The BEST Beginner Drum Set Warm Ups

Posted by Mike Schumacher

This article will discuss beginner drum set warm ups, as well as providing exercises and drills for each one. I will also give detailed instructions on how to do each one.

Hopefully this will come in handy for you in your quest to become a better drummer, and allow you to step your game up without devoting too much time to a task that doesn’t really need much time.

There are so many great drummers out there that don’t take the time to warm up. They just leave it to chance.

I’ve been in bands where our drummer would skip every time we played.

After a while you start feeling uninspired.

You will notice immediately how much more fluid your bass drum strokes get when you do warm-ups and play everyday. You’ll be able to play faster, more complex fills, and will notice a greater sense of timing when playing.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get good without doing these exercises. It just means that you won’t be as proficient if you don’t do them.

Timing will take your playing from good to gold

drummer playing a lot of fills

When it comes to drumming, timing is everything. I don’t care how good you are. Playing a sloppy tune with poor time is not going to result in any more mastery.

I’ve found that many beginners have the same problem. Their rhythms are off. They hesitate. They don’t have groove.

Even if they have good control over the tempo, there’s something missing in the timing department that is forcing them to make rhythmic mistakes, or just generally sound off.

You can only get out of it by making a conscious effort to correct the timing of your strokes. You can accomplish this by working out a number of warm ups, and drills. This will not only force your timing to be more consistent, but will also aid your ability to think on your feet and deliver a lot more accurate notes when playing.

Warms ups with the snare drum and hi hat

For these warm-ups, you will need your main snare and hi hat.

Start with the hi hat. Let’s play quarter notes on the hi hat and play quarter notes on the snare drum.

We will ALTERNATE hands with each snare drum stroke.

That will look like RLRL (R = right, L = left).

Eighth notes

Now let’s increase the subdivision to eighth notes.

Sixteenth notes

Now let’s increase the subdivision and play sixteenth notes inside the hi-hat.

Putting it all together!

Now let’s go back and forth. Start with the quarter notes, then eighth notes, then sixteenth notes…

…then we are going to go back down to eighth notes, then quarter notes, and then go back up again.

We will continue going up and down these subdivisions, almost as if they were a musical scale.

Let’s do one bar of each.

These exercises will help you understand subdivisions and let you become more precise with dividing the beat in different ways.

Hi-hat as a timekeeper

Many beginners neglect their hi hat because they think it doesn’t need to be worked on. But, they’re wrong.

The hi-hat foot can be the main driver for the sound you produce with your cymbal. It should be worked on with the upmost care.

General tips, drum positioning etc.

Play a couple of bars to see if you can feel how close the snare is to the hi hat. I like to check to see if the snare is a comfortable distance away from the hi hat before I begin the warm up.

If you find that the snare is too far away from the head of the snare, use your palm to adjust it. Try this, and if it doesn’t work, you’ll need to fix it later on.

The snare should also hit the head of the snare at a fairly consistent angle. I personally like my snare at a completely flat angle, ergonomically that works the best for me.

Make sure your snare is set up correctly

snare drum

There are a few exercises you can do to make the snare more consistent. You will find that practicing these exercises will enhance your ability to hit the snare note without touching the head of the snare.

After you’ve been at it for a while, go ahead and hit the snare note. You should be able to feel the snare hitting the snare head.

This will help you increase the size of the shoulder-blades on the snare, which will improve the rhythm accuracy of the snare note.

After you’ve done this a couple of times, you should notice a drastic increase in the drumming you are doing.

You will need to adjust your hi hat. It will be too far away from your face. Be patient, and keep it playing until you can’t feel it anymore.

The best way to play hi hats is to move your hand from the snare, to the hi hat. In this manner, your hand is hitting the snare head, but you are not touching the hi hat head. This exercise will ensure the snare hits the sn

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