Drum Tips - Rudiments Around the Drum Set

Rudiment GroovesRudiments are great. Most of 26 standard rudiments can actually be broken down into variations of singles and doubles.

Practicing rudiments on a pad is a great way to develop your hands. Always remember that you can play faster with your hands than with your arms, and faster with your fingers than with your wrists. Really, really fast playing will only come from learning to let your fingers do most of the work, and practicing your rudiments is a great way of getting your fingers up to speed.

You should also think about moving the rudiments around your drums. I like to practice every rudiment between every combination of hands and feet. For example, playing a paradiddle between my right hand and left foot, then between left hand and right foot, right foot and right hand, left foot and left hand, etc.. you get the idea.

Always remember to start REALLY slowly (60 bpm kind of slow) and keep it at a slow tempo until you are playing really clean, comfortable and easily. When it feels really comfortable try doubling the tempo for a measure and then dropping back to the original time, without falling behind the beat.

Try alternating back and forth, two measures of the rudiment at tempo and then two measures at double tempo and then back to two measures at tempo, etc.. keep this going for a while…

I have heard folks comment about playing a the note 100 times before moving up to the next notch in tempo – I personally think that is not enough. 60bpm (beats per minute) = 1 beat per second. You should easily be able to play 4 notes per metronome tick or 4 notes per second. At this easy pace you should be able to knock off 100 reps in exactly 25 seconds! Nothing, useless, spend some time actually practicing. Count the minutes not the reps.

When I mean take some time to get it smooth, clean and comfortable, I’m talking about playing for a good 10 or 15 minutes at least! (your mileage may vary) Then kick it up a notch and go another 10 to 15 minutes. Spend a few days starting at 60bpm, going through this same routine. In a week you’ll really be ready to start the whole exercise at a faster tempo and move up through faster and faster tempos.

Playing fast and clean is an art that takes time to master. If you put in the time you will get there!

Back to rudiments around the kit. The rudiments make great building block for funky grooves. You can quickly come up with a whole bunch of variations of a paradiddle between the hi-hat and snare that sound great.

The rudiments also can be used to form really wild fills. Try Swiss triplets alternating every hit on a different drum or cymbal, including bass drum and hi-hat played with your foot. Not easy to do fast but sounds killer once you get the speed up to song tempo!