How to drum faster in 4 easy steps

how to drum faster

At some stage in your drumming journey, you are going to wonder about how to drum faster. Even if speed isn’t your game, it is likely something you’ll think about. 

It is understandable, as you practice your rudiments, beats, fills etc you work on playing them faster to make playing them at a controlled tempo simpler. 

Sometimes you need to be able to play the drums faster. Genres like metal, extreme metal and black metal demand a higher speed and these parts are built into the songs.

No matter what your reasoning, here is our guide to being able to play the drums faster.

What is included in this guide to playing the drums faster?

This post contains the exercises and advice for you to learn how to drums faster.

These steps are designed to help you improve your limbs at your chosen techniques. In this post, we are going to talk about the pros and cons of particular techniques and which ones we think you should be learning. Ankle vs heel-toe or wrists vs push-pull etc.

This is a structure of how and what you should practice to become a faster drummer. 

Before you get started…

Before you skip ahead to the guide of how to drums faster, make sure you check the following!

What do I need for this how to drum faster guide?

To do the steps below you will need:

  • A surface to play on (pads or kit)
  • Metronome 
  • Stopwatch 
  • Sticks or bass pedal (depending on hands or feet)
  • Approx 15 minutes per limb workout

What should I have decided before I get started?

You need to know:

  • What limb you want to work on (hands or feet)
  • What technique for that limb you are going to use. (Example, wrist technique on the hands)

Final bits

These exercises are designed to burn out the muscles you are wanting to work on. Either do these at the end of your practice session or after warming up.

You can also do this for your hands and then repeat for your feet. We wouldn’t recommend doing one wrist technique followed by another wrist technique.

4 steps to playing the drums faster

1. Endurance exercise (10 minutes)

To gain drumming speed you also need to gain endurance. They go hand in hand. This exercise will help you work on your endurance as we as how accurately you are playing.

The exercise

  • Two bars of straight 8th notes with the right limb
  • Two bars of straight 8th notes with the left limb
  • Two bars of 16th notes with both hands
  • Repeat
learn how to play drums faster with these exercises

For this exercise, you are going to need a metronome. Set the tempo at around 50 bpm below your current maximum tempo and start the exercise. If you want to make the exercise longer, you can start at a slower tempo and do more intervals.

You need to focus on three things whilst doing this exercise:

  • Focus on your timing with even note spacing.
  • Maintain a steady velocity. This isn’t the time to be working on your accents.
  • Ensure you are concentrating on the technique you are trying to improve. If you are trying to increase your wrist speed try and avoid the fingers coming into the motion.

Every two minutes up the tempo by 10 bpm. Repeat this until you can’t maintain the tempo for a prolonged period. Remember, this exercise is about endurance. 

2. Burning out the muscles (5 minutes)

Now that you have worked on your endurance and consistency, now it is time to burn out the muscles. To develop speed you to push the boundaries of what you are currently capable of and then allow your muscles to recover. The more you repeat this process the faster you will get. 

This is essentially the same as what you do when you weight train. You work a muscle to failure, let it recover and repeat the process. 

The exercise

  • 20 seconds on
  • 10 seconds break
  • Repeat 10 times

During the 20 seconds on you want to play 16th notes as fast as you can for the duration without taking a break. There is no need for a metronome as your tempo will slowly reduce as time goes on. This is all about making the muscles burn. 

By the end of the 5 minutes, your muscles should be aching. Not in a sore way just muscle burn.

3. Be consistent

The most important thing when trying to develop speed behind the drum kit is to be consistent. If you only do these exercises a couple of times you will see no difference. 

If you do this for 30 days in a row you will see notable improvements. If you don’t have time to do this every day, try and do it at least 4 times a week.

4. Be patient 

Speed does not come overnight. No technique or practice method will give you instant results. That isn’t the answer anyone wants to hear, especially when you are starting but it is a fact. 

Take your time, put in the effort and enjoy the process.

Final thoughts on how to drum faster

Playing the drums fast is incredibly fun but getting there is a long process. But hopefully, now you should have a good understanding of how to drum faster. These exercises have helped me improve my speed dramatically over the years. Yes, years…

Take these exercises, work on them and be consistent.

And remember! Speed isn’t everything when it comes to drums. Groove, feel and timing is incredibly important. Make sure you don’t leave these behind in your pursuit of speed. 

