Drum Speed Exercises

by Steven J. Miller
Drum exercises will greatly increase your speed.

Drum exercises will greatly increase your speed.

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Drum speed exercises are essential to develop and master your drumming technique. By practicing simple exercises each day, you can greatly improve your ability to play with speed and power. Professional drummers practice technique daily to improve their speed and develop a consistent rhythm. Practicing each exercise with a metronome will ensure that you learn to play with proper rhythm and tempo.


When practicing drum exercises, ensure that each hand gets the same workout. Agility must be equal in both hands or it will affect your technique and prevent you from playing at your full capacity. If you can play 32 note triplets all day with the left hand, that doesn't help you if your right hand lacks the same coordination. Improve by practicing each exercise equally on both hands. If there is a significant difference between the coordination of both hands, spend additional time on the weaker hand until you can bring it up to the same level as your strong hand.

Drum Rudiments

Practice drum rudiments daily. Concentrate only on one rudiment until you have perfected it. Begin by concentrating only on single-stroke and double-stroke rudiments. As you gain competence move on to paradiddles. Paradiddles involve complex alternations between left and right hand strikes and double-strokes. Other important rudiments are flams which use a quick pre-emptive grace note before the attack. Practice drags as well, a drag is a flam that has a double-stroke before the accented note. Learning these basic rudiments will make it possible for you to play any of the more complex rudiments, since rudiments simply use these basic strokes in combination.

Pillow Exercises

Practice your drum exercises on a pillow instead of a practice pad. A practice pad has a natural rebound that simulates actual drumming but it prevents you from gaining complete control over the drum sticks. Since the pillow absorbs the strike, you have to physically pull the drum stick back up. This will develop the muscles and coordination necessary to play at higher speeds. Practice all of your drum rudiments on the pillow in addition to a practice pad. This will greatly increase your technique and skill.

Lock Grip Technique

Practice the lock grip technique on a daily basis to develop strength in your wrists. This technique involves holding the drum stick as you normally would but using the top portion of your index finger to secure the stick for additional control. Ensure that you do not let the sticks rebound. You must have complete control over the entire movement. As you practice this technique you will notice that your power and speed increase.

About the Author

Steven Miller graduated with a master's degree in 2010. He writes for several companies including Lowe's and IBM. He also works with local schools to create community gardens and learn environmentally responsible gardening. An avid gardener for 15 years, his experience includes organic gardening, ornamental plants and do-it-yourself home projects.

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