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New Practice Tips

   I think this tip will probably be known by most drummers but I'll reiterate it anywho.

   It is of paramount importance that you do not kill the rebound of your sticks when you strike a drum, this all comes from the grip. You should hold the stick lightly between your thumb and index finger, hold it but do not squeeze it, and your back fingers should merely cradle the stick, they should not imprison it!

   This means that the stick should be able to rebound naturally when you strike the drum, this forms the basis of the freestroke technique which every drummer should learn (Tiger bills website and Jojo mayer's recent and excellent DVD detail this technique).

   This is especially important at higher speeds, because squeezing the stick will actually slow you down by killing the rebound, so you'll be working against yourself in effect. Watch some of the legendary players and you'll notice that the faster they go, the looser there grip seems to become, this enables them to go really fast efficiently.

   I find that my thumb and index finger will tighten up a bit as I go faster (but still no squeezing!), this just stops the sticks from flying all over the place, but my remaining fingers will open up more and more as I increase the speed. This is a natural, common sense motion if you ask me.

   Another downside of squeezing the stick is that the rebound energy of the stick has to go somewhere, if your squeezing then this is usually into your hands and the stick itself, so you wind up with abrasions, calluses, broken sticks and other nastiness. If you experience these symptoms regularly then your holding the stick too tight, a drummer with good technique should rarely break sticks and never get blemishes on there hands.

   Now go forth and freestroke!

    David Reed

   hey guys

   i dont no if this has been mentioned yet, but anyway...

   i found one of the best ways 2 increase speed, is to use a pillow, or something with little or no bounce, instead of a practice pad. also use heaver sticks if u have them


    jazza brown


    Graham Murdoch

   Always use a metronome when practicing.


   One of the best quotes I ever heard, which I believe was attributed to Charlie Parker was this, "Don't practice when you are playing and don't play when you are practicing." I have found this piece of advice invaluable and it serves to illustrate the difference between playing and practicing.

   If you waste your practice time showboating all the fills you already know how to play over and over again than you don't progress. And if you haven't practiced and find yourself preoccupied with worrying about your technique while on stage, then you are not really playing music. Truly understanding this difference is a quality that I see in all well developed musicians.

   That said, I find it's important to set aside some time for just playing during my practice. Sometimes it's good at the beginning for five to ten minutes to get your spirits up. Or at the end after practicing some new technique for an hour, then it's important to just jam and let that technique work it's way comfortably into natural playing. Sometimes I break up my practice going back and forth. It's just that I recognize the difference between the two states of mind.

   This mantra also helps to give yourself license to suck while you are practicing. If you don't force yourself to attempt new things, you don't grow. When you start out at those new things, they probably aren't going to sound too good. If you have a big ego about it, it can really get you down and make practicing an unhappy occasion that you may want to avoid. If you know that you are just practicing it becomes and exciting fun challenge. It's really important to find a way to make your practice time fun, even when it's hard. You will grow so much faster and stronger if you can maintain that.

   When you go back to playing you and see how your body integrates your new lessons you will feel so much more confident and free. Then you can just do what comes naturally, and have a musical conversation with the others players in your band. Then you are playing music.

   Besides that...a metronome is crucial.

   And learning to count out loud or even sing while you are playing will make you a much stronger player.


   I seen many people practicing paradiddles with their feet and hands together, and this is a great thing to do, but to take it one step further and to improve independence, using opposing limbs. Ex: while you may start out RLRRLRLL with your feet, start the same time with your hand except LRLLRLRR. This is very difficult to speed up but will help you on your way to complete independence. Another one is putting triplets against 8ths, this is a strange feeling combo but once comfortable with this it makes for some interesting moods and feels for a song or in a jam situation.

    Brian Nentwick

   play triplets with L-hand then R-hand, before doing double stroke rolls. This helps relax the hands,and let you play with fingers more. Always hold the sticks 3/4 from end, not the end for better stick control.

    robert boney

   I've been told numerous times: "Practice doesnt make perfect. "Perfect practice makes perfect." To me, its a matter of what one wants out of their endevours. If one wants to be the best, look up excercises, and tough, tough beats, etc., and jam the hell out of them.

