Learning to play the drums without an instructor may be fun and relatively cheaper. However, without proper guidance, it is easy to pick up bad habits that may hinder our drumming.
Here are 5 important tricks that all new drummers must know:
Section 1: Beginner Techniques
1. How to hold your drumsticks
Knowing how to hold and grip your drumsticks will allow you to be able to play freely and efficiently while lowering the possibility of injuring or straining yourself. You can refer to the following:
- How to Grip Your Drumsticks
- Types of Grips for Drumsticks – How to hold your drumsticks
- Balance Point of a Drumstick – learn how to maximise your drumstick grip
Make sure that when the base of the sticks rebound, they are hitting the fleshiest part of your hand (or the pad of your hand). This ensures that the impact of the rebound doesn’t cause any injury or pain while you play the drums.
Holding your drumsticks too high can cause such issues. If you have found the balance point of your drumsticks, you are less lightly to experience this.
2. Play from the wrists.
This tip could increase your stamina instantly.
While playing, you want to get the most out of the rebound of your drumsticks. This helps you to keep the momentum going and also prevents you (and your arms) from tiring out.
To do so, try playing from your wrists instead of using your arms.
Grab a practice pad and notice how you are using your arms to play.
To check if you are doing it right, notice this.
The greatest angle of movement should come from your wrists and your arms should stay at your sides most of the time.
Section 2: Simple Practice Tricks that can help you improve your speed:
3. Use less energy, Get louder Beats
You do not have to use so much energy to produce a loud beat.
Use this practice technique to build up your drumming volume and speed.
Lift your drum sticks at a mid level (in front of your chest is good), at a 45 degree angel from your drum pad.
Play the single stroke roll and try to return the tip of your sticks at the same level when you play.
4. Power up your double stroke rolls
This is a fun practice technique.
Plus, it makes you feel like a pro…for a while. And helps you train your speed in playing drum rolls.
With this practice, you are to play your double stroke rolls by using the rebound of your drumsticks.
With the double stroke roll, you are hitting the drum pad with: Left, Left, Right, Right.
The challenge when you first start is to stop using your arms or even your wrist to produce the 2nd and 4th beat. Instead, let the drum stick rebound to produce those beat.
Notice how you are gripping the drumstick as your drumstick hits the drum practice pad.
If you are gripping the drumsticks too tight, you will kill all possible rebounds. If you are gripping the drumsticks too loosely, you’ll tend to lose control of where your stick goes after the rebound.
The key is to practice, feel and readjust until you find the comfortable rhythm.
Once you get it, try to speed up.
Note that this is only suitable for when you are playing on a tight and bouncy surface – like your practice pad or snare drum.
5.Transition like a pro
This one was tough. It still is.
This practice involves switching from a single to a double stroke roll. It involves coordination, time keeping and a huge dose of focus.
As you speed up, try adding in Tip #4.
If you’d like an example and an explanation, watch the video below from 12:07 onwards.
I’ve picked up these tips from various sources. Until I realised Drumeo has a video with all these techniques in one place. Here it is: