Warm Up Exercises to Get Your Body Ready For Drumming

ready to jamI do not want to sound sarcastic here, all my respect goes for chess players, but if chess can be considered a sport, than so can be drumming.

Just look at any drummer at the end of a concert or even a longer rehearsal: they are exhausted, they sweat rivers. That concludes that just as in the case of any other sport, before activity you need to warm up.

“Macro” Warm Up

Drumming consists of several small and some larger, bigger-scale movements. Bigger movements include twisting your torso and reaching with your arm for a cymbal set up further apart; or maybe even a scenario where you play a far left cymbal with your left hand, the third floor tom with your right hand, you play syncopated sixteenth notes with your right foot and play a cowbell with the left.

These are compound movements, using your whole body, and for that reason, they require a body prepared for such compound movements. Contrary to common practice, I believe that a “macro” warm up before drumming should be just the same as it is before running a few laps or playing football. You should do a few push-ups, some squats and basic stretching. It will only do you good.

Zooming in on your body, the next step is making your shoulders, elbows and wrists ready to play. The logic stays the same, basic stretches will yield the desired result.

Oiling Your Fingers – The “Micro” Warm Up

Now you are ready to grab the drumsticks. For drums playing warm ups, I start off with a finger-based grip family, that you would not use while playing live. Put your thumb on top of the stick at the balance point, and supporting it with only one finger from beneath, do ten beats of strokes with each hand.

Then change the supporting finger, until you have played all four possible fingers on both hands. At first, your fingers might feel a little tiresome, but make no worries; this warm up exercise is also great for building strength.

Your Ears Also Need Some Warming Up

Practicing drum rudiments is an excellent exercise before any gig. Although I have no idea how they could come up with that number, some experts say there are forty rudiments. Out of that magic forty, the exercise of five will do wonders to your skills: the single stroke roll, the double stroke roll, the buzz roll, the paradiddle and the flam.

Just a plain repetition of these rudiments will not be enough, though. Accentuation is just as important as the hand order. Experiment with different levels of accentuation. Do a review of approximately what you are going to play, then apply to filters to everything: decrease the volume.

If you were about to play on a volume scale of one to ten, then try to decrease that scale to a one to four. Also, decrease the tempo: cut it in half. If you can play a groove slowly and silently, than a fast, loud beat will be no challenge.

No Time For Real Practice And Warm Up?

Just having moved into a city from a really small town I have come to realize that most of us have a lot of empty time: travelling, waiting for the next bus, the list goes on. There is a drumming exercise you can do anytime, even while travelling to your rehearsal room, as a way of warming up: just put your hands together so that your elbows and wrists touch each other, and start clapping. Clap relentlessly, and sooner or later the public will be clapping for you!

Do You Want to Get Creative And Original In Playing The Drums?

successful drumming

Successful Drumming is a step-by-step program which builds on each lesson and holds you by your hand as you learn. You can easily track your progress and see the improvements you made overtime.

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One Comment

  1. rattler-Reply
    February 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Nice article. I tend to stretch my thighs and calf muscles too before I start practicing. If you are into bass drum intensive styles, I recommend a few minutes of getting your legs warmed up too,

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