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Practice Makes Better…. But First Some Basics!!

Lots of people ask me why I’m so awesome at the drums (I promise I’m not conceded). My usual answer is, ‘because I have been playing forever’. But lately I have been thinking about this, and it’s only partially true. It’s not necessarily how long you have been playing that makes you a better drummer, It’s what you put into your practice time, and how long you practice.

So how can I achieve a productive practice?? I’m glad you asked, because in the upcoming lessons im going to show you proper practice techniques, stick control, time keeping exercises, drum rudiment workouts, and yes well eventually get behind the drum set!

But before we venture down that path, we need to cover some basics about some equipment we will need in our daily practicing routine!!

Practice Pad Basics. What is it, and what do I need?:

For everybody just starting out on the drums, you might be wondering whats a practice pad? A practice pad is a pad that usually has one or two surfaces to hit with stick, one being a hard surface and one being a softer surface. Many major drum companies make them. To name a few, zildjian, promark, gibralter, remo. The pads are generally used to warm up the hands, practice out sticking patterns, and touch up on your rudiments. They are also lots quieter than drums, which is very convenient when its like 11:00 PM and the wife and kids are sleeping. Below is a link to various practice pads that are available to you.

Metronome? huh?

But don’t think your getting off to easy there! See the practice pad need the accompany of it’s time keeping father, the metronome! Whats a metronome? A metronome is a device that counts out time in a specified BPM (beats per minute) The greater the BPM the faster the tick of the metronome. We well use this to keep time when were working out on various exercises. Many companies make metronomes, some really fancy ones that let you program out clicks, and some plain jane punch in a number and rock out metronomes. If you dont have a metronome practicing along to cds or music is also a good substitute. Below is a link to various metronomes that are available to you.

One more thing that is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, the sticks you practice on the pad with should be a heavier/thicker stick than you normally play with. So if you normally play with 5a’s consider using a 5b, or better yet find the biggest marching stick you can and start using them. There is also a company called “diggits” that makes stick weights. I like these because you can add weight to your stick that you are used to playing with. Below is a link to check out the stick weights.

You might ask, why would you want to use heavier sticks when you practice? Using heavy sticks will help build endurance and speed. Especially when you switch back to your normal playing sticks you will feel how much lighter they feel and how much faster you can play!!! (over time that is :) )

So get together you Practice Pad, Metronome and Heavier Sticks and lets get to practicing!!!!

About zildjianmatt

An avid drummer, educator and author on all things drums!

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