How often do you practice? For how long?


Senior Member
I try to practice everyday for about a half hour or so. I'll practice on the kit when i feel the need to do some free jamming. Other than that i'm always working on my rudiments and working out of either the stick control book or the syncopation book, breaking down and working on my technique.

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I don't consider practice time only those hours spent behind a kit.

I learned all of the common polyrhythms by walking.

Walk at a steady pace. Set the footfalls as one note rate (say quarter notes). While walking in "4" I would play the other note rate of the poly with my hands.

So I could practice 3 over 4, 5 over 4. 7 over 4 and so on. Then do it in reverse with the hands as the 4 and the feet in poly time to that.

Over the course of a spring and summer I learned all of the common polys. Note rates from 1-8 over 1,2,3 and 4 notes per beat.

Just be creative, you can "practice" almost anywhere.


Senior Member
It's been an interesting thread and I am surprised at how much time some people put into it. But addiction is always fun, isn't it? I have always been a compulsive foot and finger tapper, I will tap along to any piece of music that happens to be around and if there isn't any I might make one up. Addiction r us.

I try to practice for an hour each day but as with many of us real life gets in the way sometimes and so I end up with something like 5 hours in the week. But that is 5 hours actual playing time, I sit down, warm up and play solidly for the whole session. I like to work up a good sweat, my drum kit is like an exercise machine. Basically I am currently working towards a smooth style with lots of variations on the theme so just keep going through the different licks.

But in addition to that I also listen to other drummers, analyse their playing, try and get into their style and other things of that nature. Surely that also counts as "practise"?
Or are we only practising when we are actually thrashing a kit to death?
In that case, what do we call the rest of the time?


I don't usually use the word "practice" it sounds a bit too boring. Years ago I use to "practice" my trumpet, now I play drums. ;)

I play every chance I can get.


Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Oh dear :(

No need to feel bad about it Andy, I don't practice that much to be honest, however, I try to play the kit almost every days for 1 to 2 hours per session, sometimes a little more during the weekend, but that's not practicing per say, 70% of what I play during these sessions is for pure enjoyment and pleasure, and the rest of the session is generally spent on working my time and feel, unless I have a particular groove/fill/pattern to learn, I don't really practice, I just play... maybe I could do with some practice :)


"Uncle Larry"
I rarely play for pleasure in my practice room. But I get pleasure from practicing, so it's still pleasurable. I play for pleasure at gigs. A lot of my practice is playing and fleshing out the rhythms that are naturally in my head. I find it quite beneficial, because it helps me "strengthen the muscle" that I use when I am thinking on my feet. The more aligned my thoughts are to what actually comes out, well that's the goal, to have it come out exactly as I hear it in my head, no losses.

The guy I replaced in my 6 piece band, they used to complain that he could only play a drum part the way he practiced it, not good at flying by the seat of his pants. He stuck to his arrangement, dynamics, everything, even if the others changed it up a bit. I can understand, to a point, but I still don't get the fact that if something sounds different, how can you not just go with the flow?

I enjoy working to a metronome, practicing singles and doubles, triples, 4 way coordination, subdividing to the Tables of Time, and lately trying to work through Stone's "Accents and Rebounds", in addition to playing stuff I hear in my head that just wants to come out. I haven't played along to records in some time now. Anything after about 2 hours, I start to downshift and I'm at my capacity for that day, so I just stop.

Anon La Ply

He stuck to his arrangement, dynamics, everything, even if the others changed it up a bit. I can understand, to a point, but I still don't get the fact that if something sounds different, how can you not just go with the flow?
He's probably thinking that the guys are messing up and he's trying to keep them on track. Same game is played with tempo - sometimes drummers have to sound like they're dragging for a while as they try to bring speeding players back to the grid (as opposed to zooming off into the stratosphere with them).

It comes down to agreed stances within the group on how to approach arrangements and tempos.

Did a couple of hours on the pad in front of the TV last night - mostly doubles and some simple stickings. Earlier on played along with Steely Dan tunes for about an hour and did my usual butcher's job :)


Gold Member
Band practice for two hours once a week and then 3-4 other days of 1 1/2-2 hours and sometimes up to 3. Mostly set work. I try to do at least 1 hour a week on rudiments.

To the person connecting rudiments to desired speed, I agree. And for me, rudiments on the double bass pedals are critical since I am just learning double bass.

I spend on average 3 hours a week learning or writing drum parts to original songs. Then I spend some time just playing to songs I like, for my own benefit. Steely Dan Aja is where I end up at least once a week.

If I miss 4 days in a row I feel like it takes another 2 hour session just to get back to where I was. But I am also in month 6 of playing again after decades of not playing.