Become a Faster Drummer | Drumming Hand Technique

    Increasing Drumming Speed

    Tips For Increasing Your Drumming Speed

    Drumming isn't just a part of music; it's the pulsating heartbeat that brings any song to life.

    Imagine that moment in a song when the drummer unleashes a captivating rhythm that makes you FEEL the music.

    It's an experience that transforms a good song into an unforgettable one.

    For many drummers, everyone from pop to metal drummers, the pursuit of speed is a thrilling aspect of their drumming journey.

    Whether it's for dramatic effect, to add a flashy flair, or to energize the crowd, mastering rapid drum beats is a coveted skill.

    But achieving this level of proficiency isn't just about sitting behind a drum kit; it requires dedicated practice, a solid understanding of drum techniques, and a commitment to refining your skills.

    So, how do you embark on this path to becoming a faster drummer?

    It starts with understanding the fundamentals of drumming hand technique, from single strokes to complex drum patterns, and integrating them into your practice routine.

    Let's dive into how you can develop your drumming skills and enhance your speed, rhythm, and overall performance.

    Table Of Contents


    Check Your Current Status

    Before embarking on your journey to become a faster drummer, it's crucial to evaluate your current status.

    Ask yourself: Is there a specific rhythm or tempo you want to master?

    Setting clear, detailed goals in drumming, as in any area of life, significantly increases your chances of success.

    Wanting to 'play faster' is a start, but specificity is key for measurable progress.

    Choose a drum pattern or rhythm that challenges you, and aim to perform it faster.

    Start by practicing this rhythm on your snare drum or practice pad at a slower tempo.

    Gradually increase your speed, maintaining clean single or double strokes until you reach a comfortable speed where your drum technique remains precise.

    This methodical approach, where you incrementally push your limits, helps build muscle memory and refine your drumming hand technique, which is essential for any aspiring faster drummer.

    Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

    How to develop hand speed

    For experienced and beginner drummers, the path to becoming a faster drummer hinges on consistent repetition.

    While practicing the same drum patterns or drum rudiments repeatedly might seem monotonous at times, the payoff is immense.

    When working on a chosen rhythm, aim to play it at about 70-80% of your maximum speed.

    This approach might feel counterintuitive when your goal is to increase speed, but it's crucial for maintaining control and relaxation in your playing.

    This method helps build muscle memory while avoiding strain or cramping, which are common hurdles for beginner and experienced drummers.

    Remember, playing fast shouldn't mean tensing up.

    A relaxed posture and fluid wrist movements are crucial to achieving speed without fatigue or strain.

    Keep this principle in mind during each practice session.

    If you're unsure of what rhythm to practice, here's a helpful exercise: alternate between playing 8th notes with one hand and 4 sets of 16th notes with the other, then switch hands.

    This exercise, recommended by, is excellent for developing hand coordination and gradually boosting your speed, all while maintaining a solid, technically sound rhythm.

    Drum stick technique for speed

    Tips to Increase your Drumming Speed

    On top of just repetition and practicing, there are some extra steps you can take to assist you on your journey to faster drumming abilities.

    1. Warm Up

    Warming up may seem obvious, yet many musicians often overlook it.

    Remember, drumming is not just an art; it's a physical activity akin to a workout.

    Successful weight trainers wouldn't dream of lifting their max weight without a proper warm-up, and the same principle applies to drumming.

    Before diving into complex drum beats or practicing intense drum rudiments, preparing your body, arms, wrists, and hands is crucial.

    Stretching your arms helps maintain flexibility while practicing simple rhythms can align your mind and wrists for the session ahead.

    This warm-up phase is vital for both beginner and experienced drummers, setting the stage for a productive practice session.

    For warm-up exercises tailored to drummers, including wrist movements and drumming hand techniques, click here.

    These exercises are designed to enhance your drum technique, ensuring you're fully prepared to tackle your drum kit with precision and speed.