    A good excercise: one foot going 1 2 3 4, while the other foot and one hand is going: 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4 and a (3/4 kinda stuff) while the last hand is perhaps doing something crazy like swing something: 1 a2 a3 a4. That is a great excercise. It'll piss you off, but itll help make feel good grooves and develop your independence.. Practicing on tough things like that will make one feel like they're getting worse on the drums, when indeed, insight is being wrought.

    Also, I've learned, and agree with to no end: jazz is supreme mastery of the drumkit. If you can master jazz drumming, and incorporate double bass drumming with it, then your well on your way or already there. And already there doesnt mean that practice needs to stop. Learn Learn Learn.

    Good drummers to see on youtube: Rory Faciane, and Billy Canty.

    I am Rick

   A tip for double bass players or for people that use multiple hi-hats. A really good way to improve your foots ability to move between the kick pedal and the hi-hat pedal is to do single footed paradiddles between the two. I usually do this with my left foot so I can do quick hi-hat splashes during double bass rolls.

   So the pattern would be (with one foot only!)   Kk = kick pedal
   Hh = Hi-hat pedal

   Kk - Hh - Kk - Kk- Hh - Kk - Hh - Hh

   Do this for a few minutes each day, starting at a slow tempo and gradually building up, do it for both feet individually if you have a hi-hat on each side.

    Colonel klink

   To better understand time signatures, visually think of dividing a pie into halves, quarters, eighths, etc. When it's in quarters, imagine putting a cutout of a quarter note on each slice and then slice that piece in two. You will then need to use two eighth notes for each and soon this will provide a better understanding of rhythmic values. This is also a great teaching method for your students.

   Jah Bless!!

   If it FEELS GOOD, do it. Bang on the headphones, play to all types of music. Even if you are just starting out, it will make you feel like a pro. Believe it will happen, and it will. If there is music that gives you a high, start your practice off with it to get your mood right. If you can, go to jam nights, get up and play every chance you get. Get jammin and make it up as you go. Remember, you play drums because you love to do it, don't let it become a chore. Don't die wondering. There is no point being the richest person in the graveyard.


   A tip for double kick drumming... try using the basic paradiddle (L R L L R L R R) with your feet, and then do the same thing with your sticks on the snare at the same time as the feet. Tough at first, start slow and work your way up, it's a great warm-up!

    Andy Vasek








   This one is a good warm up/independence exercise.

   Triplets - as a double stroke roll:

>   >    >   >  >    >

   Then lead with your left hand and muck about with accent.

   Also, play 8th note single parradiddles with your feet, whilst playing 16th note parradiddles on the snare.


   This tip is for the metal monkeys out there.

   There are so many awesome metal drummers out there to learn from, there's Flo Mournier from Cryptopsy, Andy C. from wormed, Derek roddy from Hate eternal to name but a few, here's some videos of said drummers...

   Although its boring, you can't beat playing against a click for getting your hand and foot speed up, here's some tips:

  • Play singles with one limb, you wanna aim for at least 200bpm with a single foot for quick double bass, and you should be aiming for 220bpm with a single hand.
  • Pratice one limbed doubles and triples alot too, they really improve your hand speed.
  • Do the same with two limbs, go against the click and practice singles, doubles and triplets.
  • Playing on a pillow with your hands, and also adjusting the spring tension and using ankle weights for your feet can help you out alot too.
  • If you've got Stick control for the snare drummer (if not then go buy it now!), doing the excercises with your feet as well as your hands (not necessarily at the same time, its up to you) will help you alot, I'd recmmend doing these slowly though (100 - 120bpm), and then building up to a faster speed, but don't go too fast, make sure you really get the sticking/footing down before you speed up.
  • You should let your limbs rest for a day or two if they really burn after a practice, warm up and warm down when you play as well, going at high speed can really mess you up otherwise.
  • If you can get up to 180bpm on the double bass then your pretty much sorted, give yourself a nice pat on the back.


