If you have ever listened to thrash or heavy metal, you know how intense music can be when accented by fast drumming. In fact, the speed of the drumming in many metal styles is as much a symbol of the genre as the vocals and leads played by the guitarists.
Today we will be discussing speed drumming techniques that will help you obtain a handle on your pace and power.
First off, it is important that you have a fully developed sense of rhythm before approaching speed drumming. If you don’t, it is highly recommended that you take some time to practice with a metronome in order to develop this crucial skill.
If you don’t have fully developed rhythm, then you will find yourself in more than a mess, as you will end up playing through your time signature. Speed drumming is an advanced technique, so if you are just starting out you should first build a strong foundation before trying to approach this style.
If you have a fully developed sense of rhythm, then it is time for some learning. If drumming was a sport, speed drumming would be the ultra-marathon sport. This is because speed drumming, above all else, relies heavily on endurance. This means that if you find yourself tiring out when you jam some blues, speed drumming may not be for you at the moment.
The best way to build up your endurance is to practice and practice hard. Using a metronome, force yourself to play a moderately paced double bass rhythm to exhaustion. If you don’t have experience in heavy metal or any other quick styles, you may find yourself exhausted after two or so minutes. This is okay; you just need to build your endurance up.
Use a metronome and start off at slightly slower tempo and play another basic double bass pattern. Instead of playing quicker notes within the time signature, knock the metronome up a notch and play at a quicker tempo.
It may take weeks to simply develop the ability to play at ten beats per minute quicker. That’s okay; you are developing your speed drumming properly. Don’t force yourself to play faster than you are comfortable with for a long period of time than you feel comfortable with, as this can lead to injury.
A second speed drumming technique is to play the patterns you already know at higher tempos. This involves building up slowly over time, but since your muscle memory is already developed for the pattern, you have already won more than half of the battle. If the patterns consist of complex rudiments, it is important that you dumb them down at first as to avoid confusion.
Speed drumming has no secrets. It takes a lot of hard work and practice to play consistent speed drumming patterns. This means you will find yourself playing patterns in high repetition. It may seem a bit redundant, but it is the proper way to build your speed drumming techniques. Starting off slower and working your way up helps to avoid playing related strains and injuries which can in turn keep you from your kit for up to months at a time.
Practice hard, have fun, and be safe!
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