How can I get better at drumming? That’s a frequently asked question, for sure! I mean: We all want to become more skilled in playing the drums, right?
No matter how good you are right now: There’s always a bigger goal you can achieve.
And that’s a good thing!
The only problem is: Sometimes, you’ve got no clue how you can get better at drumming. Especially beginners often feel they suck.
(Surprise: Pros do too. But most of the time, we tend to ignore this fact. So please add a little more self-love to your drum throne. I know you rock!)
So to help you out, I’ll share one of my best advices with you. Ready for sucking less on the drums?
Here we go! 🙂
Psst ... That's what this article is about
Drummer, I feel your struggle.
You practice a lovely drum beat. It really rocks! Now, you’re already looking forward to playing it for your teacher during your drumming lesson tomorrow.
Finally, the big day is here. You feel REALLY confident. “How did the practice go this week?” asks your teacher.
You just give him or her a confident look. It’s almost cocky.
Now, you grab your drum sticks like you never grabbed them before!
You take a deep breath.
And you screw everything up.
That’s what we call Vorführeffekt here in Germany.
How you can REALLY get better at drumming
What in the name of Ginger Baker happened?
I mean: You could play the drum groove perfectly fine in your rehearsal room at home, right?
Take a deep breath and relax. Everything’s fine.
I’ve seen this during my lessons so often. And you know what the reason for screwing up is like literally most of the time?
It’s the speed. The wrong tempo.
You’re simply playing too fast. (It’s number 4 out of 10 bad drumming habits drumambition.com talks about.)
So do yourself a favor and slow down now!
Really – that’s the secret to it. But let me explain.
How slowing down makes you a better drummer
If you want to get better at drumming, you have to practice. That’s no surprise.
However, this might be especially for drum beginners:
It’s not what you play or practice. It’s about HOW you do it.
Think about it: Why do the greatest drummers in the world sound so freaking amazing?
They practiced the heck out of their drums. However, they also did do this the right way.
And practicing the right way often means really slowing down to start with.
So slow, in fact, you can’t get your current drum exercise wrong.
And also so slow that you’re able to practice well aware of what you’re actually doing.
If you’re constantly on the edge of screwing up a drum beat, fill or song – there probably is something wrong with your practice method.
(And with your number of bpm showing on the metronome.)
What you can do now to get better at drumming
Practicing in a slow tempo gives you the chance to
- fully understand what you’re doing,
- enhance a supporting drumming technique
- and master your exercise with more ease after all.
It’s one of the ways to go if you really want to get better at drumming.
BUT PLEASE: Don’t stay slow.
If you feel good while playing your exercise, gradually increase the speed. 3 to 5 bpm are great to start with!
So that’s what you can do now:
- Select one drum beat or fill you want to really understand, learn and master.
- Start practicing it in a much slower tempo than you’re used to.
I’m not kidding: Sometimes, I set my metronome to less than 40 bpm on quarters.
However, for beginners, this tempo is often too slow. (I know, sounds paradox. I’ll write a blog post on this article soon.) So a good pick for your click is around 60 bpm on quarter-notes.
- Practice your exercise so slow, you don’t make any mistakes. When this finally happens, speed up by some bpm gradually.
- Repeat this idea until you’re satisfied. Then, add new stuff to your drum practice schedule. And have fun while becoming better at drumming of course! 🙂
After all, this will be one element to your success as the musician you want to be.
Remember the Vorführeffekt?
If you’re taking drum lessons, you might know this scenario:
Practicing like a pro and then screwing things up when attending your lessons.
(Yes, we’ve talked about this before.)
So here’s another tip to master this common thing to happen:
Play your exercise just a little slower than you’ve practiced it at home.
If you’ve followed the instructions above, this should be still somewhat fast. But now, you do feel secure in what you’re drumming.
Of course, what you’ve learned in this article is no magic wand or something. It’s just a simple way of becoming better at drumming.
Also, there are more tips that can help you improve a lot. Interested?
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And now: Grab a pair of your best drum sticks, sit down behind your kit and use your new knowledge to your favor.
Have fun & cheers,
Ps.: Did this tip help you get better at drumming? Let me know!