2 Things That Have Helped You Improve Most


Silver Member
If you could name 2 things you've done or learnt or studied that have helped you improve the most and become a better drummer what do you think they'd be.

It could be anything from simply a change of practice routine, a Book or DVD, an exercise from a Teacher or simply something someone said.

The 2 biggest things for me coming from originally a self taught background was .. first .. watching Benny Greb's DVD and understanding the break down of say 4 notes and if you're playing single stokes you can accent either the 1st the 2nd, the 3rd the 4th note or 1 and 2 or 1 and 3 etc and how if you apply this system to singles, doubles, flams etc you can end up able to do virtually anything, accented or not with either hand at any time.

2nd thing was a teacher pointing out I wasn't bouncing my left stick properly and whilst he didn't offer me a spefic cure made me aware of it and work on it so I now do and have totally changed my grip as a result over time.

Be interested to hear what other people say has helped them most.


Silver Member
1. Time Behind The Kit: some things just come with time. playing long enough to realise Where i need to be, where i am and how to get there. i mean months / years of playing - not hours per day.

2. A Month Long Break From Drumming: allowed my body to heal from the damage i'd done to myself from trying too hard and allowed things to marinate in my mind.


"Uncle Larry"
#1 for me was lessons where my teacher taught me his method of working the drumstick. That allowed me to develop strong hands, the single most beneficial thing that helped my playing.

#2 would be the metronome. Nothing teaches you timing and meter like a metronome.

#3. Recording myself and listening back. Whoops.


When I stopped playing the electronic drums exclusively after 20+ years, and getting a new acoustic kit, to learn how to really drum.

Stopped playing lame worship songs for the last 20+ years at church, and playing and writing my own stuff.


Gold Member
1) Time behind the kit with a specific strategy.
2) Mastering a new lick or groove I am learning at A SLOW SPEED FIRST. I tend to rush new licks or techniques without having mastered them first at a slow speed and thus get frustrated.
3) Having patience.
4) Having a teacher review my playing about 1x year.


Platinum Member
Hard to tell as I'm not long into drumming, but...

1) Making practice time (often times as multi-tasking/while doing other stuff, mostly at the PC - where I'm doing e.g. double pedal (kick practice pad) or sometimes isolated left hand exercises - pad or hihat).

2) Understanding, learning, analyzing techniques (from DVDs, videos) and applying them. And having found great drummers/tutorials to learn from so I know what I'm going for.

3) Patience, discipline. Confidence in progress over time. (See 4), 5), 6) also.)

4) Focusing on my weaker limbs early on. I'm practicing almost everything with the other side leading, often times in equal amounts. So doing left or right hand/foot lead feels quite close in many situations (depending on the technique/grip, pattern played).

5) The fact that I've been playing another instrument (now 21 yrs into el. guitar).
-> Patience, speed of progress, technique, correct motions... is stuff I've been dealing with for quite some time. So many aspects are similar if not identical and I'm not surprised by the time it takes to learn new motions, on new instruments.

6) The fact that I've been doing sports in my youth (athletics), keeping it up at times and now having taken up sports on a regular basis (runs of 6-16 km, working out in our basement).
-> Overall fitness, awareness of motions, training principles, stretching, (nutrition,) awareness of the time it takes to perfect and speed up motions. Awareness of what my body can take, how fast it can recover from serious exercise etc., stuff like that.
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Senior Member
All good info so far, me thinks. :)

1. Recording myself (practice, band rehearsal, gigs, ...) & then analyzing the results. Very helpful, and very sobering!

2. Quality time on the pad or the drumset. (As someone smart once said: it's not about how many years you've been playing, but about how many hours you've actually put in.)



Senior Member
Good thread!

1. Years of experience behind the kit playing with other musicians

2. Playing guitar for 20 years, taking lesson, and majoring in music for a few semesters in college really opened my mind to alot of music mainly jazz.


Silver Member
1. Finger technique - Learning about it. I always muscled my playing and used mostly arms and wrists. Once I learned about finger technique and worked on it, my stamina went through the roof and so did my musicality as I allowed the sticks and the drums to do more of what they wanted instead of choking them so much. Jo Jo Mayer's DVD "Secret weapons for the modern drummer" helped a lot in this regard.

2. Stressing groove over chops. I love chops and wood-shedding, but I think I got caught up in the who has the better chops and not what serves the music and makes people move. I still have a lot to improve groove wise, but I wouldn't be going anywhere till I fully understood that. (fyi, I play aggressive music and just wanted to point out how important groove is even in that style...like all styles)


Platinum Member
1. Getting over the whole "I'm gonna teach myself" thing and getting a teacher.

2. Realizing that speed isn't everything and focusing more on control, accents, timing, coordination, etc.

Bad Tempered Clavier

Silver Member
1) Learning to read music and how count/subdivide notes etc.

2) As already mentioned - playing with other musicians: especially if one can find a really good bass player and get to the point where you can just sit on the groove all day. Having a band that can jam or at least doesn't have to stick the script all the time has helped me enormously with this.

Anthony Amodeo



and watching Odd Couple reruns

(that last part was to fill up the 20 character rule but partly true because the theme song inspired me as a kid)



Platinum Member
Sorry - no way possible to sum it up into 2 bullet points.

1. Having several great high quality teachers who could teach extremely well and inspire creativity.
2. Practicing a gazzillion hours with direction (and a click).
3. Playing with players better than me.
4. Countless hours recording other people's original songs.


Silver Member
#1 Recording Myself
#2 Recording Myself

(I should also add working on the various hand technique books like Stick Control and Master Studies)


Silver Member
I'm really glad I posted this question, there's loads in here that hopefully we can all use even if just once in a while as a reminder.

Think Arky's got the biggest challenge than any of us though if he thinks 6 is 2 :) Bet you come up with some interesting time patterns.

Fuo, like your comment as well, realising speed isn't everything and focusing on control and accents.

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
This is going to be a highly succesful thread... :)

# 1: Changing feet techique from "burying the beater" to "let it rebound"

# 2: Adopting recently a "less is more" approach to my playind.