Practice routine

A practice routine keeps you from practicing the same things over and over again. Many people spend a lot of time playing the stuff they already can play, but in order to make progress in your drumming you need to work on something that you don't already know. An effective drum practice routine will help you in bringing your drumming to the next level and in leading you to your next goal.

Make It A Habit

Do not plan on practicing whenever you feel like it because there will be times you just don't feel like practicing. You have to learn to play the drums regardless of how you feel. Often you'll find you just needed to get started and then you are into it. Practice whether you feel like it or not, this way you will make progress and practicing will become a habit. It may take several weeks to get into the habit of consistently practicing. The beginning is always the most difficult. Sometimes, just getting started is the hard part. Each day, try to sit down just for 5 minutes. Most of the time you will find that you want to keep practicing longer than those 5 minutes!

Avoid Distractions

Avoiding interruptions or distraction can be difficult. Set a specific time each day to practice, try to pick a time when no one will disturb or interrupt you. Play in a quiet room and turn of your cell phone. Inform the people around you - family, friends, ... - you are not available for a certain time period.

Create A Schedule

Create a practice list and write down the areas you want to focus, such as “paradiddles”, “heel-toe” or "groove 10 from book X". Pick about 3 to 5 areas you will work on, not more. If your list is too long, it could work counterproductive, the goal is to finish all topics on you list, not to discourage yourself. Next, write down the amount of time you will practice on each topic. Break your practice down into small time segments, 10 to 20 minutes a day on each topic will suffice. This way you can work on one specific area in which you need to improve for a set amount of time. Use a timer and set it for the desired practice time and when it goes off proceed to your next subject. You can take a break between each practice topic.

Warm Up!

It is important to first warm up before playing because it will get rid of the tension in your muscles and it will allow you to be loose and relaxed. Start by slowly playing single strokes and gradually increase tempo. After a while you can play other, more difficult patterns. Take at least 5 minutes to do the warm up. Don't forget to start out very slow and increase tempo after a while.

Use A Metronome

Always use a metronome when you play. This way you wil learn to play a rhythm without speeding up or slowing down. The best way to develop great time is to practice to a metronome.

General Practice Tips

To conclude, some practice tips to keep in mind before starting an exercise:

  • Practice with a metronome
  • Go slow first, then gradually increase tempo, for example 4 beats at a time.
  • Stay at the same tempo until you can play relaxed
  • Practice each exercise at least 20 times, or as many times as it takes to get a good understanding of what you are playing
  • Don't rush through each measure and get right to the end
  • After you become familiar with the technical aspect you can work on feel, dynamics and groove
  • Apply the exercise to a variety of musical situations