   Learning drumz is a matter of ur mindset and flexibility. I Started playing 4 years ago,and now i play as if it's been 15 years. Thanks to Tunde,Ola,John Osadolo and Others.

    As i av said it's matter of ur mindset.

    D'mola Akanbi

   hey im mikey i live in atlanta,ive been hitting skins for like 14yrs now and my tip is this,dont play hard and dont act like your in a concert hall,just concentrate on your rudiments and your fills and everything comes naturally when u play with people,i hope this helped email me and let me know please i would love to help as much as i can thanks

    mikey dixon

   always warm up before playing, you'll be more relaxed, stretched, and ready to play!


   This tip is very useful for guys/girls on drumlines. When you are trying to build up your chops for those long games and half time shows this is what you can do: During your practice schedule, take a soft pillow, drum with the butt of the stick on the pillow for as long as you can, i just play singles but anything will work. Oh yeah, it burns, so be careful. :-)


   Start with left hand snare, tap snare 4 times each hand, do this for 3 minutes. Now do x 8 on snare starting with either for 3 minutes again, ect x12, x16, x20. All for 3 minutes. Now do the same excersize on the bass drum with your kicks, (of course if you do not have double kicks aplied just use single). This excersize is very affective indeed and excellent for metal drummer's in common.


   Thanks guys, for all your helpful advise. Hopefully, I can help some people too. I have been playing the drums since I was 4 and am now in my 30's. I have been teaching students for a couple of years now and I teach the same routine as my drum teacher taught me:

  • Always warm-up (practice simple quarter notes & rudiments (mainly rolls) on the practice pad for about 3-5 minutes (depends on age of student) with metal drumsticks, which will strenghten the wrists of younger students. I also make sure they have proper posture and that their sticks come up high and that they hit the pad fully which helps with their confidence level also.
  • Assign homework from books & if student did homework then we go to the drumkit earlier in the lesson. If not, then we stay longer on the books until they get it right. [This serves as incentive for them to do their homework.] I also make sure the students counts every beat out loud and taps their bass drum foot while doing so. They can set the tempo (fast or slow) but it has to be steady otherwise they have to slow down.
  • The student plays a simple beat they thought of (whether it was from a song they "listened" to or a beat they thought up.) [This gets them to "listen to music thru different eyes - drummers eyes" & it gets them thinking about creating their own beats & understanding the beats for that type of genre.]
  • We play different beats in all different genres (depending on which genre was being taught that week.} We incorporate different purcussive instruments for particular genres so they don't get bored (i.e. brushes for jazz, claves for Latin, etc)
  • The student does not move onto another genre until they play the current one comfortably and accurately.
  • I make sure to praise them whenever they do a good job and nip any problems in the bud so they do not continue to make the same mistakes and so they can learn from them.
  • All of my students have or will learn to read and write music as well. It's important to really know everything about percussion so they can master and grow their craft.

   This regime may seem a bit strict but that is how I learned and am very proud of that fact and the fact that I am now doing the same thing with my students. I was taught correctly and so will they. As others have said here, "Laying a proper foundation is the key to success!"

    Jackie O.

   If you know the paradiddle which is RLRR LRLL then you should try to do the para diddle triangle which is:

Then when you can do these continuously try going back down like this:




   Hey guys/gals,

   I have been a drummer for about 5 years now. I used to play set a lot and then i got into high school and i am now more into Marching. but set and marching arent all so different. my advice is to work on chops for most of your practice. because i tried the whole rudiment thing. that doesnt help if you dont know how to do it! like cheeeses or cheese pattis, yeah, unless you have someone to work with on them, i dont advise that. that will lead to anger and frustration. so do chop excersises. and that will lead to burning pain in the arms. but that is good! so yeah...thats my advice. have fun drumming! see ya

   BACKGROUND: 27 years of professional and semi-professional drumming for all styles except rap, although alot of R&B has been in my roots. Strongly based in hard rock, prog rock, metal, and strangely (I've made more money in country than I did with all other styles put together!)I've been a teacher for 24 of those years, with alot of my students taking my ideas and blowing me away within a few months, which was my goal. But enough about me, let's get on to my ideas on warm-ups and practice. NOTE: These are not in any order, but if you ADD these tips into what you are already doing, you will find more fluidity in your playing, and hopefully a few less limitations than you do currently.

