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Developing Speed – For Drummers

Modern drummers often play with extreme speed either because the music genre they play requires it or it can be used as another tool in their drumming toolbox. Speed can also be used in circumstances such as drum clinics, instructional videos, drum solos and showmanship opportunities.

If your goal is to develop speed in your drumming there are some steps that will help you get there. First of all visualize your goal. What drums are involved, are both hands and both feet involved, is it just a fill or is it the entire length of the song, etc. For the hands focus on the fulcrum of the stick which allows you the greatest involvement of your fingers to control the rebound. For the feet you may find heels up works best for speed. Experiment with where you place the ball of the foot on the pedal to locate the sweet spot. Also experiment with different settings on the pedal. Start the pattern slowly focusing on clean separation between the notes. Slowly add speed while maintaining separation. A good exercise is to start slow, gradually add speed until your separation suffers and then gradually slow down maintaining control. Each time you do this exercise try to go just a bit faster with control. As your skill and speed increase to your maximum try adding accents on the 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Also using a metronome can help with staying locked in the metre and recording yourself can help identify areas enquiring additional attention.

Speed is a great skill to have in all aspects of your drumming but remember it’s only effective if metre, separation and control are rock solid. Finally, speed as in all drum skills should only be used to serve and enhance the song.

Our mission at Power Drumming Canada is to coach beginner, intermediate and advanced drummers to be the best they can be. 

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Recording Tips (Part 3 of 3) for Drummers

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In part 1 we discussed before entering the studio (pre-production).  In part 2 we discussed the recording process (production).  In part 3 we will discuss after recording (post production).

Now that all your drum parts are recorded you have an opportunity to make small enhancements. These may include overdubs and/or studio magic.  This is the point where every drummer has to make a fundamental decision. Do I want to be able to reproduce the songs live myself without any additional help or do I want to work with technology to produce (in the studio and live) a hybrid of myself and technology including samples, loops, triggers, studio effects, etc.  This is a personal decision, although depending on the complexity of the songs the decision may become obvious. A great deal of the post production will be completed by the engineer including EQing and mixing. You may find EQing tedious and best left to the experts however mixing is something you may want to participate in, if only to give feedback after the initial mixes are done.  A word of caution-Pro Tools is the software used in most studios and offers endless possibilities for studio magic.  Don’t lose sight of serving the song. If used properly these options can truly enhance your performance.  If not used properly they can sabotage your performance and the song. Be flexible to other people’s ideas as they may improve on your drum parts and therefore improve the song.

Power Drumming Canada offers lessons in home recording as well as drum lessons, songwriting lessons and strength and conditioning lessons for drummers.