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Practice Tips Archive #12

   when i play i use a lot of beats in a short time. it helps me keep pace.


   The word of the day is to "crosstrain". This is a work out at times...ya know? Doesn't matter what you play. Just step out of the box and learn a style you are not accustomed to. This will help tremendously.

   P.S. The more uncomforable the style is for you when you start, the greater the yield will be to your skill level when you've gotten it down a little.

   I practice all my excercises, beats, and fills with a metronome and with closing the hi-hat on 1/4 notes. I'll play through the group of excercises at 70 bpm, then 80, then 90 and keep increasing until I'm unable to continue. This process has really helped to solidify my timekeeping. Also, I videotape my lessons. Good luck and have fun!


   It is a belief of mine that the notion of "control" is the prime element in technique. The implication, then, is that every element involved in "drumming" is a function of control. Reflection on the matter does generate this. Speed, efficiency, comfort, power, mobility, extension, and direction "must" be fixed by control; for the inverse, at least in percussion, is non-sensible.

   The fame of G. L. Stone's text (Stick Control; c. 1932) is due to the above. "Drumming," in essence, is based on the notion of a lever (def., a rigid bar that pivots about one point and that is used to move an object at a second point by a force applid at a third). To generate a sound from a drum, the bar (the stick) must move about one point (the fulcrum; the bottom portion of the first knuckle of the middle finger) to move an object at a second point (...on the bar; that is, the tip of the stick) by a force applied at a third [and must contact the head of the drum]. The third point has been replaced, for "drumming" allows for instant manipulation of the first (and prime) point, and this allows for the replacement of the force on the third point (the bottom- end of the stick) to the index and thumb. Without control of this bar and the point on which it moves about, it is difficult to see (and play) an arrangement (which, of course, may be an exciting rudiment) with efficiency, comfort, and power.

   To control the stick is to control the arrangement, and to control the arrangement is the essence underlying the entire technique behind the drum.


    Jos Kessler

   When you are drumming make sure your arm is not doing all the work. Make sure your wrist is moving not your arm. This is why lots of drummers have problems with their arms.


   Hey wasup peeps, have u herd of a drummer named ZORO. he was lenny kravitz's original drummer. well i hav met him in person and had my foto taken with him and got his cd and auto graph. just though id say that just 2 show off hahahahahaha. no i have a couple of tips for u fellow "musician drummers" cos i hav read urs n i will try em out!!!!

1. U got PRACTICE, if u wana be gud u gota have that drive that seperates u from regular drummers. Drum on the bus, drum in bed, drum on your girlfriend. DRUM like crazy.

2. Even if you know the basics inside out, pretend that you don't know n e thing and start from scratch b cos this will giv you a stronger foundation to build on.

3. If you wana b serious keep a list of contacts near by and update it regularly b cos for every 1 person you know apparently they know 5 more people and so on.this can help you in different parts of the music industry.

4. And finally you must have FUN. even though u hav probably read this loads of times on this website, listen to everybody that says it b cos they know what there talkin about. my mum sed once that if you are in a job where you dont wana go at all just for one day, u may as well quit.!!!!!

   n e way peeps im out, im on msn if u wana add me for some tips or general chit chat

   PEACE ya'll Mark

   P.S Look out 4 me in the future, im'a blow up dis music bidness.

   If you really want to improve on your coordination and stuff, try listening to Travis Barker (Blink 182), the drummer from Jimmy Eat World and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre) and try to play like them. They've got some really good ideas.

   Choose a beat of your choice and play it for a few minutes; then after you have it down put your hi-hat to it remaining time on 1,2,3,4. This takes patience and can be very hard but in the long run will increase your abilitly and playing by tons.

  Well, I highly recommend you all to buy Stone's "Stick Control" which is great for the hands. I like to do one page a day, with or without the metronome and to play the exercises really slow or really fast.

   One very important aspect of it all is to learn how to play REALLY quiet. Do one page for an hour. Play it in a manner that will hardly let you hear you are playing. Apart from that, pull away from the set for a few days. When you return you'll be able to play both harder and faster then you thought possible just some days ago.

