How can you successfully develop your limb independence on the drums?
Literally, there are endless ways to do so.
In this short guide, I’ll show you one of my favorite limb independence exercises.
But be warned:
It might sound easy, but it turns out to be a tough challenge for many drummers.
1st Step: Play Eighth Note Single Strokes On The Snare
Today’s drumming exercise for developing your limb independence includes both your hands and feet.
Let’s check out the hand pattern first:
We start with simple eighth notes on the snare, played as single strokes.
Just play alternated singles in 4/4, no accents needed.
As a right-handed drummer, I recommend starting with your right hand:
R L R L R L R L etc.
Left-handed drummers should start with the left hand:
L R L R L R L R etc.
(R = right hand, L = left hand)
Also, make sure to go for a tempo and volume you feel comfortable with.
You should be able to play each stroke with ease.
2nd Step: Add Your Feet To The Hands
After getting used to playing smooth singles, the next step is to add your feet.
I won’t show you any drum notes, as you will improvise with the kick and hi-hat.
Yes, you can play whatever you want with your feet now.
Really make sure to keep the hand pattern going like before.
- Same intensity,
- volume or
That’s the tough part:
- Continue playing the smooth singles strokes while
- improvising with your feet to them.
“Well, this will be super easy, Manu”
I hear you.
Nevertheless, give this limb independence exercise a try.
You might be surprised.
Oh, and before I forget:
Improvising with both the hi-hat and kick gives many drummers a hard time.
If you’re struggling too, make sure to just add the bass drum to your snare pattern first.
How To Adapt This Drumming Exercise To Further Develop Your Limb Independence
Our drumming exercise for developing your limb independence is a fun and challenging warm-up.
In terms of better independence and creativity, however, it also makes sense to spice it up.
Maybe you want to
- play 16th instead of the 8th notes,
- choose a certain kick pattern and improvise with your hands
- define both a snare and kick pattern and improvise with your hi-hat
- play in different volumes and practice fast, slow and in medium tempo.
As you can see, there are many ways to work on your limb independence on the drums.
Make sure to also practice to the click and to music.
Drumless tracks are really helpful and fun to play to as well.
And sure, you can improvise as long as you like.
However, I recommend working on your drumming limb independence a few minutes, BUT regularly.
It’s always a good idea to stick to an exercise until you can’t play it wrong anymore.
Maybe you want to integrate your ideas into your next drum solo as well.
Playing the hand pattern on the floor tom instead of the snare is a great way to do so.
Have fun & cheers,