It’s not sexy. Nor do most of us drummers strive for it. Playing the drums slowly doesn’t wow people like going blazing fast around the kit.
Or is it just me?
In addition, you hardly ever hear drummers ask:
How can I learn to play better in a slow tempo?
Most of the time it’s like:
Is there a super easy way to play the drums faster?
So playing the drums slowly seems like something you
- simply have to deal with,
- rather than to enjoy it.
But is the reputation of a slow drumming tempo really earned? I say:
Because playing the drums slowly is way harder than you think. Here’s why – and a pro-tip you can use to master few bpm.
But first, let’s get into the zone.
Psst ... That's what this article is about
Your personal BPM comfort zone: BEWARE of it!
Have you ever noticed that each of us drummers seems to have a “Wohlfühltempo”?
In German, this kind of tempo describes the pace you play the drums is exactly what you feel comfortable with.
It’s individual for each drummer.
However, the Wohlfühltempo in general is not too fast and not too slow.
Now imagine this:
You get out of your personal bpm comfort zone. You play way faster than what you are used to.
- Your muscles might get tense, and you feel less secure.
- Maybe you also struggle with becoming slower while getting faster.
- Or you get louder when playing faster. (This is kind of a common thing for drum beginners.)
In total, this shows you that you’re out of your bpm comfort zone on the fast end of the scale.
Now, what happens when you play the drums slower than you’re used to?
What makes playing the drums slowly so difficult for many
Whenever stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re likely about to benefit from this experience.
This not only goes for drumming, but life in general.
However, it’s not easy to step out there.
And playing the drums makes again no difference compared to other things in life.
So when you are drumming slowly, you will probably notice a change in how you play:
- Most of the time, the drum beat is getting less compact or tight.
- Your thoughts also seems to wander off, making you less concentrated.
- Also, it’s likely that you feel your exercise doesn’t sound right. It literally might be out of time.
Playing the drums slowly is kind of like drumming as quiet as you can:
It’s hard for most drummers, because they often don’t practice such things.
And as we know, you only get better when practising the right way.
Another reason for problems with a slow tempo on the drums
In addition to a lack of practice routine, there’s another reason why playing the drums slowly is way harder than you think.
It’s the still missing sense of time almost each beginner on the drums has.
This skill – the inner clock – gets trained over time.
But in the beginning of your musical journey, it’s likely not there yet.
When playing real slow on your kit, you can’t help but notice this.
On the other hand:
More bpm allow you to cramp more speed into each bar. Therefore, you often don’t recognize that you’re not playing the right tempo.
As there is so much going on in so little time, you simply don’t notice that you’re off.
When playing the drums slowly, however, you become aware of it.
You want to become great at playing the drums slowly? Do this now
Learning to play the drums is a lifelong journey. That’s great, but can also be a little overwhelming for beginners.
Thankfully, there are some gadgets and drumming tips helping you out including also
- drum lessons near you,
- books, DVDs or blogs
- and online courses.
If you want to master a slow drumming tempo, you therefore have to practice what you learn slowly.
The metronome or click will help you immensely doing so.
It is your little helper to establish a great sense of time – the inner clock.
However, I’m well aware that a great timing doesn’t come overnight. It’s a result of practising the drums over a long period of time and in a smart way.
And yes, that is a challenge of its own. Thankfully, it’s so worth it. 🙂
So practice everything you want to learn from now on in different tempos:
Fast to learn how to drum fast.
And slow to learn how to play slow.
This will make a huge difference in your drum skill set. Give it a try – and start today!
PS: Do you think playing the drums slowly is harder than going fast around the kit, too? Share your thoughts in the comments!