How to keep my tempo (rhythm) steady?

Jimlovedrums

Junior Member
I've been playing drums 2 years now (1 year self educated)..Well I can say that I play pretty good..but the problem is that I can't keep it steady...when the fill or brake comes..I go a little slower or a little faster..I rarely practise with the metronome but I play drums almost everyday..This happes because I don't have much experience with the instrument or because I don't practise enough with the metronome?Where did you first managed to play drums without changing/losing the tempo?
 

brady

Platinum Member
This is going to sound like a broken record but...

Get a metronome. Play to it as much as you possibly can.

Since you mentioned you were self-taught, I would add lessons with a teacher too. Even if it's just a few lessons to get you started on a path. A qualified teacher will be able to prescribe exercises to help you with your time, your hands, etc. It never hurts to have someone examine your technique too.
 

scorch whammin

Gold Member
As others have already stated, a metronome will be one of the best tools you can use to steady your time....
....also others things you can do to help keep time is to use your left foot (hihat) to hold a quarter-note (or eight-note) on the hihat..you can either play the actual pattern on the hihat (using front half of foot) or you can keep the tempo with the heel of foot (using a kind of swiveling pattern, but not actually opening/closing hats)....you can use this to help feel the pulse (i.e., time) of the song you're trying to play..this can help you to lock in the time....

One thing I did notice from your comment is that you stated that "when the fill or brake comes...I go a little slower or a little faster..." That indicates to me that you are not sure where the break or fill should come in at...I.e., lack of understanding the timing of the song...if you are getting private lessons on the kit have your teacher (if he's not already) work on understanding how to count out a song...if you can count it you can play it....

Hope this helps....
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Steady rhythm is a high skill, make no mistake about it. When you practice to a metronome (the only thing that can show you exactly what steady meter sounds like), try to do it at the drum set. I bet you a dollar that you can, in a short time, play a beat to the metronome. It's trying to do a fill where your timing problems show themselves. Most guys speed their fills up, myself included. The metronome teaches you how your fill is supposed to sound in time. Until you get a metronome, you think you know how a fill is supposed to sound, but you really don't. The met will point that out to you immediately. It's all about metronome practice. The good news is the answer is simple and clear. The real work is the mindset you have to get yourself into to play in unwavering time, and the hundreds of hours you need to spend to develop this skill.
 

Jimlovedrums

Junior Member
Steady rhythm is a high skill, make no mistake about it. When you practice to a metronome (the only thing that can show you exactly what steady meter sounds like), try to do it at the drum set. I bet you a dollar that you can, in a short time, play a beat to the metronome. It's trying to do a fill where your timing problems show themselves. Most guys speed their fills up, myself included. The metronome teaches you how your fill is supposed to sound in time. Until you get a metronome, you think you know how a fill is supposed to sound, but you really don't. The met will point that out to you immediately. It's all about metronome practice. The good news is the answer is simple and clear. The real work is the mindset you have to get yourself into to play in unwavering time, and the hundreds of hours you need to spend to develop this skill.
Basically,I already own a metronome..and as I said I use it, but rarely...My beats are steady..I don't have problem with that..my problem is when the brake or fill comes up..especially at slowed tempo songs..I always speed up!Every time I practice with the metronome I play a steady beat and the a metre of sixteenth notes on snare and toms..keeping it steady is quite hard.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
It is hard, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Owning a metronome and using one regularly are two different things lol.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Basically,I already own a metronome..and as I said I use it, but rarely...My beats are steady..I don't have problem with that..my problem is when the brake or fill comes up..especially at slowed tempo songs..I always speed up!Every time I practice with the metronome I play a steady beat and the a metre of sixteenth notes on snare and toms..keeping it steady is quite hard.
That's the purpose of the metronome, to help you with fills and difficult pattern, it's not just to keep time in your beats, use it a lot and practice your fills with the metronome, you'll improve dramatically once you're use to hear the click at all time, the metronome is your best friend.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
If you have the function on your metronome, set it to eighth or sixteenth-note subdivisions so that you will be playing your fills note-for-note with the click. Practice, rinse, repeat.

There is no shortcut for this, and it's easier to do it with the metronome than any other way. Just get 'er done.
 

kurth83

Junior Member
I too am a new drummer so I can sympathize.

You can do drills to a metronome to help your time.
sort of a more focussed approach than simply playing to a metronome.

Since you have 2 years of bad habits to break, I think you will
need to spend a lot of time on this.

Do fill drills to a metronome. Every note in the fill needs to be in the pocket.
Something like a bar of groove, then a bar with a fill, over and over again
until the fill nails the beat, then on to the next fill/groove/tempo.

How you think about it matters too.
Fills should support the time, not run over it.
Put another way, even in a fill you are laying down a beat.

Watch some of the great drummers and you will see what I mean.
 

Daisy

Senior Member
The metronome teaches you how your fill is supposed to sound in time. Until you get a metronome, you think you know how a fill is supposed to sound, but you really don't. The met will point that out to you immediately.
This.

And to fill up my quota of 20 characters -

Again. THIS !
 
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