Heel toe kick drum technique | Drum lesson

heel toe kick drum technique lesson

In this heel-toe kick drum technique lesson, you will learn the technique as well as exercises to improve consistency, speed and power. The heel-toe kick drum technique is perfect for anyone wanting to improve their kick drum speed.

WHY SHOULD YOU LEARN THE HEEL TOE DRUM TECHNIQUE?

Over the past 20 years or so kick drum techniques have been quickly evolving to catch up with the progression that has been going on with the hands. This started with the introduction of the second kick drum in rock music in the 1960’s but has fast progressed to where we are today.

Double kick now goes far beyond just metal music. It is common to find double kick in some pop songs and electronic music.

Foot technique is now more important than ever as drummers are expected to create more sounds and complex patterns. You can no longer just have one foot on the bass drum and one foot on the hi-hat.

There are many different bass drum techniques available but the heel toe is fast becoming a favourite amongst many drummers.

The heel toe technique combines the benefits of both the heel down and heel up technique to create a seamless double motion on the pedal. With the heel toe technique you will gain:

  • New enhanced speeds you couldn’t previously reach
  • The ability to play at speed over long periods of time
  • Play complex feet patterns almost impossible without this method
  • Faster double stokes for single kick players

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

  • A clearly explained and broken down introduction to learning the heel toe drum technique
  • How to change your thinking when approaching this method
  • A range of exercises to get you started with the heel toe drum technique
  • Advice, tips and exercises for overcoming common sticking points while learning this technique
  • Lesson form Chris Bowling who has been mastering the heel toe technique for the past 5 years in practice, studio and live environments

Heel toe kick drum technique lesson

We hope you enjoy this free drum lesson covering the heel-toe bass drum technique.

Can my pedal types make it easier to do?

It is true that the heel toe technique is easier to do on a longer bass drum pedal, such as the Axis pedals. It is also common to see drummers using direct drive bass drum pedals but this is not essential to the technique.

Direct drive pedals are considered the fastest pedals so combining the technique with this pedal is a favourite amongst metal drummers.

Final thoughts

The heel toe bass drum technique changed my drumming. It allowed me to play double pick patterns that I could only imagine and not translate to the kick.

If you are wanting to go faster and play more complex patterns, make sure you give this technique a try.

Drum Lessons Online | Benefits, Disadvantages, Free vs Paid

drum lessons online

Taking drum lessons online has become commonplace in the drumming community. In the digital age where people want things on demand, it is no surprise.

Why would you wait if you don’t have to?

But is it truly the best way to improve your drumming?

In this article, we are going to talk through the benefits and disadvantages of taking drum lessons online as well as the differences between free and paid lessons available online to you.

What are the benefits of using an online learning service?

So why are online lessons becoming so hugely popular. It surely must be for good reason. Lest start off with why you would want to take drum lessons online:

  1. Instant access – Once you have started your subscription you will have instant access to all the lessons available. You just need to find what you would like to learn first.
  2. Learning at a time that works for you – Unlike visiting a tutor you can access lessons at a time the suits you, not when a tutor can fit you in. Work odd hours in your job? Learn at a time that fits your needs.
  3. Watch lessons on any device – To access your lessons you don’t need a fancy pc. All you need is any device with Internet access and away you go.
  4. Learn from world-class tutors – Most of us have a drumming idol and it would have used to been impossible to learn from them. Now the majority of world-class drummers have lessons available online for you to access.
  5. Discover technique and methods your local drum teach may not know – You might have an extremely good local drum teacher but even there knowledge will have boundaries. You may have seen a technique online you would like to learn more about but your tutor may not know it. What do you do? For example the heel toe technique is becoming extremely popular but a lot old school drum tutors won’t know of it due to it still being fairly new.
  6. Cheaper than a local tutor – If you take lessons with a local tutor you could be paying between $25- $50 for a hour of tuition. That is more than the cost of you average online learning subscription.

You can see it is clear that there is plenty of reasons to take drum lessons online. Great content that you can access however you want at a time that fits your schedule for a small monthly fee. Where do I sign up?

So what are the disadvantages of taking drum lessons online?