   At first sorry on my english. I'm from croatia so..:)

   Practice...well its individual. Try to play slow and in time. Listen other drummers. Learn to play basic latin rythms because its very good to improve your independence (samba,bosa nova etc); never practice when you are tired, but when you have time make sure that sticks are around.

   Remember always someone plays better than you so don't lose nerves on that. AND please send me some e-mails - I would like to meet some drummers around the world.


   1) DO NOT be afraid to start where you need to. That means... if you need to get your singles even, do it! Poor fundimentals come back to bite you every time, no matter what the style.

   2) Work your finger muscles daily, with the correct grip.

   3) If your private teacher says "Don't worry, you don't need to learn rudiments" RRUUUUUNNN! Buddy Rich, one of the best set drummers to hit the planet, was a rudimental drummer. Almost all of your best concert players, drum set players, etc. can play ALL the rudiments.

   4) ABOVE ALL... have fun & be a well rounded player. Learn all the instruments, including mallets.


   Just two things.

  PRACTICE SLOWLY - You must think about this concept, there is a difference between how fast you can play it and how fast you can play it well.

   RELAX - This is very crucial for all drummers to do. Staying tense will hurt you and make it difficult to play. If you're relaxed, rebound does great, you're even, it's easy, and all will be good with the world.

    James Osborne

   Here's a few tips I can give you...

   - ALWAYS warm up before you get on the kit. This will save you lots of frustration as doing double stroke rolls, paradiddles and single stroke rolls will help you out greatly. Start out slow to a metronome and work up to the quickest speed... don't forget to stretch!!

   - Break up your practice routine into even sections - for example, work on grooves and beats for 15 mins, double kick, jazz, samba or whatever all for equal amounts of time and always work with a metronome!! (or at least most of the time).

   - If you rimshot here's a great way of saving your sticks - put some kind of tape around where your stick is hitting the rim (the metal) which is near the middle of the stick. This will absorb some of the shock and will stop your sticks from getting chewed and broken!! Also lower your hi-hats so you are not hitting them in a way that you ruin your sticks.

   - Practice practice practice!! Ensure you practice everyday and don't just practice the same old things, always try new things!!



   If you have drumweights attach them to the end of your sticks, if not this works very welll anyway. Take a pair of your stick and a pillow. Play whatever you feel (I prefer just singling as fast as i can) on the pillow. Now back to a drum or a practice pad (remove the drumweights). The bounce of the drum makes your singles MUCH faster!

   [Posted later: i signed this b4 and i wanna take bak wat i said about increasing speed. DO NOT weight your drumsticks like i formerly said go to and look for a section called building master chops, it's free and is really cool that's the key to speed, weighted sticks don't help and they cause wrist problems if u do it for 2 long]


   One thing that I have learned that has helped tremendously with my facility especially with keeping my single strokes clean and even is to trace a quarter in the center of my practice pad with a sharpie. I practice very slowly at 60 bpm, hitting the circle each time and keeping the tips of my sticks very close together before and after each stroke. From hitting the pad in the exact place each time, and bringing the stick up at the exact same place each time keeps the volume and sound the same, keeping my singles very clean and even, elimating that common "lumpy" sound from a weak left hand you so commonly hear in so many drummers fills.


   When setting down at the drum kit start out by useing R-L hand. Hit each drum 50 times each try putting a beat together then switch hands don't forget your bass drum and everything else that goes with your kit. When you are done put on some music and play 4 or 5 songs. Then if you have a recorder fire it up and just jam for an 1/2 hour. Later on sit and lisen to yourself by all means to not be EZ on yourself and you will improve.


   Join a Rock Band!!!!!!