  • Start your warm-ups (rudiments for now) with your favorite pair of sticks, and when you complete the "rudimentary phase" of your warm-up, switch to the heaviest sticks you can get (marching,2b,etc)and repeat the warm-up. when you have completed that, start over again with the lightest pair of sticks (jazz or 7a?). You can do this for the rest of your set playing too. I've never been one to get locked into using a particular size or material of stick (or guitar picks for that matter), and I believe that it is good to alternate certain sticks, mallets, brushes to get the desired results for a song, passage, etc. If you've got the sensitivity to play "pp" passages with oak 2bs, great, but I have found that I, and several of my former students prefer to play "Looks That Kill" by Motley Crue using Vic Firth American Classic Metal sticks, while maybe using Pro Mark oak 707s for "YYZ" or "Lakeside Park" by Rush. Also, I might use a really light maple stick or "rods" for a worship service.
  • I know this is not a new concept, and you've heard it a million times, but...USE A METRONOME!!! You don't even own one, so how can you lie to me and say that you use it at every practice? Use it for rudiments, use it for jamming on rythms, use it to keep your band tight. Bottom line? Use it! Even if you're in a blues/jam band that would never play live to a click, use it when you practice so the passages you do play are tight and coherant.
  • Variety is the "spice of life". Even if all you ever want to do is play "Chops Metal", you're gonna be a better player if you have other styles in your "bag of tricks"! Get a different teacher (for a month or so), buy a DVD/book instruction pack, or go to a club that plays different music than you generally listen to. If you play country, go to a jazz club; if you play death metal, go see an orchestral concert; if you play rap, go to a broadway play, if you always play "click-track pop", go to a blues club and learn to play with some "feel". This is NOT selling-out! This is called having options, and one of the best options you can have is to remain employable and be a better drummer! Besides, when your death metal band pulls-off "Life Beyond L.A." by Ambrosia, you'll actually gain fans. I've had 50-year old cowboys scream "Sabbath Rules, man!" when my band played "Paranoid" at a country jam session. They might listen to Kenny Chesney now, but "back-in the-day" they were headbangers or punks.
  • Set goals, and then work to attain them! I'm not talking "pipe dreams" here, but realistic goals that through persistant effort, you can achieve! Need to gain speed on your paradiddles? Set a goal to play a series of single paradiddles for 90 seconds at a speed of 120 beats per minute. If you can only play for 60 seconds at the speed of 92 beats per minute(accurately), you've got some work to do, but you can do it. First of all, attack the endurance issue. Play your 92 beats a minute, but work on being able to do it for two minutes. Then, once you have a greater possibility for endurance, add a few beats a minute to the metronome until you reach the goal of 120 beats per minute. Do this with all your drumming exercises, such as getting around the toms, cymbal work, etc. It also works really well in other aspects of your life too! If you can only do eight push-ups in one set now, add one extra push-up each week (you can do just one more, can't you?), one more a week is totally painless, but guess what? In a year, you'll be able to do one set of 60 push-ups! COOL HUH?
  • Think "What if...?" It was an old H/P slogan, and it to will work wonders for your total musicianship. After your warm-ups, and before your jamming, take just one riff, sticking pattern, etc, and say "What if...? Now that you have a good grasp of paradiddles, say "What if I take my right stick and play the bell of my ride cymbal, while I keep my left stick on the snare? Play it! Now, while you're playing your new pattern, ask "What if I add a 16th note double bass run underneath it? WOW! That's cool, now ask "What if I take every 4th snare stroke and play my closest tom? Does it work? Great! If it doesn't, try something else, or leave it alone. Just keep adapting everything you see hear, or imagine in this way, and you will never be limited again in any playing situation.

