- What you practice with you hands, practice with your feet. What
you practice with you feet, practice with your hands. What you
practice with your limbs, practice with your mouth.
- Learn good hand technique. Fast players use multiple muscles to
get speed and accents and endurance.
- Reverse it. Play left handed leads. Set up your kit backwards
- Practice drills to a metronome at a good basic speed, like 110
bpm. Be sure and keep perfect form. Play them until
you are going crazy with boredom. This is a good time to learn to
meditate. Once, while riding the bus to work, I played quarter note
triplets at 192 bpm for 20 minutes.
- Practice drills as fast as you can play them evenly, and play
them until your muscles burn. For most people this will be less than a
minute. Let the burn drain away. Repeat a few times. These are your
calisthenics. They are boring, but they make everything else possible.
- Practice along with records that amaze you, not records you know
you can play with. It's okay to feel foolish in your own practice
space. You need the challenge.
- Your practice should raise up your skill so high that even on your
bad days, you are good. Playing out live becomes more fun then.
- You find a good teacher by trying them all out. A good teacher is
anyone who knows more than you and who can teach you that knowledge. If
you aren't getting anything out of the relationship, even if you
were at first, respectfully take your leave, and find your next
- Learn to play the basic beats in as many genres of music as you
can. This broadening of knowledge will help you understand your
preferred music, and also makes it possible to insert parodies into
- Laugh at your mistakes, but never forget them. Hunt them down
A little perspective...
- One measure of a typical rock song has around 13 notes, and takes
about 2 seconds to play. (8 hh beats, 2 snare, 3 kicks)
- A three minute song, therefore, will have at least 90 times that,
or more, say 1300 individual strokes.
- An hour of practice, assuming you are actually playing at least 45
minutes of it, will therefore have about 15 times 1300 beats, or
- A year of one hour practices would be 365 times 19500, or 7117500
- Many drummers practice much more than one hour a day, especially
if you add all the time spent tapping on tables, knees, and
pillows. An individual's total might be 5 or 10 times that, and if you
take someone who has been drumming for 10 or more years, it's easy to
see that a good drummer might have logged half a billion
strokes during only part of his or her career.
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