Developing Speed Around The Kit
Speed is a lot more than playing patterns at fast tempos. It’s about being prepared for any combination you can think of on the spur of the moment. This type of freedom on the drum set comes from practicing a humongous number of combinations. However daunting this task may seem, do not fear. In this free live drum lesson Sean Lang shares his system for developing speed around the drum set. The exercises you’ll find within will not only speed you up around the drum set but also free up your mind and limbs to play whatever you want, whenever you want.
Speed is all about muscle memory. Muscle memory develops over time with constant repetition. The more you play an exercise accurately, the better you’ll be at it. This is one of the main reasons why we need to practice. The more time you spend practicing anything on the drum set the better your brain will be at understanding it. Over time, you’ll be able to speed up the tempo at what you’re playing. For an example of what practicing like this will do to your playing, check Sean Lang’s drumming in the drum cover of Soilwork’s “Like The Average Stalker” and this drum solo.
For muscle memory to develop flawlessly you have to start practicing these and any other exercises slowly. Believe it or not, the secret to speed is starting slow and mastering slower speeds before speeding up. By playing slowly you give your brain time to assimilate the patterns you’re playing. This is what enables the development of control, which is essential for playing fast. If you go too fast too soon you’ll most likely crash and burn. You will sound sloppy and become very good at playing things wrong. Since the role of a drummer is keeping time, it’s preferable to play well at slower speeds than it is to play bad at higher ones.
Now, you can introduce small changes to Sean Lang‘s exercises to create a series of new ones. For instance, use different sticking patterns or play them using 8th and 16th note triplets. We also encourage you to check the free live drum lesson “Moving Around The Drums.” The lesson works in the same vein as this one. It’s packed of cool tips on drum kit setup and more exercises for improving your mobility around the drum set. If you’re interested in improving your double bass drum speed, the free drum lesson “Double Bass Speed Tips” is the one you should watch next.