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Practice Tips Archive 11

   If your having troubles with keeping solid time, I have found something that works much better than a metronome.

   Download any type of drum machine\sequencer program, there is plenty on the net, look in shareware music machine and you'll find something. Then program it to do say 4 quarter note clicks and then have it rest for say 3 or 7 bars, and loop the sequence over and over. If you have a laptop or something, use headphones and play along on your drumkit, if not, use a practise pad or just tap on your knees, etc. It will be hard at first, but just keep doing it as much as you can, and in no time your inner clock will be as accurate as anything. It's better than a metronome because your not relying on anything for the time, your not trying to follow anything, all your sense of time has to come from within. I had shocking timing about 3 months ago, after doing this my timing has improved so much its not funny, just do it as much as you can, and with as many different styles, beats, exercises,etc as you can. As you get better, extend the amount of bars that rest to say 15,etc. It's probably best just practising it first without an instrument, just feeling the time and counting it in your head.

   Good Luck.

   Above all, remember why you began; keep the target in sight.

   I have been playing drums now for a year and a half but have been a progressive rock fan since my first Rush, Yes, and Jethro Tull concerts. I first came across this site six months after I started playing and it really gave me a boost. Since then I've purchased a Neil Peart video tape called, A Work In Progress and that has also extremly helped my playing ability.

   So all my practice tips are inspired by these two main source.

>From This Site:

   Learn how to read music...
   Practice Rudiments...
   Work on Linear Drumming...

>From Neil Peart:

   Swich to Traditional Grip...
   Work on the motions between the beats...
   Use orbital motions...

>From me:

  Practice like hell...

   I would like to give a special thank to Tomas Howie.

   I don't know if you guys would consider this exactly a tip for practicing, but I know it helps me keep my hands, wrists, and forearms limber and warmed up during the waking hours.

   I take sticks with me everywhere I go. Not usually the ones I use for playing on my kit, but some smaller ones, like the Tito Puente Original LP timbal sticks. They're the perfect size for playing in the car or while you're walking in a mall or whatever, because you most likely won't hit someone or something with them. The only other thing you'd need is a Walkman and your fav cassette/cd to play along with, and voila! Constant playing!

 Not recommended if your in a classroom, though. Or in a church or anything of that sort.

   Hope it works for you!

   Well I've found my own tip, which I have seen on this sight a few times, is the practicing with your feet everywhere. I have irritated alot of people in my day; and then there's the few that think it's cool and sounds neat. "You've all had those I'm sure,but it 'tis rare". But anyway, I found just constantly lifting myself with my feet basicly exercising my calves at home: find a little ledge to hang your feet off of, use your body weight for a while, then start holding some weights in your hands. DON'T over do it - it will hurt horribly. But this helped my doublebass considerably. Just an idea to throw out there. Later.......

   Don't play double bass just because it is there, only use it when it adds something great to the music. Danny Carey with Tool is a great example, im sure you guys can think of others. I'm just saying that while double bass is a very cool thing it can be spoiled just as quickly. Practice it to death but remember to put a leash on it for the better cause of the music. I guess you could say the same for your hands.

   In the interest of keeping things simple, I've taken the salient points of many of the tips written here and it seems to point to this:

   Play rudiments at a very slow tempo, leading with your weakest hand to a metronome, on a pillow at different dynamics.

   You never know, it just might work.


   Hail drummers all around the world....

   I've been playing drums for 3 years and last 6 months i joined a brazilian black metal band .... as i get problems with strength i had to concentrate all my time to study the techniques about double bass... cause black metal needs a good double bass player....

   first of all.... i began to train everytime, shaking my legs (r-l-r-l and rr-ll-rr-ll) everywhere, i mean, school, bus, at restaurants and even at my work, when sitting on computer and i get resistance and strength.... but u must do at a time it's confortable for u... use a metronomo to count a time u can play at least 3 minutes without loosing time.....

   there's a tip concerning this kind of training "everywhere"... when you train at this way with shoes u tend to get more resistance.... if u play without shoes the resistance u can play with more velocity but u cannot hear the right volume of the beats you're doing in the ground.. so put a shoe and start training..... so u can hear the beats (this is important because the main double bass technique is that the volume must be equal on both feet)

   Ok, this is a tip for the people that do not have time to sit on drums, as i work 12 hours p/ day and i cannot play drums everyday... but if u can, do it!

   Ok, that is! Hope this can help u all!

   I'm not sure if this would be considered a practice tip or just a tip. If, for you want to learn to play a double bass or double pedal, start very simple. Start of with playing a simple. Start with a 2,4 beat and at the (3,and) try using both feet once. (right foot then left and continue on) Then at the (3,and) try a to go R,L,R and continue on. Working on smoothness and speed each time. As you get better use a double beat where it usually wouldn't go and you'll suprise yourself and be playing morbid angle style in no time.

