No matter how long you have been playing the drums there will always be room for improvement. It would be impossible to become a master of every style, genre, technique and groove.
However, there are methods that you can follow to drastically improve your playing.
I’ll be explaining how you will be able to improve your speed, technique, style and general drumming vocabulary.
The exercises provided in this article should be used as a reference for your own practice regime.
Drum rudiments are the single most important aspect of drumming. Rudiments form the core of everything that you need to do on a drum kit. There are 40 rudiments overall, however most of them are variations or extensions of five basic rudiments.
If you master these five basic techniques then you will have no problems in playing the remaining 35 efficiently. These are: single stroke roll, double stroke roll, paradiddle, flam and drag. The best thing about rudiments is that they can be practiced anywhere, on almost any material; all you need is a pair of drum sticks.
Practicing your rudiments will improve your strength, speed and technique. It’s recommended that you try to practice rudiments for at least ten minutes per day.
Just like any other form of work, drumming may need to be scheduled in to your routine. If you are serious about drumming then it’s important that you try to practice everyday, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to play a drum kit whenever they want, that is why the drum practice pad was invented. Practice pads can offer drummers a great alternative to a kit. They feel like real drums, and can be played like real drums, however they are heavily muted and don’t make much noise. If you can’t play a drum kit due to work commitments then try to schedule in a few minutes per day on a practice pad.
If you can play your drums whenever you want then make sure you use your practice time wisely. Try to split up your playing in each session. When I play I like to spend the first ten minutes going through my rudiments, then ten minutes on learning a new beat, then ten minutes on fills and solos, then a freestyle period. It can also be a good idea to conclude your practice with rudiments. Usually you’ll find that you can play them better once you are warmed up.
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of drumming. A lot of drummers prefer to stick to their comfort zone and ill only listen to music that they are familiar with. If you want to master as many styles as possible then you must have a wide drumming vocabulary.
Youtube is a great place for discovering new music and new drummers, and with an abundance of tutorial videos being uploaded everyday you should never find yourself out of ideas.
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