it will come.
If you're getting frustrated, play something else for 5-10 minites then go back, you'll be amazed how quickly you'll pick it up.
I was just reading sum of these tips and decided to put me own in....
I is noooo way an amazing drummer, but i am no way pants either.
All i would say bout practice is DO WHAT YOU ENJOY!!! most of my practice involves shovin a cd on and jamming along with it...sure practice rudiments and stuff....but not to the extent when it stops being fun!!!!!! cos the reson most peepole drum is to have fun...if u find you are gifted at it....Excellent!!!.....but just HAVE FUN!!!!
cos life is tooooooo short
ok thats all i wanted to say :)
Stonie (from England)
p.s. keep ur ears open for a punk band called the Speedo-Files....cos thats me & mates!!
Learn how to groove and make the music feel good first-Then, you can expand on your chops. Listen to the groove masters (Steve Ferrone, Steve Jordan, Jimmy Cobb, John Robinson, Harvey Mason etc...). No one cares if you can rip around the set at a hundred miles an hour if you can't groove! If you can groove, you'll stay working.
My practice tip is for those having trouble with the double pedal. Here is what I do. Get your sticks. Play a rudiment. Put the sticks down. Play the same rudiment with ur feet. If you can easily get down all the hand rudiments with your feet, you are the man!!!