   Practice doubles and singles high. POWER STROKE, BUZZ ROLL, swinging beats, latin rhythms, flams, diddles, DYNAMICS!!!


   Don't ever forget how important a nice steady beat is and practice that too. Use a metronome if the gang isn't over.

   Remember folks, we are the MOST important member of the band and we have a lot of people with no sense of time relying on us. LOL!

   Seiously, I went to a jam night a while back and we all know how it feels to play in a strange place, on a strange kit with a bunch of strange people (mucisians) standing around. As nervous as I was, I kept it simple (the KISS thing that other guy mentioned) and mentally refferred to practice. Practicing good clean drumming during practice payed off because at the end of it all, the owner of the kit came up and told me I did the best and that my cadence was awsome. I replied I didn't do anything fancy and he said, "your the kind of drummer that will get hired" That made me smile and reminded me why I like to play music.

   Have fun!!

   Start slowly. Warm up by first hitting the drumstick aginst the head 8 times then pause after doing that for times with each hand. Slowly speed up after a while, we call this 8's and 8's. We next do doubles and tripples. This exercise is 4 sets of 16th note intervoles of 2, with 2 8th notes following the doubles. Do this once with each hand. After that do twice the amount of time with just the doubles, seperated by the previous step, then twice the amount of time with the other hand. Repeate the steps only with the triples (that's to say three with each hand).

   I'm 25, a jazz major here at T.U. Tulsa, and I've been playing drums at the ripe old age of 6 yrs old when my dad sent me to regular lessons. Anyways, drums are like a Quest. And, what do you need when you are on a Quest? A damn good map (effective exercises) and compass (Metronome)! Most people want to learn how to be a good drummer but they don't have a map or compass! Which are essentials. That's's not too late. A good way to start is to learn your basic rudiments. Guitar players have to learn their rudiments (chords). So, us as drummers must contribute our respects to the rest of the band and learn all of our basics...and most importantly pay respect to yourself. When you are starting out on your rudiments, start out with the metronome very slow! I mean very veerry sloooowwww! Make sure you accent every note destinctively. Again, don't cheat yourself. You'll get faster in a short amount of time, I assure you. Learn them one time and one time only. Also, there are many debates on what is the best way to hold your drum sticks. Personally, I use the French Grip. Very excellent for being precise and for speed of any tempo. I definitely recommend a metronome that plays accents, triplets, ECT. Allow yourself at least 30 mins. of practice a day. Most of the time you will get into it and want to practice more. But, there will be some days you just get burned out. That's quite ok..and very natural. Give yourself a break but make sure you do your 30 mins. Gotta Run...Peace and Love! Remember: Map & Compass!

   I've been through so many of the tips in this amazing site. Some of them do come up more than once and for good reason. When they say, RELAX, they are not kidding. Make a concious effort to relax even before you play a note.Relax and listen to the music being played. LESS IS ALMOST ALWAYS MORE !!!

   Economy of motion is a thing of beauty. Take the time to really set up your kit to YOUR comfort zone, but also experiment with different set-ups, you never know what you may pick up, even if it's just subtle . . . that's what drumming is - subtle.

   If you read up in the ''technique'' portion of this site, pay attention to the different stroke methods, posture and seat height,these will all contribute to you being as relaxed as possible, of course the rest is up to you . . . it's a state of mind!

   This may sound a little silly, but hey, every bit helps - one of the tips I thought was great was this, DANCE while you're playing, imagine people grooving to your music and dance with them while playing.

   Protect your hearing !!! If earplugs don't work for you, I've recently been playing with a head band around my ears and it does offer some protection without over muffling all the frequencies but experiment with different fabrics.

   Here is a quote from a famous poem called -DESIDERATA- ''If you compare yourself to other people, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. This applies to all aspects of life, not just drumming.

   My final tip I would leave you with is, go out and buy yourself the best bassdrum pedal you can find - NOT the most expensive! I use a DW 5000 which sells for about $150.00 USD. Take all the time you need to pick your own BP, then,take it home, eat with it, sleep with it, play it against your couch, become one with it.

   P.S. A great CD to practice with is ''Fully Completely'', by our greatest Canadian export ... The Tragically Hip, but, all their cd's except maybe their first are GEMS!!!

