It is natural for humans to aspire to become better at something they love and enjoy. For a lot of people out there, people like me and you, drumming is a catharsis that lets us rhythmically express ourselves.
It can be a gateway to reaching our inner selves. It can also be an escape from the complicated world around us. Whatever motivation you may have, one desire may burn strongly in your heart: How to get better at drumming?
As much as drumming is about practice and dedication, it is also linked to your growth and self-improvement. Some people remark that the art of drumming comes naturally to them. Others struggle at refining their basic drumming skills.
Everyone has his journey to follow. A journey in which most individuals are likely to face intense frustration, loss of self-esteem, and lower motivation to survive practice sessions.
But it’s precisely the reason why the journey to becoming a better drummer is so rewarding. When you put in so much effort, you are likely to get all the joy after receiving the desired results.
But how can you go about it?
Will hours of mindless tapping and jamming sessions refine your drumming skills?
Perhaps this route may work. But with the advent of the age of information and experts, one thing is for certain: Hard work without smart work is bound to disappoint you.
You are reading this article to diminish the possibility of getting disappointed, right?
Then keep reading ahead because we will be providing you with amazing tips that you can start following right now.
Six tips to improve your drumming skills
Let’s dive into some actionable tips that can bring out the best version of a drummer that you’ve always wanted to be!
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Basics, Basics, Basics!
Thinking how you can grow by sticking to the basics?
To clear the confusion, you don’t need to keep going with the basics. This advice is about mastering those basics!
If you try to run before learning how to walk properly, your run will always be half-hearted.
Similarly, in the case of drumming, not paying due attention to the foundational techniques can pave the way for the development of gaps and bad habits.
On the flip side, a strong foundation is the first step to developing your style. Try to work on the following elementary skills:
- Single strokes
- Double strokes
- Five-stroke roll
- Swiss Army Triplets
It is important to perform these rudimentary tasks with consistency so that you adopt a robust and dynamic foundation.
It pays well to include seemingly small drumming steps in your practice hours instead of rushing to perform advanced beats right from the start. Taking small and sustainable steps always pays off.back to menu ↑
Embody your favorite drummer
Now we are well-aware of the fact that everyone wants to develop their style. The last thing someone wishes to be called is a ‘copycat.’ Like seriously, it can get embarrassing at times.
But you have to keep asking why are you putting in the hours to get better at drumming? If it’s not solely for other people, then it’s perfectly fine to replicate an existing style.
Because most of the drumming maestros have spent a large chunk of their lives in mastering their style.
When you try to adopt it, you will also be indirectly adopting the best practices of drumming. It will also help you measure your progress and keep you motivated with a sense of direction and inspiration.
Mastery of rudiments is important, and following your favorite drummer is an effective way to achieve the goal of getting to the next level!back to menu ↑
Observe your technique
Getting better at something is not possible unless you know yourself well.
What is your grip like? For many, the initial grip is the key to a great start. Finding your grip is an important step that helps in improving your drumming skills.
Do you use a matched grip where the back of your stick touches the lower inside of your hand?
Have you taken the time to learn the technique of your preferred grip? These questions will guide you towards mastering your grip.
Secondly, are you way too stiff during the jamming sessions?
Being nervous can lead to rigidity, where you are prone to grip the sticks too tightly. Having tensed muscles would decrease the flow and smoothness of your drumming tone.
No one wants to experience that. Therefore, start becoming mindful about your grip.
Excellent advice about grip by late Jim Chapin is as follows: “Hold the sticks as you would a baby bird.”
Apart from your grip technique, another important factor is your creativity.
Some drum sets help you improve your technique as a beginner. We also reviewed some great drum sets for beginners. Make sure to check that our too.back to menu ↑
It is no fun if you are only sticking to the basics. I won’t recommend that either.
Instead, try to mix up your routine. Start with the basics. That’s super important. But you should be willing to be creative, too!
Working on your new groove just because it sounds cool to you and resonates with your idea of drumming is great.
You don’t need to bother about where your explosive tone would fit in or how the synchronization of the band would form. These concerns can be resolved later.
Your beginner’s enthusiasm is an essential component for building your style. Therefore, it is fine to venture into unknown territory AFTER you have allocated the due amount of time refining your fundamental skills.
It is a delicate balance between experience and creativity where experiences of other drummers allow you to avoid the mistakes they made and provide an effective blueprint of becoming a better drummer.back to menu ↑
If you are just beginning your drumming journey, then this tip may not seem important to you.
What does keeping time have to do with becoming a better drummer?
It is your responsibility to keep track of the time elapsed of the songs you are playing.
This habit makes you an asset to your band and builds the coordination among the members. The last thing you would want is to see a disruption in a synchronized band performance.
Get your headphones and play your favorite songs to get a sense of time-keeping because, in most cases, you will be using drum machines, click tracks, and metronomes as time-keeping tools.
The sense of time comes with practice and experience, so try to work on this skill while practicing your drumming technique.back to menu ↑
Louder is not always better.
Most of us like to do things in a wild and aggressive manner. The resulting adrenaline rush makes us feel happy and energized.
However, controlling the sound intensity and volume is a key trait in professional drummers. Instead of focusing on your preferred metal songs, you can also work on your soft notes through playing ballad-like songs.
This transition will not only help you become dynamic, but it will also be valued as a skill to remove monotonous performance and add life to a live performance!
Slower tempos are not easy to pull off, but they pay off. You will begin to appreciate just how much adding structure to your practice routine can elevate your performance and make it easier for you to reach those drumming goals.back to menu ↑
It’s great to see individuals who are keen to improve their drumming skills. Getting better at something you are passionate about is one of the best feelings that you can come across!
Our tips for becoming a better drummer are not solely about the technical aspects of drumming. We also tried to incorporate the smaller details that most beginners and even intermediate drummers tend to overlook.
Working on the basics and building healthy habits is something common in all the successful tips to get better at drumming.
These timeless pieces of advice, coupled with other actionable suggestions, will help you bring out your A-game in the countless practice sessions and the much-awaited live performances!
So, when are you doing your next practice session?back to menu ↑
How can I become a good drummer?
Work on your basics and rudimentary drumming skills, develop healthy practices such as time-keeping skills and a proper grip and strive to become a dynamic drummer. This will pave the way to becoming a good drummer.back to menu ↑
How long does it take to become a good drummer?
It depends on the hours you put in, the resources you have, and the mentors who are willing to help you in the journey. Having friends who can point out your shortcomings can make the learning curve easier. A couple of months is necessary to familiarize yourself with the basics of drumming.back to menu ↑
How can I improve my drumming technique?
Reading on technique is not everyone’s cup of tea. What you can do instead is closely watch your favorite drummers and observe their techniques to mirror their performances.back to menu ↑
How much money do drummers make?
The money varies. If you are a professional drummer and involved in an emerging band, then you can expect to make around $50,000 annually.