   Well, there are a few basics to get you on your way. If you have questions or ideas, feel free to get ahold of me. One last thought...If there is something in particular you want to do, do not put it on the back burner, wait for a "better" time, or see what happens. Make the effort to do it as it comes to you. I have learned that a little effort (or a little MORE effort), you can add alot to your lifestyle, playing, etc, but if you look back and see where there were "gaps of inactivity" towards something, you'll always look back with regret. DON'T DO THAT!! GOD BLESS!!!


   This is a handy practice tip for more experianced drummers, during your rudiment practice try to add up some simple sums while keeping in time to a click track.

   This really helps me seperate different drum instruments and seems to help overall timing.

   Of course the better you get the harder the sum you can work out. If your not a maths fan try doing any mental task that requires you to focus on several things at once.

    chris kay

   I haven't been playing for very long (2 years) but the main things that you can do to improve your drumming are

  • Always listen to different types of music
  • Reading music and just playing on a practice pad WILL help you even though it is very boring
  • Don't copy everything about a drummer just take certain things from them
  • When you find a good beat, play it slow first and then speed up until you cant get any faster
  • But must of all "practice doesn't make perfect, PERFECT practice makes perfect

   Thanks much and keep ripping


   This is full of helpful tips so...please read! I am 13 and I have been playing the drums seriously for about three years. I personaly play about the drums about three hours each day on a ludwig drum set 4 toms 1 floor, 1 base with a Dualist pedal which I highly recomend you look into, a snare 2 roto toms a hi-hat,ride,and 5 crashes (all zildians). My father who is 45 has been in a band called crossfire since he was 22, so this info should be pretty accurate. When you sit down to your drum set, snare drum, or any other type of tom set, just play around a little bit, experiment with combonations of different drums and parradidles.Oh sorry make sure you stretch before you play (especially the set players). Anyway,just play around a little bit,ya know like, with what you can physically do,just play around thats all I can say on that part. Watch other drummers play, pay attention to their techniques and as I call them (licks) that they do, I would very highly recomend checking out Neil Peart, he's my idol.

   One thing that you need to take in and remember is that you never ever should be frightend by your limitations, for example if their is something that you can't do, keep trying because if you just keep trying you will get it. When I use to practice some things that I know now I use to get so mad it wasn't even funny but don't get mad just keep trying. When you've reached a reasonably good skill level and are an advanced drummer and think your just the bomb ha ha, wrong,I thought that at one time and then met someone that blew me away, a while ago but still. What im leading to is there is always someone better than you are...unless of course you are Neil Peart then their is no one better, but unless your him theirs always somebody out their that can blow you of your set.

   I'll give you an example of how not to become a good drummer just so you don't go down that road that I went down. I used to play Greenday and followed Tre Cools drumming methods, sure he fits the music that the band needs but all of that fast crap just tenses up your muscles if your not up to it and can cause serious damage. Its not about how fast you can play, its about how fast you can play accuratly. Do play fast and accurate you need syncapation, for example four way or even three way independance. Even a parradidle is a perfect example of syncapation. Everything I have said is from my three years of living drums, its all I do. I dont play video games or go ATVing, I only play basketball besides drums. I live for them and I hope all of this information helps all of you drummers out their. If you have any type of question for me Ill be glad to answer it for you. Thanks for listening, and play hard.

    Dustin Fitz

   When you practice you should not just recite one certain thing over and over. Sit down at your set, snare, or toms and experiment. Try different combinations and different techniques. Watch other drummers whom have become something. I would highly suggest looking at Neil Peart's offical web site, he's the drummer for Rush. When you have found a cool new toon, pattern, or beat that you can't do, don't be frightend by your limitations. Keep drumming and you'll get it. Thanks for listening. Oh really look up Neil Peart.

    Dustin Fitz

   To be a drummer is not to beat the drum. You must do a lot of things like be in time and articulate.


   i believe we have so many drummers in the world,so there will be much of competition between us all.but i think the best person to compete with is YOURSELF.try to be better than what you used to be rather than someone else.practicing in front of the mirror helps.try competing with that person in the mirror and i bet you'll get better.

    gabriel taiwo

   the rudiments are definatly a good thing to know . but you dont need to learn technique or anything to be good. your instrument is a tool , like a hammer , you can build a shed or you can build the Sistine chapel.

    jesse " the iceman " reimer

   I don't think this could be emphasized enough...

