How to Drum Faster

Ever made it to a drum fill only to find out that your hands and wrists have tightened up and refuse to move any faster? Whether you’re new to drumming or more experienced, you probably know what I’m talking about. In this blog, I’m going to show you how you can make it through fast-paced parts without slowing down, getting sloppy or having to simplify your parts.

Practice Makes Perfect

I know this might not be what you want to hear, but learning how to drum faster takes time – a lot of time. As such, adopting a daily practice routine is vital, especially since 30 minutes of working on your skills every day will always yield better results than pounding your drums for three hours on end once a week. As Megadeth drummer Dirk Verbeuren once said, this is something you can work on anywhere, whether you’re on the train, in front of the telly or on the toilet. So grab a snare drum or a practice pad and pick up the habit!

Take It Slow

While it sounds paradoxical, learning how to drum faster means going slowly at first. Tom Grosset, the world’s fastest drummer (1,208 single strokes in one minute), is living proof here. Grosset says he works on his speed by starting slowly and perfecting his striking motion before he picks up the pace. Going extremely slowly at first basically gives you the time you need to develop the most efficient drumming motion possible. Then, when you eventually speed things up, it’ll take nothing but muscle memory, which makes it much easier to keep it up when you’re drumming at top speed. Grosset has also mentioned that he does stretches and breathing exercises to help him maintain extreme tempos.

How to Drum Faster

Adjust Your Set-Up

One of the simplest ways to speed up your drumming is optimising your drum kit set-up. Setting up your cymbals too high or your toms too far apart will only slow you down and require more effort to play. Take a good look at your kit and see if there are tweaks you can make to build a more efficient set-up, so you can reduce the time it takes to go from your floor tom to your hi-hats. Need a little inspiration? Have a look at our article: Drum Kit Configurations: Try These Variations.

Use a Metronome

Honing your skills with the help of a metronome is always a good idea, not just when you’re learning to drum faster. Granted, metronomes aren’t very exciting but using one will work wonders when it comes to drumming at a consistent tempo, regardless of speed. Once you inadvertently ‘teach’ yourself to play faster or slower at high tempos, this’ll be hard to unlearn. The late great Joey Jordison occasionally suffered from this during Slipknot gigs. After the intro, songs would be at a much faster speed than the tempo at which they started, which made things sound rushed. This goes to show that even professionals can slip up if they don’t form the right habits from the start.

How to Drum Faster

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Ok, maybe head and shoulders not so much, but your legs and feet definitely play an important role when you’re learning to play faster. Imagine playing blast-beats with your arms hitting 200 BPM while your feet struggle to hit 160 BPM. You’re right, that’s going to sound horrendous so don’t forget to train your legs. Here, the same applies as before: use a metronome, start slowly and practise every day. Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo’s tip: make sure your pedals are set up the exact same way and go for a fairly high tension for both your kick drum batter head and your pedal springs. This way, the beater returns much quicker, allowing you to get more hits in.

The Moeller Technique

If all of the above doesn’t help, there’s one more thing you can try: the Moeller technique. Also known as the whipping technique, this stroke method is all about spending your energy as efficiently as possible to help you drum faster. The technique involves playing single strokes only and focuses on halving the number of movements needed. Here’s how it works: play a drum (e.g. your snare) and keep the stick close to the drumhead before doing the same thing with the other stick. Now play the drum again by mainly using your fingers and do the same with the other hand. You’ve now landed four strikes with just two wrist movements! While the Moeller technique will take some time to master, it’s definitely worth it since it doesn’t just help you drum faster, but enables you to add more dynamics to your playing so you can play like Benny Greb.

Ever played with a Drumometer or have any other tips or questions? Let us know in the comment section below!

See Also

» Drumming in Irregular Time Signatures: Examples & Exercises
» Drum Kit Configurations: Try These Variations!
» Drumming Without a Drum Kit: The Options
» Reggae Drumming – Rhythms, Sounds and Cues
» The Pros and Cons of Drumming with a Click-Track
» Drumheads: How to Get Perfect Tone
» How do I become a drummer?

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» Double Drum Pedals
» Drum Metronomes
» Metronomes With Headphone Output
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