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.