   Take care of your body! Stretch! Exercise and work out - running, weightlifting, tae bo, pilates, whatever you like; it will build stamina. Eat healthy (Ok, I can't really preach this one...)

   I stretch before, during and sometimes after I pick up my sticks. Also, start your practices slow and warm up. I used to jump right into a hot practice set only to find myself cramping up (mostly my right hand playing a ride) and losing all control. I realized that I was leading myself down a road to serious injury and adopted a stretch routine. Fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders, back, chest even knees and ankles - stretch and do slow rotations of pivoting joints.

   Hear me now and believe me later... Take care and happy chops!


   Start on the practice pad and work your rudiments for 1/2 of your practice and then go to you set and try new stuff. Make up some fills as a warm up and maby try to remember the fills you make up and use them in songs that may need a bit of spicing up. Then go on to prctice what you and your teacher/band are working on and focus on that for a little while. Then i personally like to try and play along to songs that I like ( Dream Theater, Chilli Peppers, Rush, maby some stuff i hear on the radio ) and I just have fun with those songs. I like my routine, because i get done what i need to get done, and when i finish that, i get to fool around and be creative with songs.

    Harry Dunkley

   I have been drumming for over 25 years, the last seven of them professionally and have recently been focusing on my feet, ie: double bass w/ sixteenths, trips, paradiddles, rudiments, and basic single pedal speed. I know that speed isn't everything, it's more about the "control." I agree.

   I practice with a Roland V-Drum kit and with a Pearl "Eliminator" Double pedal. The V-Drums are nice to use because of the built in metronome. I have been using the book entitled, Double Bass Drumming, The Mirrored Groove System by Jeff Bowders. It teaches you that what goes for the left foot, goes for the right foot. Every exercise is broken into two measures starting with the right foot in the first, then alternating to the left foot in the beginning of the second measure, and it also gives you a wide variety of snare variations.

   Also, after watching Thomas Lange on a DVD recently, I have been trying to get better with paradiddles with my feet. I will do the basic single: RLRR, LRLL, RLRR, LRLL, etc. starting at 110 bpm, then increase the bpm by ten each time until I feel that I can't maintain the tempo, usually around 170 or 180. Then I will go to a triple paradiddle: RLRLRLRR, LRLRLRLL, etc. starting again at 110-120 and gradually kick it up ten bpm until I can't maintain control, again for me it's usually around 170 or 180.

    With sixteenths, I will do the same but alternate the snare variations for two measures, accenting on different counts throughout the measure. With sixteenths, I can usually get up to 210bpm. It also helps me if I practice something for three days straight, then just put it down for a day or two and come back to it. I find that my mind has soaked it in and my body has adapted to playing the part naturally. It's funny how it works, but it does.
I also find that if I mirror what I want to do with my feet, with my hands, that I can usually get it to work. So, if I'm trying to do something with my feet and it's just not working, I will do the pattern with my hands for a few measures, or at the same time with my feet, and it usually works itself out.

   I know this is a little wordy, but I hope it helps someone along the way. Thanks for your time.


   What helps me with my practicing is rudiments. I normally (using all the useful techniques on this site) constantly play a rudiment, say, a paradiddle until I master it. This I believe also improves my technique and improves the way I play :D

    Stephen Brown

   I have been drumming for about 10 years, not too long and just have a few ideas to throw out there. Have lots and lots of patience! Drumming takes lots of time to get your muscles, so relax and enjoy what you're doing because frustration is all it takes to kill the mood/practice. Once you've found mind over matter, remember that relaxation is best and let the stick do most of the work! Your fingers are your friends, love them and respect them. Holding the stick and learning the proper way to do so is very important; believe me i've made this mistake and without this you will wreck yourself. Keep on!


   hey guys and gals,dont ever think success is achieved in a silver platter ask the pros and u'ii know.rehersing is not just playing anything but playing what u are sopposed to play and nothing else.i'll advice u to practic what is on this sites achives it helps me alot.

    kwame adjei

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