Tips For Increasing Your Drumming Speed
Drumming is the lifeline of any solid music, and don't let anyone tell you different.
One of the best moments of any song is when the drummer gets to unleash a hypnotizing rhythm and allows everyone listening to the music bob their head and not just hear the music, but feel the music.
When it comes to developing yourself as a drummer and really letting things go to the extreme, many drummers like to increase speed. This can be done for effect, to be flashy, or just to get the crowd going.
However, drum speed isn't something anyone can do just by sitting down behind a drum set. It takes practice and experience to be able to pull off the quick drum rhythms you want to accomplish.
So where do you start?
Table Of Contents
- Check Your Current Status
- Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
- Tips For Increasing Your Drumming Speed
- Staying Determined
- Attend The Music College That Will Benefit Your Skills The Most
Check Your Current Status
Is there a particular rhythm or speed you want to reach?
In any aspect of life, the goals you strictly detail are always the ones most attainable.
Just wanting "to play faster" is a goal, but how do you know when you reach it? Perhaps consider choosing a rhythm you really want to conquer at a fast tempo.
Once you have your rhythm you want to test, try it at a slower pace and gradually work your way up to a point that you feel comfortable.
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
A huge part of mastering any instrument is practicing it over and over again.
Tedious? Perhaps on some days.
Worthwhile? Without a doubt.
Once you have the rhythm you have chosen, play it at about 70-80% of your highest speed. This may seem counterintuitive as you're ultimately trying to learn how to accurately play faster, but while doing this, you are learning to still play faster while remaining relaxed and in control.
Essentially, this is to prevent strain/cramping.
Important note: At no point should you feel overly tense while playing fast. To successful drum at quick pace, it isn't about tightening up your muscles and causing exhaustion and strain.
Obviously, the idea of not straining is much easier said than done. But keeping it in the back of your mind is important.
If you don't have a particular rhythm you want to practice on, that is okay. Here is an option that you can utilize from takelessons.com.
You can play 8th notes with your right hand, meanwhile playing 4 sets of 16th notes with your left hand. Once complete, you can switch and play 8th notes with your left hand and 4 sets of 16th notes with your right hand.
The idea here is to get used to boosting your speed while keeping a good, technically rhythm.
Tips to Increase your Drumming Speed
On top of just repetition and practicing, there are some extra steps you can take to assist you on your journey to faster drumming abilities.
1. Warm Up
Also kind of a given, but you'd be surprised how many musicians forgo this critical step.
Just like exercising, drumming is a physical activity. You don't see (successful) weight trainers walk into a gym and immediately start lifting their maximum weight.
In the same token, you need to warm your body, arms, wrists, and hands up before you start laying the beats down.
Feel free to stretch your arms to keep everything loose and practice some simple, yet helpful, rhythms to get your mind and wrists in the right spot. For extra warm-up exercises and ideas, click here.
2. Utilize Heavier Sticks
Have you ever seen a baseball batter practicing with a weight around the meat of the bat? By practice swinging with the weight, the bat will naturally feel much lighter when they actually step into the batter's box.
The same idea can be applied to drumsticks.
By using a heavier drumstick and starting to get a feel for doing quick rhythms, you will naturally feel less restrained and faster when returning to normal weight drumsticks during a performance or recording.
Important note: You don't want to over-do the heavy sticks here. First of all, you don't want to become too accustomed to the off-weight sticks, because then you will lose your touch with the lighter sticks.
3. Use a Metronome
So many musicians never use a metronome and it just makes no sense. It is an easy to use musical guide that will easily help you keep time and learn how to continue keeping time.
The metronome can be paired with your exercises, practices, and even tip two with heavier sticks.
A good way to start is:
- Choose a slower beat per minute (BPM) on the metronome
- Either with or without heavier sticks, do simple rhythms such as single strokes, double strokes, and paradiddles
- As you start mastering the current BPM, start increasing it
Metronomes are concise, measurable, and as you increase the BPM you can literally see your speed and comfort increase.
Fun Tip: Don't waste time going out and buying a metronome. Whether you utilize a laptop or your phone, simply search "metronome" on Google and you will find a free embedded metronome at the top of your search. Awesome, right?
4. Become Ambidextrous
We are kind of joking about this. Kind of.
Everyone has a more dominant hand and no one is expecting you to be perfect with both, but the tighter you can make the gap between your better hand and your worst, the more likely you will be able to successfully drum quickly.
It's important to now only use your weak hand on the snare. Test it out taking the lead and hitting the hi-hat.
For more tips on strengthening your weak drumming hand, click here.
It will surely take committed determination to succeed at your goal of increasing your drum speed, but it is entirely worth it.
Like all goals in life, finally reaching that moment of, "I did it" is an amazing feeling. And don't stop there!
Once you reach the goal you want, continue to push the BPM up little by little. You may surprise yourself with what you can truly achieve.
Attend the Music College that Will Benefit Your Skills Most
Whether you want to utilize your home drum set/electronic drum kit or want to experience state-of-the-art recording studios on site, the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media is the destination for intermediate-level drummers like you.
We have a new and exciting online program that can assist any individual in the United States. It's a new and exciting endeavor for our school that we know will only increase the number of successful students our industry-leading professors are able to teach.
On the other hand, if you live near Atlanta, GA, AIMM offers a fully accredited Drum Music and Technology Associate Degree.
To maximize your potential and discover more about our programs, click the link below today.