If there’s one thing all drummers can agree on it’s that learning proper drum techniques can take time. As a newbie drummer, it’s natural to idolize more experienced drummers, especially those who can drum at lightning speeds. But with a little practice, some drum lessons, and a bit of determination, you, too, can join the ranks of mega-fast drummers. Here’s how:
Tips to Drum Faster
- Slow it Down
It’s probably surprising to hear that to speed up you first need to slow down, but it’s true. The key to playing drums super fast boils down to basics and baby steps. By that, we mean you must first master basic drum techniques, such as notes, common beats, rudiments, etc. in order to have any hope of not only playing the drums fast but play them with total accuracy. Once you’ve got the fundamentals down and have built enough muscle memory, then and only then is it smart to focus on increasing your speed. But don’t expect to go from zero to one hundred overnight. To be successful, you’ll need to take baby steps. Add in speed slowly, little by little until you max out!
2. Use a Metronome
A great tool for increasing your speed is a metronome. These handy devices keep time by producing a steady, audible beat for musicians to follow. Plus, they are customizable so you can either increase or decrease the beats-per-minute (BPM) depending on your music goals. To increase your playing speed, you’ll want to utilize a metronome. Start by setting the metronome to a slightly faster BPM than you normally play. Spend plenty of time playing at that pace, making sure you can drum comfortably, confidently, and precisely before increasing the tempo.
3. Practice With Heavier Sticks
Some drummers swear by this little known trick! Simply buy a pair of stickers that are heavier than your normal sticks. Practice with these sticks regularly and even take them to your drum lessons now and then. However, for any gigs or live shows around Phoenix, Scottsdale, or elsewhere, utilize your normal drumsticks instead. The idea is that your hands will become accustomed to the heavier sticks so that when you switch back to your normal sticks, they’ll seem ultra-light, making it easier to move the stickers at faster speeds.
4. Optimize Your Drum Kit Arrangement
This is another drum tip that’s often overlooked by beginning drummers. To get the most out of your drums and play most efficiently, you’ll want to be sure your drum set is optimally arranged. The fact is there are many ways to set up a drum kit, but some arrangements are more common than others. First and foremost, you need to make sure your drum stool is at the right height. Ideally, your stool should be positioned so that your feet completely touch the ground with your quads parallel to the floor. Believe it or not, the position and height of your stool can greatly impact your playing and mobility.
Additionally, it’s equally important where you place the pieces of your drum kit. Make sure that each piece is placed close enough to one another so that every piece is reachable without having to strain your hands or body in the process. Having an optimally arranged drum kit will allow you to play at your fastest and also prevent injuries.
For more simple, but essential drum techniques and tips, contact Scottsdale Music Academy or sign up for our drum lessons today!