   This is not really a practice tip; it's more a suggestion of something for to try out. Because metal drumming can be boring here is a suggestion about how you can spice it up a little. Start off playing a relatively slow beat on your hi-hat or ride (but hi-hat is better once you come to add more and more to this beat). Next start playing kicks on your bass drum twice the speed (or four times the speed if you can do it) on your double bass pedal. Next add your snare drum hitting between 2-4 hits between each beat on your hi-hat. Don't play more than 2 every time or the beat sounds a bit messy and uncontrolled. Once you can do that (it's really easy after just a few minutes practice) start experimenting with opening your hi-hat at off beats and after you have mastered this technique you can make up some really sweet rhythms. I use it in some of my band's songs and it makes the whole band sound so much fuller. Thanks for reading this hope it helps.

   I've only been playing a measley 9 years compared to some of you guys, which is why I feel dead stupid sending a tip, but I'm only 15 so that's my excuse. Firstly I reckon everyone should spend a good time setting up their kit and getting it right, coz it'll make a hell of a difference if you've been playing like a cripple for ages. Also I beleive what feels good and sounds good must be good, coz all my teacher says to me is that isn't the correct beat to play to whatever and that I shouldn't fill like that, but if a think it sounds good and everyone else does then surley that's what playing the drums is about. Finally I'd like to say my favourite drummer is Travis Barker from blink 182. I know it sounds stupid; I know he only drums punk and I know he's probably not the best at what he does, but his drumming just sounds spot on, even if it isn't really hard to play.

   When reading drum tablature on the internet, or any other source, write it out on manuscript paper in music note form. This will not only help you in reading drum music in situations that it will call for you to read and trust me it helps immensly (eg depping for other drummers or sessions) it will also help you to understand how a certain beat or fill is written in conjunction with it's sound. onceyou can do this, try to transcribe your favourite song!

   hi drum fellows! i just start a routine that rules! Just take 3 hours per day, and it's great. The first hour use to warm up with parad's and stuff, the second is the "fun hour", play along with discs for a whole hour, but playing like lefty (if you're righty). I found it more usefull than many exercises createad to increase your "second hand" ability. And finally, an entire hour reading music! This can be very funny, find some cool exercises and keep them flowing! The rest of the time it's creativity time, just u and your drum kit! Compose supercool stuff!


   A must for any drummer: watch Dave Weckl's Back to Basics! bye!

   send me some comments!

   I like swiss triplets and tripletdiddle and once you've mastered it see how fast you can go!

   For a real challenge set your kit up opposite, as in right handers set up lefty and vice versa. This will improve your ambidexterity and utilize the other side of your brain.

   Relax and enjoy your gift of rhythm, don't try to be a drum god, just be yourself and play what you feel inside. Great site, Thomas. Thanks!

   My main influence has been Mitch Mitchell, I believe in the lead drummer, which is great when you want to overdrive a song ,for the more simplistic but powerful stuff I admire John Bonham. Its funny how many guitarists that have no understanding of timing and without a simple beat get lost, this is so restricting and stops you from branching out.


   For starters, I like to play open rolls accenting the second note. Start slow and build it up. If you want to really warm your feet, do the same exercise. Now if you want to go completely crazy, watch Virgil Donati's video, or one of my favorites, Dave Weckl, or Vinnie, or Chad; any of Frank's drummers will teach you lots!! Rots-a-ruck!

    Ricky Rickman

   When I first started playing, I was very timid and intimidated. I would never "let loose" when playing in school or with other groups. That carried on for a large part of my drumming career. Finally, I just said "To hell with it!" That is not what drumming is about. When I used to teach drums, my students would be the same way, timid and upset that they weren't as good as they wanted to be. My best piece of advice is: It doesn't matter what other people think of your playing! You are not (or should not be) playing for them!

   Also a few tips that helped me personally that I'll list; keeping in mind that everyone is different and doesn't have to do things the same way:

   Don't play traditional grip on the set. There are too many options to put on the left side of your kit that are too hard to reach with left traditional. (Sorry you hard core guys)

   Play double bass! If you can add another voice to your set, why not?

   That's it. Good luck and love what you do!

