Improving your CHOPS.

Morning all,

I was thinking about my last post over the weekend and decided a month was too long to share my plan with you on how to improve “Hand Speed”.

In the Short week I have been practicing the exercise I’m about to share with you, I have seen definite improvements in both speed and how evenly my strokes have been distributed. Which I will assume at this point will continue to increase over the period of time I plan to keep this as part of my daily practice routine.

I will say at this point, It is also very useful as a general warm-up before gigs or just general playing. So is also worth including it as part of those routines as a rule. (if you don’t have a warm up routine, I will do another post about how to structure one at a later date)

First Off you will need a few bits of equipment to be able to gauge your improvements. If you do not have them don’t worry as you will still be able to benefit from the exercises.

You will need:

Drum kit or Practice pad. (I prefer the latter as it will save your ears)
Pen and Paper
Drum Sticks. (I tend to practice with slightly heavy sticks. As I find when I go back to my lighter 1’s its even Easier)

Sheet Music

As you can see from the sheet music above. All notes are played on the snare and for the purpose of this exercise Line 1 will be played through 5 x’s Followed by Line 2 for a further 5 x’s and finish with Line 3 to be played a through a total of 10 x’s. You should move between Lines with out stopping

As you can see Line’s 1&2 are Quaver notes with Line 3 been Semi-Quavers. Lines 1&2 will be played solely through with the Right and Left hands respectively. Followed by alternating hands for the Semi-Quavers on line 3.

Now can I suggest you set yourself a 5 minute time period to keep repeating this pattern through until the time runs out? In short playing from Line 1-3 for the full 10 measures on each Line and then repeating till the time is up.

(If you can manage 5, turn it up to 10)

The Scores on the Board

So now for the pen and paper. I suggest you record all your speeds down on a piece of paper. So you can see how far you’ve come over the weeks and months. This is where the metronome comes in. Set your trusty metronome to about 150bpm to start with. (you can of course go higher or lower as needed) and aim to complete the full 5 minutes keeping in time with the metronome. If you can’t do this then drop the speed down to what you feel more comfortable with. If you can do it and it doesn’t hurt, move the speed up. The aim of the exercise is to slowly increase the speed of the metronome and thus increasing your playing speed.

Below is an idea of how to record your speeds.

Date                 Speed              Time

15/6                 150bpm           5min

16/6                 150bpm           10min

17/6                 155bpm           10min

18/6                 158bpm           10min

20/6                 160bpm           10min

Hope you enjoyed this Blog/ Mini lesson and it helps you to develop more as a drummer. If you have any questions or comments please ask/post away.


Ps. If you don’t have a metronome but do have a smart phone. There are lots available to download for free.

About ajbennettdrums

I have been playing drums for over 20 years now and currently have over 9 years of teaching experience. I am comfortable playing all styles and am a proficient sight reader of music. I started playing drums at the tender age of 7 and I vividly remember exactly what it was that got me into drumming. One Sunday afternoon I was watching a documentary on classic 80’s bands, equipped with huge Drum Kits taking up most of the stage. I then proceeded to empty out a tonne of boxes in my room, cut holes in them and sticky-tape bits together to create my first drum kit (using pencils as sticks). At that point, my dad thought it would be a good idea to send me off for Drum Lessons and from that moment on I have never looked back.

Posted on June 20, 2011, in Drumming Bits and Bobs. and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: