How to be a better drummer.

Between the drums

Junior Member
Hello fellow drummers! I'm 18, I've been playing for about 5 years now. I guess I would consider myself an average- semi good drummer, but I'm running into problems. I don't really feel like I'm progressing in terms of playing ability. I practice for about an hour- 2 hours a day, but that usually just involves playing along to songs by other bands ( usually Pink Floyd, Rush, and Heart xD) I'm all for practicing more, and getting in a little better shape would probably help as well. But I can't afford private lessons, and just trying to learn the techniques by myself is quite hard for me to do. I have a really hard time with keeping right in time, and when using a double bass pedal along with my hand, keeping my hands and feet perfectly in time. I look up to Neil Peart in terms of technique, as well as Nick Mason, Alan White, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Chris Layton. Any help you could give me would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
If your intention is to become a working, professional drummer, there's no way around this, you need to get with a teacher. You need to alter your priorities some, if you have a job, stop eating out so much, don't waste money on things that aren't an investment in your craft (and don't lie, we've all done it ;). If you want to make a change in how you play, then you must make a change in how you approach what you do. Obviously, playing along to your favorite drummers isn't really helping you, and you're having issues playing in time. With a double pedal isn't the issue, if you can't keep time at all, you're up a creek!

Find a local teacher in your area and maybe barter for lessons if you really don't have money. But you know, I had a piano-playing friend who insisted on her cup of Starbucks everyday. Well, at $5 a cup, times 7 days, that's $35 a week. I know teachers who charge $60 a hour, and give lessons twice a month. My friend NOT drinking Starbucks would totally pay for that. What else can you sacrifice to broaden your drumming mind?

You could buy DVD's and watch and learn, but you're still spending money, and none of those DVD's will look at how you play and suggest better ways of doing what you want. Only a teacher can do that.


Platinum Member
Playing along to covers in your bedroom will only take you so far. You're 18, get out there, join a band and get your own thing happening. Nothing like playing live with others to really cut your teeth.

Lessons certainly never hurt anyone either. Especially when you're struggling to get through it on your own.

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
That's all I used to do - play along with albums and then solo for a while and that was my "practice". Other than that it was jamming with mates. But a few years ago I hit a wall like you and started taking interest in reading books and instructional dvds.

I think you should get into as many DVDs as you care to watch but I think Benny Greb's language of drumming is a must have... learn all the drumset practice routines from that and make them yours. And Tommy Igoe's great hands DVD is also great because you can learn about technique and also play along with it.

Get 'stick control' the book. Get a practice pad and a metronome... you can get a metronome app for your smart phone to save money.

And if you wanna learn double kick get into Virgil Donati's book, it's awesome.

They make up most of my practice routine and I'm improving lots, all I have to do is put the time in.



Get a good teacher! The Net, books, DVDs, etc.. are only good for so long. Although the folks at Facebook might not admit it, nothing beats human to human interaction when it comes to education.

Your list of influences is awesome and is pretty much my list. Practice rudiments like crazy to develop a solid foundation for your playing. It's not as much fun as playing along to Tom Sawyer but in the long run it's what is needed.

Rock On!