How To Practice Drumming
How To Practice Drumming
Drummer Erik Stams teaches viewers how to practice drumming, including essential practice items and rhythmic subdivision.
Hello. Today, I'm going to talk to you about how to practice drums. Practicing drums is like practicing anything else.
The way to achieve results is through repetitive consistent practice. Doing anything for 4 hours on a Sunday is not going to yield any results whereas a little bit everyday will help you get to where you want to go. What we're trying to achieve mainly with drums and with anything else, it could be playing the violin, or golf, or tennis, or anything physical, you want to achieve something known as muscle memory.
You want your hands to remember what to do. That goes for your feet as well. The idea being that, by practicing a lot, we no longer actually have to think.
We're just concentrating on playing music. For a drummer, the most important things are good time keeping, sound, and feel. An awareness of different styles of music is also really, really important.
The most important thing when it comes to practicing is actually being very, very methodical and setting up some sort of routine for yourself. I would recommend keeping some sort of a practice diary, where you kind of pick the topics that you think you need to work on, prioritize them. Make notes, make yourself a little chart, make notes about tempo, volume, dynamics, things that you think need improving, that will help a lot.
Some essential tools for the drummer would include a practice pad and a metronome. The practice pad to save you having problems with your neighbors and save your ears, and the metronome will help you achieve a really good sense of time, and that's the most important thing for us as drummers, is a good sense of time. That's what other musicians are going to expect from you.
You can spend all the time in the world working on speed and chops and volume, but if you can't actually play those things in time, you're not really doing your job as a drummer. So, spend some time on that. Another important thing is to use set priorities.
Think about the things that you're not actually good at, work at the things that you can't already play. It's a lot of fun to sit in a practice from and actually play your favorite songs and the things you already know how to do, but in order to get results, you actually have to work on the things that you're not very good at. One of the best ways to achieve a good sense of time is to actually work on rhythmic subdivision.
So, set up a metronome and work through playing different rhythmic subdivisions, such as eighth notes, triplets, sixteenth notes, sextuplets, quintuplets, septuplets, thirty second notes, which ever rhythms comes to mind. By that I mean, for instance: One-Two-Three-Four. One-and-two-and-three-and-four-and.
One-tri-plet, two-tri-plet, three-tri-plet, four tri-plet. One-e-and-a, two-e-and-a. Go through all the different rhythmic subdivisions while playing with a metronome in time.
One you start to feel comfortable with that, it will translate into very clear and articulate musicianship. And that's how to practice drums. .