    Mr. Montreal

   OK after reading all this stuff, my tip is probably the "sam-ole-same-ole", but I think its important enough to say it again. I love double bass, I think it adds another limb into your drumming and lets you explore a lot of different stuff inside what you already do. My two tips are:

  1. Use your feet like your arms, relax, practice feet up and feet down, doing all the rudiments, trust me youll be cursing your left foot for the first little while, but stick at it!!
  2. This is probably personal, but I like to use wooden beaters. Felt are too damn light. When you switch back to felt you can get another few beats faster with them (I get approx 8-12 even at faster speeds) Plus I like the sound much better as well.
  3. Lastly, and this is the one I found hardest to learn, once I was getting into some VERY cool stuff with double-bass DONT OVERUSE IT!!!!!! Just listen to my personal favourite drummer, Danny Carey,you will see what I mean. Awesome drummer.


   Not so much a practice tip ... just a tip. I practice in different practice studios and sometimes the protective sleeve on the cymbal stand is not there or used up really bad. As you know, this causes dammage to your cymbals, a inexpensive solution to this is a drinking straw from a large fast food burger type place, I think you'll know the one. Just cut them to the proper lenght and double them up, this will not hold up for months but at that price they can be replaced quite often.


   Hey..I noticed that there were either no, or not many, female drummers giving tips here! Well hey, here ya go, here is one! I'm 15, I've been playing for 4 years. I'm just about to buy a kit (FINALLY)! I've been practicing on friends' drum sets and at my school in my free time. I've never had a lesson in my life..I was taught a few things by other drummers and I complimented simple rythms with things of my own, and changed a lot of them around. Trust can learn how to drum on a practice pad, but if you don't practice, you will NEVER get anywhere! I had to learn it the hard way--I hardly ever got the chance to experiment and find my own style. Yeah, listen to the pros and PRACTICE TECHNIQUE! It definitely strengthens your wrists and feet.

   I've been playing for about 7 years and i play alot of faster stuff like grindcore and death metal and stuff that takes allot of speed and i've found the best way to get speed it to just jam with people allot different people to get different styles me and my brother play everything from bob marley to pig destroyer when we jam. It's also very physicaly demanding so don't smoke and play hard.

   If you are interested in playing louder more efficiently, here is a nice exercise for you. Play everything softly as a feather, barely above a whisper(in the middle of the snare drum, don't cheat by going to the edge of the head). Thus will give you control of your stciks, making it very easy to play loudly with minimal effort, and be relaxed. too many drummers get injured from playing very loudly by hitting the drums as hard as possible. Relaxation will prevent injury.

   Do yourself the justice of strangthening your left foot on the hi-hat BEFORE learning to play double bass. Your left foot should be ablt to play quarter notes, 8ths, and offbeats consistently. This also gives you the ability to play some very interesting and musical grooves. You will also find how much easier it will be to jam on double bass once you start(believe me, it is HELL for a lot of players to coordinate their feet with their hands AND make it CLEAN). Hi- Hat strength can only help strengthen your foot. Your hi-hat(played with foot) can be your best friend on many ride cymbal oriented grooves as well. Double Bass is a very rewarding druuming ability, and we should do well to get that left foot on par with our right.

   If you want to develop great hand AND foot chops, do two things. First, buy the book Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone. Second, find an hour a day, and practice with your hands, making sure your stokes are relaxed and even. Do this with yoour feet as well.

   Also, remeber that building your chops will give you great ability to play simple beats and fills much more fluidly and smoothly than before. Also, practice at ALL dynamic levels. Playing everything whisper soft will give you amazing fnger control (which will help you play very loudly when you want to).

   Also, always remeber to find time to practice rythmic inventiveness. Try beats in different time signatures, it will help your creativity. creativity and inventiveness are much more important than being able to play 16th notes at 330bpm, or being able to roll with your left hand.

   Finally, how proficient you want to become is a matter of how often you want to practice. It is important to understand that the excellent players we all get jealous of sometimes, such as Morgenstein, Gadd, Rich, Morello, Peart, and Danny Carey,(or whoever you may admire), all practiced furiously for a vast portion of their waking hours. They have become what they are through decades of practice. There is always someone better, but everyone can create their own voice through practice. uuuhhhh, I guess that's it. I'll write back every now and then.

   -Find a melody of a Song you like and play the Rhythm of that melodie with your right hand. You can ever write it out on paper.

   -Fill all other sixteenth note hits with your left hand. Let your right hand be strong and lead, let the left hand be lazy and play the ghost notes. Sing the melodie as you play. Use a metronome and start with 60, 80, 100, 120

   -Listen to the bass line and follow it with the kick.

   -Accent Snare hits where it feels natural -play HH on 2 and 4, than on the & -Switch left hand and right hand...

   Have fun!!!

