Slow? Boring. A medium tempo? So mediocre. Fast? Hell yeah, now we’re talking! 🙂 Let’s be real: We all want to play the drums faster, right?
I suppose. The problem is: Most of us want to go fast and struggle at the same time.
Sometimes, it’s even a pain in the ass to get one single stroke just one tiny bit closer to where you want it to be.
And if you finally do, things might get sloppy soon … A clear rhythm? You really need to listen closely to hear it.
So in this article, I’ll share some of my favorite tips for helping drummers like you and me rock out faster.
But first, let’s start off with a no-brainer:
If you want to play drums faster … you need to play, practice and even feel faster.
Psst ... That's what this article is about
Super complex? Nope! Just start with a solid basis
You see, I’m the kind of drum teacher saying:
„Practice slowly, so you’ll improve quicker.“
Which sounds like a paradox, I know. But it’s actually true.
Your brain needs a certain amount of correct repetitions. When practicing at slow speed, you can provide them.
On the other hand, practicing the drums slowly is just one side of the medal. Because if you want to go fast, you have to go fast. Which means to practice fast as well.
Remember this whenever you’re setting a new drumming goal like learning a new beat or get into some tasty music:
- The slow practice routine is for building an unshakable fundament.
- Speeding up the BPM is your way to speed up your drumming.
But you have to take the first step first in order to achieve your drumming goal.
That’s super important to understand:
Practice one particular exercise so slow, you can’t get it wrong. When this works, speed it up.
The right grip helps you to play the drums faster
Being able to be a faster drummer is an ability you can
a.) practice each day to b.) achieve your goal over time.
There’s no mystery to increasing your drum skills. Everybody can do it. BUT!
Of course, you have to use the grip which suits you the best. This can be
- American as Matched Grips.
If you prefer the Traditional Grip, that’s perfectly fine too. (Or at least I guess. Personally, I only play matched.)
Whenever possible, you should take advantage of the rebound provided by your kit.
Heavy sticks are nice, but …
It’s important to adjust your drum sticks to what you’re learning, too.
Remember that heavier drum sticks are great for rock music, but can slow you down due to their weight.
On the other hand, a heavy stick can help you improve your muscle strength in the long run.
The choice of the right drum stick keeps on being up to you. (And it certainly deserves an article of its own.)
As I mostly play heavier music, I also go with heavy drum sticks models like 2 B or 5 B.
If you’re a drum beginner and don’t have any particular preferences, I recommend 5 A. Those sticks are highly versatile and can be used for almost each style of music.
Tiny movements are your friends
The higher the bpm on the metronome are, the smaller your movements should be.
I think we can all agree to the following: A superfast roll, rudiment or double bass beat will be really hard to perform with huge movements.
They might look awesome, but can be really tiring. Also, wide arm or foot movements naturally take more time to accomplish.
If you want to drum faster, I recommend tiny movements. Also make sure to use the rebound whenever possible.
I know that this is more advanced stuff. However, it’s good to keep in mind for your future.
5 easy steps to play the drums faster from now on
Being able to drum faster is an understandable desire. I agree, my students too, and I bet you will nod as well.
So to help you start speed up from now on, these steps might be useful:
1st step: Built a solid base for your exercise in a slow tempo. Don’t shy away from using the metronome. Speed up your drumming by a few bpm over time.
2nd step: Keep an eye on your grip. It will change with what you’re playing. For example, the back of your hand might have to change its position.
(As there’s no “go to” grip for everything, ask your drum teacher for more advice on this topic.)
3rd step: Choose the right drum sticks. Heavy sticks are great for rock music. However, lighter sticks like 5 A or even 7 A might be a better choice for you as a beginner.
4th step: Keep your movements low when drumming fast. Also, benefit from the rebound whenever possible.
5th step: Be patient and practice regularly! Becoming the drummer you want to be is nothing you can expect to happen overnight. It’s a marathon, no sprint.
A highly rewarding one. 🙂 But I don’t have to tell you.
Ps.: What’s your secret for drumming faster?