So at this point you may be thinking that your local tutor isn’t needed and you should just drums learn online. For some people that may just be the case, for others not so. Here are some reasons you may still want to learn locally:

  1. Someone to give you feedback – If you learn something new you may practice it until you think you have it master but in reality it might not be quite there yet. A tutor can correct you on something you may be playing wrong or an issue with your technique.
  2. A logical learning path – Lessons online are often ordered or grouped in a particular why to make it easy for you to progress. If you have a tutor they may see how you are playing and see something logical you should work on next.
  3. Regular learning schedule – If you take lessons with a tutor it is more than likely that you will see them on a set schedule. For example once a week on a Saturday morning. If you need more of a push to imprve your playing this can really help.
  4. They can push you to try new things – A lot of drummers like to out themselves in a camp and stick to it. For example you may class yourselves as a metal drummer, you only want to play metal and that’s fine. Your tutor may push you to try something new from another genre that will add to your playing that you may have never even considered.

Even though we may be in the digital age there is still reason for having a tutor if you have the time and have enough money to be able to afford it.

Free vs Paid? Which drum lessons are better for you?

So you’ve done your research and you’ve decided you want to learn online. That’s great. It is now time to decided which route to go down. Free or paid?

If you are looking for free drum lessons there is one main source online for you to look at, YouTube. The main question is which channel on YouTube to learn from. This is where free lessons can become an issue. If something is free the majority of the time it is normally one of these 3 things:

  1. Poor quality – Making lessons to a high standard to a lot of equipment. At least a camera and recording equipment. Buy all of this or paying someone to do this for you is expensive. This is why a lot of lessons on YouTube aren’t of great quality.
  2. Not a great tutor – If you learn from a person on YouTube how do you know how good they are? Do they have experience? Are they producing regular content for you to learn from? It is often the case that if someone is releasing drum lessons for free they don’t want to take the risk in investing in a setting up a paid service, this would make me question their commitment to giving you lessons in the long run.
  3. Part of the lesson – You have found a great tutor with high-quality videos. Sweet! Now you have the common issue of previews to full lessons or an introduction to something to learn that you need to pay to learn fully. That is fine and to be expected as YouTube is a great way of generating traffic to a website to gain customers.

Paid lessons don’t have these issues above. This is down to having dedicated students subscribed to the learning service paying a monthly fee allowing them to invest in higher quality more frequent content. The more students they have the more high-quality diverse content they can create.

FREEPAID
High quality content
Regular content
Clearly explained lessons
Supportive community
Learn anytime
Logically organised
Monthly fee

So what’s our conclusion? Should you take drum lessons online?

From what we’ve seen it is clear that learning drums online has obvious advantages but there is still room for a traditional lessons with a tutor if you can afford it. Below are some recommendations for learning sources based on different monthly budgets.

  • 0$ – YouTube
  • $30 – Paid drum lessons online
  • $45 – Paid drum lessons online + 1 lesson with a tutor
  • $60 – Paid drum lessons online + 2 lessons with a tutor
  • $100+ – Multiple paid drum lessons online + lessons with a tutor

Everyone who plays drums has different budgets to dedicate to education. Playing drums is expensive before you have even invested a penny in learning them properly so it is easy to understand why so many people fall into the YouTube bracket.

Even though $30 per month at the entry level to drum education may seem like a lot it is actually only $1 per day which is less than the cost of a bottle of coke. How much do you value progressing is the question?

So where should you learn?

DRUMEO. If you are reading this article you have probably already heard of Drumeo in some shape or form. But that’s a good thing! Drumeo has the largest collection of drum lessons brought to you by a huge range of world class tutors.

MIKES LESSONS. Mike Johnston is one of those drummers that clearly loves to teach. You can see it in every lesson. He is very passionate and truly wants you to learn, it is very inspiring. If you want to learn how to groove and build up some new chops this is a great place to start.

DRUM AMBITION. If you are at the very start of your drumming journey this may be the place for you to start. Drum Ambition takes you from knowing nothing about drums to a solid foundation of playing with is clearly organised curriculum.

180 DRUMS. This platform takes a similar approach to Drumeo in its focus around a large selection of guest tutors. This is a good thing as 180 Drums brings you a great selection of drummers that aren’t currently available on Drumeo and is a fraction of the price.

SO MANY MORE. The available options for lessons online are increasing every year. As we come across more we will check them out and add them to this article.

We hope you have enjoyed this article and it has helped to give you some clarity around if you need to invest in some extra lessons. If this post has helped you share it with your friends, we really appreciate your help and support. If you sign up with your email below we’ll keep you up to date with all of our latest posts, lessons and reviews.