   I always like to pick up a pair of sticks (I like to switch around sizes so I don't get too used to one thickness/weight) and twirl them around and maybe bang some paradiddles on the back of a chair before I even sit down behind the drums. This gives you a feel for the weight of the sticks and warms up wrist muscles.

   Exercise you wrist with weights. Like doing some wrist curls (but before you do this, make sure you do some stretching), this gives more strength and power to the wrist. Once you feel the burn in your forearms takes place, feel it and rest for a while and then take your drumsticks and start doing some banging on the drums, you'll notice that your hits will be much faster.

   Keep doing this and in no time, you can hit the quadriple sticking.

   Once you can drum fast really hard, learn to hit the drum slow.

   The best practice tip I ever learned when I first started out was listening to music, and trying to follow the drum beats.. When I first started, within a couple days, I learned about 5 different drum beats. Definely helpd me become the drummer I am today.. hope it works for you.. peace-o.

   I Have been playing Drums for about 3 years now. I play Punk Music, but am trained in all areas including jazz, funk, fusion, lation etc. My advice for Drummers is to aloways have a role model. Someone who you look up to and who motivates you.My motivator is Travis Barker Of Blink182. He is an amazing drummer and he motivates me during practice time alone and when im with my band. But at the same time, Work to develope your own style. Be unique. and most of all HAVE FUN!

   Rock On!!


   Take a metronome and set it to about 40 beats per minute. Then play single shots with one hand and try to match the beat of the metronome. This is obviously slow with lots of time in between beats, so you really have to listen and feel the amount of time in between the ticks of the metronome. This helps greatly in keeping steady time.

    Well, I've been playing drums for about five years and I noticed that if you write the days you've studied and what you studied, you'll notice your progress faster. A very cool way of studying is writing your own exercises, because you can focus just in your troubles. And the best tip i could give: listen to brazilian music too.

    Felipe Marques

   Strength in Numbers:

   Find that old pair of 1 or 2S sticks you have not used in about fourteen years and pull them out.

   Find the YellowBook (YELLOW PAGES) and bring it to a level where you can bang on it like a drum.

   Work on holding your sticks properly and do some of your Stick Control exercises with it. Don't over pace your ability to keep the sound smooth and your grip correct, however, work the levels of your tips from high to low.

   Do this for a warm up to develop your wrist strokes and wrist bounce.

   Bet you will notice a change....

   oka i have a tip for getting into a routine....i found it hard to get practising every day so i just said to myself "Hannah. Just sit behind the drumkit once every day and just hit a drum once (exaggeration)and then at least you would of done something" and i did that and i ended up playing for like an hour or something and after doing that for about three weeks i got into a routine and now i cant go a day without drumming so thats my tip its not that great but anyway site dude!!!! thanks for the rudiments bye!!

   ok people i have something to work on hand speed take an old pair of drumstics thats all chipped away at the top and wrap some tissues, napkins... around that spot then put some tape around it (i use duct tape, good stuff) do two layers of this (i did 2 tissues some tape 2 tissues some tape. then air drum after a while air drumming with them pick up one of your regular stick..... much lighter, cool if your bored check my band's website.

   Fellow drummers & musicians: ( we "are" musicians you know... I don't care what they say... ha-ha )

   Something that has helped me more than anything that I?ve ever done, and this was just last week?. I'm in a band that does 1/2 cover stuff ( STP, Jane's Addiction, ect. ) and 1/2 original rock stuff. Try this. I Video taped our practice session and watched it, ? I corrected so many little things like accents and tempo through verse / chorus changes, fills, volume... Everyone in the band noticed in a big way. There is no bigger critic than myself... We had a great practice last week? everything clicked. It was awesome. I was ?ON? and everyone else followed suite?. !!! ...and most of all, we had fun !!!

   Ok, here's a nice little warm up thing (also gets that "molar thing going):

   >   > >   > >   > >
4|L   LLL  LLL  LLL  LL|

   When playing try to feel just the quavers.

   Bach always made both hands work as hard as each other so why not with the drums! Can adapt to fast riding, flams, helps with indep etc etc, Cheers from Australia

   Good Luck.

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