Developing Speed on the Drums

This one is for the drummers… Speed is almost an illusion on the drums. Its not so much the about the number of times your stick hits the drum as it is about the way your wrist is used to allow multiple hits for one downstroke. I can’t say thats a general rule, but a safe assumption is that plenty of drummers build their technique over years of wrist development. The biggest mistake I made while learning the drums was wanting to know too much to quickly. As I took my time to focus on the value of various components involved in getting better, I got more out of my education. SLOW DOWN. Speed comes over time. You are not going to sit down and play Wipe Out tomorrow. Its important to understand patience and working toward goals, one of which should probably be improving speed. Working with a metronome is a great start. Pick up a Joe Morello or George Lawrence Stone book at your local music store. Learn the exercises starting from page 1. If you can’t play something, slow it down. Find a comfortable quarter note tempo and play each of the exercises in time with the metronome clicks. As you become comfortable with a certain speed, set the metronome to a higher BPM. Continue this process as long as you are comfortably getting through each exercise.

The Moeller Technique involves using the wrist in a whipping motion to build enough momentum for multiple hits for one downstroke. It has become a very central part of developing speed around the kit. I could explain it, but Dave Weckl is a pure genius in just about every aspect of drumming, so Ill let him take it…

Try to devote 15-30 minutes a day to sticking and technique exercises. Take the simple tips in this article and you will notice a great improvement in your speed over the next few months. Don’t make the mistake of expecting drastic progress over the next two weeks. Be patient. You will get there.

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