10 Tips DrummerLarge

Top 10 tips for drummers

Session drummer Tom Lane gives us his top tips.

  1. Practice With A Metronome
    As a drummer being the time keeper is your primary function, practicing to a click/metronome will develop your ability to play in time and also your fluency.
  2. Know Your Rudiments
    This may sound broad and a bit vague but learning your rudiments, even just to a basic standard will help you to develop better technique, your accuracy around the kit will increase as will your speed and control of your dynamic range.
  3. Practice Different Styles
    I have always found that practicing a variety of styles has matured me as a drummer and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Having knowledge of a variety of different grooves and feels will add creativity and maturity to your playing.
  4. Practice Independence
    In its simplest form the main challenge of drumming is having the ability to play different things in different limbs at the same time. In order to grow in this area it’s important to constantly challenge yourself in your practice times. Start simply and build it up slowly, it will take time, it will be frustrating, but it will be worth it I promise you.
  5. Know The Lyrics
    For me this is arguably the most important. There is power in lyrics and your job is not just to hit the drums, but to join the band in communicating the heart of the song. If you don’t know the lyrics, ask for a copy, familiarise yourself with them, ask questions about them and play along appropriately.
  6. Know Your Gear
    Different songs and playing environments require different kit setups, everything from the size of your bass drum to the tightness of your cymbal felts affects the sound you give off. Consider your kit setup carefully, and don’t be afraid to change things up every now and then.
  7. Know Your Sticks
    Having a broad range of sticks at your disposal is vital, whether it’s brushes, mallets, rods, 7A’s, 5A’s (the list goes on), they all make different sounds and respond differently so you should own a pair of each and be comfortable with them.
  8. Listen To Your Kit
    It is obviously important to practice with a click in your ears and often helpful to play along to a track, however occasionally take everything out of your ears and simply listen to the sound of your playing, and the sound your making behind the kit, you might be surprised!
  9. Nail The Basics First
    This may sound a bit general, but the majority of the time songs will sound best if you simply make it groove. There is a place for gospel chops and live arrangements but they are few and far between, keep your playing solid and feeling good and everyone (especially bass players) will love playing with you.
  10. Enjoy Your Drumming
    Make sure your practice time is effective yes, make sure you put in the hours, but most importantly maintain your love of the instrument, remember why you first picked up that pair of sticks and always dream big.

"Enjoy drumming: put in the hours but most importantly maintain your love of the instrument"

Tom Lane

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Questions: Which of these 10 tips will benefit you the most? What tips would you add to this list?  Leave a comment below.

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