   Hey, I've been playing drums for 10 years, I'm in a punk band/alternative, The high school Jazz band, and a swing band. My tip is to always play, like at the dinner table, tap ur feet r, l, r, l, rrllrrll rlrrlrll, you know. I get in trouble in school because I never stop, but I don't think it's a bad thing. If I could think of any more tips I'd put them in but right now I can't.


   P.S. If your looking for incouragement or confidence, play for little kids, or put on heachphones and play to the Beatles. The Beatles are awesome, but Ringo star was. . .well, a better 'looking' feller than a drummer.

    Mykee Hamilton

   How to build endurance and speed.

   Turn you metronome on to a beat you feel comfortable with. Let's say we start at about 150. Keep rolling 16 notes on a snare drum till you reach 15 bars. In the beginning you will feel tired. If you practice this speed more, then you will think it's a piece of cake. Then keep adding more speed to it. Be sure that you will want to focus on more on your left hand if you are right handed and the other way around if you are left handed. Just rolling on drums won't go too fast. You might want to do some weight lefting or any kind of training that can build your strength. Once you get to around 200, it tends to require more then skill but strength.

   Try practicing paradiddles or anything you can think of on a very soft pillow. Keep on practicing! Whenever you play on drums with heads (when you're having a gig for instance) you'll never get tired and you'll be playing as smooth as possible. Bye!

   Be inspired by drummers AND non-drummers. It can be someone from your family, a great bassplayer that you know, your girlfriend.

   Just by rumors I heard about backsticking a week ago. Trying to find some information on how it is done, I found this site: Now I have a lot of fun, practicing the good old paradiddle on a pillow in front of a mirror, incorporating backsticking. I am not a marching drummer, so I tried to do this on the set for a little showmanship. It looks unbelievable cool on the set, e.g. right hand on the ride, left hand on the snare, playing any old pattern, but any accent backsticked. On the ride, the butt of the stick creates a much different sound, which can add a lot to a groove. Rolls on the crashcymbals incorporating some simple backsticking sound and look fanta-stick. I found the slower I do this, the cooler it looks. Keep rocking!

   Hey guys. I am Corey and I have been drumming for a little over 10 years, here are a few things I do before rockin' out with my band Hero.

  1. Stretch!!! Always stretch your arms and legs (and for some headbangers: necks) before rockin out. This prevents cramps while playing at fast tempos. By doing this, it allows blood flow to you muscles.
  2. Warm up with the basic rudiments. Paradiddle, Paradiddle-diddle,rolls, etc... (I guess I do that because of marching band).
  3. Learn how to correctly hold a stick... either match grip or traditional grip.

While I am practicing or jamming I...

  1. KEEP A STEADY TEMPO. This is a big mistake I hear drummers make. They get excited about a fill or how cool the band's song is and they RUSH! NO NO NO NO NO RUSHING!! If there's anything I hate more in this world besides fake musicians, it's a rushing drummer.
  2. Think about the fill you are going to do before you do it. It does not have to complex. Again the KISS method. (Guy drummers: The girls are gonna like you anyways because you are the drummer...(lol) the singer and guitar players are probably already taken anyways!!!! But I have a girl... sorry ladies).
  3. Have a good time on your kit. Remember: sticks break/slip out of your hand, and drum heads break as well. It's not the end of the world. Just act like nothing happened!!!!

I hope this little bit of information can help drummers looking at this web page out. PEACE!!

Thanks. Later, Corey

   think drums.

   don't think too much and fail school. but i have found that if your left hand(in my case) is lacking think about drumming and how you left had has no weakness. also use your left hand for picking up stuff.

   double bass/pedal players... samething

   ...and dont forget to have fun =]

   God bless.

   practice tips... i think we all pratice too much. kick back, pick up your sticks. bang out the sweetest beats you ever heard. put in some sweet fills.

   just have fun, and if you get stuck, pull out your practice and rudiments. =]

   have fun. ...and play wrong sometimes... you will make yourself laugh!!

   Jesus saves.

   God bless.

   Having problems with your speed?

   Well, here is something simple, but very effective, that will help your speed as well as your!

   Simply start with your right hand and just keep hitting your snare with single strokes, but remember, technique is crucial to this working. Make sure you are holding the stick right, and that your arm is completely relaxed. If you tense up, slow down, and build back up your speed. After two minutes, switch to your left hand and do the same. Remember to start slow, gradually build up speed, and then at the end, slow back down, slowing down from something fast will help you gain even more control. Do this ten times with each hand, and then do the same with both feet, assuming you have double bass of course. Do this for a week, and I guarantee you will be faster, but don't neglect working on your timing and coordination as well.

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