Practice is important. The problem is that most musicians don’t know what to practice, and as a result they constantly find themselves roaming about techniques at random.
The worst part about this is that it does more harm than good. Playing without direction doesn’t help muscle memory, and in fact it confuses it. While this may be a great workout method, it isn’t good for your drumming skills.
Today, instead of discussing techniques in depth we are going to give you a drum practice regimen to follow. This regimen is set up just as any workout would be, and just like a workout regimen, the best results come from following the practice routine regularly.
For this section of practice, all you need is yourself. Reach your right arm behind your neck; bend it with your elbow pointing towards the ceiling and hold for ten seconds, leaning slightly away from the bent arm while gently cupping its elbow with your opposite hand. Now switch arms.
Next up, grab behind your elbow and gently pull your arm across your chest. Hold for ten seconds and then switch arms.
Finally, bend slowly and touch your toes. If you can’t touch your toes, reach down as far as you can without any pain. Hold for ten seconds, then pull your legs behind you one at a time and stretch your quads.
Repeat each stretch twice in a cycle. When doing any of these stretches, stop immediately if you feel any pain; you’re pulling too far. You should feel a slight sensation of warmth, but no pain.
Now you can sit it your kit. Spend ten minutes on each of the basic drum rudiments. Pay close attention to form and accuracy. These will help loosen up your wrists and get your blood flowing a bit more.
If you notice you are straining yourself, force yourself to relax and simply take your time. Be sure that your note values are even, and be sure to pay close attention to your power. If you are a beginner, you may want to extend your rudiments to fifteen minutes each.
Keeping a steady rhythm with your snare and hi-hat, begin a simple and slow eighth note bass pattern. Be sure to alternate legs; you want to get your blood flowing. After five minutes, pick up the tempo to a moderate pace. Pay attention to power; overuse of power can lead to unnecessary exertion. Keep this moderate pace for ten minutes. Add voices on the beats to get your rhythm going.
This is the most important section of your practice session; focusing on a troubled technique. This is also the most repetitive section but hang in there. Now that you are properly warmed up, you wrists are loose, and your legs are ready to go, you need to assess your skill level.
Which technique do you have the most trouble with? Whichever technique this may be, whether it is offbeat patterns or even a specific rudiment, this is your hour of dedication. For the next sixty minutes, your troubled technique of choice is your absolute focus.
The last section is one that many musicians have trouble with. Either they do it too much, or they don’t do it enough. You should always end your practice session in a jam. For at least thirty minutes, allow yourself to flow. This will help you relax after the intense practice session.
Drumeo is a step-by-step instructional program designed to help you get started with the basics and progress into an advanced drummer easily. It covers a wide variety of genres like rock, jazz and blues and lessons are broken down by topic.