    2. Utilize Heavier Sticks

    Just as baseball players train with a weighted bat and basketball players train with medicine balls, drummers can apply a similar technique to enhance their speed and control.

    By practicing with heavier drumsticks, you develop muscle memory and wrist strength, essential for executing rapid drum patterns and beats.

    Incorporating heavier sticks into your practice routine, especially when working on quick rhythms like 16th notes or double-stroke rolls, can significantly improve your agility.

    When you switch back to regular-weight drumsticks for a live performance or recording session, you'll notice a remarkable increase in speed and ease of play.

    However, it's crucial to strike a balance.

    Overusing heavy sticks can lead to an over-reliance on their weight, potentially impacting your finesse and comfort with standard drumsticks.

    Use the heavy drum stick as a training tool from time to time to build strength and speed, but ensure that your practice time includes sessions with the sticks you'll use in actual performances.

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    3. Use a Metronome

    Utilizing a metronome is a fundamental yet often overlooked aspect of becoming a faster and more precise drummer.

    This simple tool is invaluable for developing a strong sense of time and rhythm.

    Integrating a metronome into your practice routine can significantly enhance your drumming skills.

    Start by setting a comfortable speed on the metronome and practice basic drum rudiments like single strokes, double strokes, and paradiddles.

    Using heavier sticks can add an extra challenge.

    Gradually increase the BPM (beats per minute) as you gain proficiency.

    This systematic approach allows you to track your progress in a measurable way, witnessing firsthand how your speed and comfort with complex drum patterns improve over time.

    Pro tip: there's no need to purchase a physical metronome.

    Access a free digital metronome easily on your laptop or smartphone by searching "metronome" on Google.

    This convenient tool is perfect for on-the-go practice sessions and ensures you're always in time, wherever your drumming journey takes you.

     Google Metronome | Keeping Time and Consistency

    4. Become Ambidextrous

    While it may sound like a half-joke, becoming more ambidextrous is a serious step toward becoming a faster drummer.

    Every drummer has a dominant hand, but minimizing the disparity between your stronger and weaker hand can significantly enhance your drumming speed and technique.

    Focus on exercises that challenge your less dominant hand.

    For instance, try leading with your weaker hand on the snare drum and experiment with hitting the hi-hat.

    This practice improves your hand coordination and builds muscle memory, which is essential for easily executing complex drum patterns and rhythms.

    For additional strategies and practice routines to strengthen your weaker drumming hand and achieve a more balanced drumming style, click here for detailed tips and exercises.

    Staying Determined

    Becoming a faster drummer requires unwavering commitment and determination, but the rewards are immensely gratifying.

    Like any significant milestone in life, the exhilaration of reaching that pivotal "I did it" moment is unparalleled.

    Don't halt your progress as you accomplish each goal in your drumming journey, whether it's mastering single strokes, double strokes, or perfecting your wrist technique.

    Gradually challenge yourself by increasing the BPM, pushing your limits bit by bit.

    This method improves your drumming skills, expanding your capabilities and often leading to advanced levels of playing.

    Remember, a drummer's journey is a continuous pursuit of improvement and excellence.

    Attend the Music College that Will Benefit Your Skills Most

    For drummers eager to refine their skills, whether on a home drum set or an electronic drum kit, the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media (AIMM) offers an unparalleled educational experience.

    Our state-of-the-art recording studios and comprehensive curriculum cater to intermediate-level drummers, providing the perfect environment for growth.

    AIMM has expanded its reach with a new online program accessible to aspiring drummers across the United States.

    This innovative approach allows our industry-leading professors to impart their knowledge and drumming techniques to a broader audience, fostering a new generation of professional drummers.

    AIMM also offers a fully accredited Drum Music and Technology Associate Degree on-site for drum students in the Atlanta, GA, area.

    This program delves into advanced drum techniques, drum rudiments, and various drumming styles, ensuring a well-rounded education.

    Click the link below to unlock your drumming potential and learn more about how AIMM can enhance your drum chops and practice routine.

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