Too Slow????

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I'm a bit slow too, and not all that naturally coordinated but I overcome that with practice. I think it's possible that I'm selling myself short and that if I put some serious effort into rectifying this, I might change.

I think our natural abilities shape us as drummers. I play slow, relaxed and steady, and this is a reflection of how I feel about my abilities and how much I should exert myself. I like to think that I can one day fly around the kit.


Platinum Member
I do believe that people are naturally predisposed towards certain tasks or abilities. I've never bought the generalised argument that "with hard work and dedication you can do anything" as an absolute broadstroke. With hard work and dedication you can certainly improve....there's no doubt that with practice and repetiton of any task that you'll be "better" in a year than you are now, but whether or not that improvement is to a level of acceptable proficiency is debatable IMHO.

Simple fact, we can't all run as fast as Usain Bolt, or fight like Ali, or swim like Phelps, or compose like Motzart, or sing like Pavarotti, or act like DeNiro, or even drum like Vinnie.....regardless of how much hard work we put into it or desire we have to achieve it.

Reaction time inclusive, yes the body can be trained and yes the body can respond to that training and adapt. But to what degree has got to be determined, at least in part, by genetic make up too. If it were purely a case of 'mind over matter', everyone would be a superhero, no?
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Thanks for all the input guys
Hey thanks Gruntersdad
According to that im around average 235? so maybe more practice and things will begin to fall into place.
I seem to have problem with anticipating fills and the like of songs i know pretty well (maybe concentration issue)
And also struggle to get back to the and on the hi hat after crashing the cymbal always seem to land back on 2 on hi hat and snare.
Hope that makes sense


"Uncle Larry"
Typically, I get at least one second or more reaction time when I sense something musically unexpected is going to happen, which is at least 3x the time I scored at, which was 1/3 of a second reaction time. That was visual reaction time, and they say audio reaction time is even faster. With songs I know, I know whats coming up 30 seconds ahead of time so pure physical reaction time is sufficient in humans for most music they would likely be playing. It's the mental reaction time that has more variation I bet


Platinum Member
I was at 116 and some 40ms off the median. Have to try this again on a hardwired computer to see if the connection speed has anything to do with it. But I know I have always been slow. Cannot trill or vibrato on guitar or do fast single strokes on drums. But I can get from one note to another on guitar at a fairly good clip and kind of have a local reputation as somewhat of a shredder. Using push pull and other techniques on drums I can play things like double shuffles up to 160 BPM or so. And keep everything in time. As folks have said, pure speed isn't the same as knowing when something needs to happen in time, or in the groove, and being able to develop the control to place that hit there. One of the reasons I switched from trad to match some years back was that I realized I had a harder time anticipating a stroke with trad, and it took a fraction of a second to wind up. With match, I can anticipate and start bringing the stick down so the hit happens when I want it. It's what works for me. In spite of slow hand speed and a disproportionate ratio of slow twitch to fast twitch muscle fibers, by avoiding sustained fast things (and unfortunately in blues there is a lot of parallel 1/8 note triplets with both hands for a full measure) I can make it work. I've seen people mention that with training, one can increase the proportion of fast twitch fibers, but nothing I've tried over the years seems to have worked.


Gold Member
I agree with Larry. When you first start it may seem like it physical speed and reactions that are the most important.. while those are important, they are dwarfed by the importance of a mental preparedness, coordination, and concentration.

All of that comes with practice and quality time behind the kit. There is no real trick to it, you just have to get in the practice room and shed it out.


"Uncle Larry"
Sounds like a mental issue, not a physical one. Like if you put your finger over a flame, are you saying that you can't pull it away as fast as the average bear? If so, then yea you have a physical holdup there. If not, I'd say it's a mental thing that can be improved with practice.

Virtually all drumming issues that hold you back originate in the brain, that's what I found to be true. If you had truly slow reactions, it would affect every area of your life, driving springing to mind first. If you only have slow reactions when drumming, then it's all in your head. This coming from a layman.

boltzmann's brain

Senior Member
IME, it has absolutely nothing to do with reflexes, and everything to do with thinking ahead, anticipation, knowing where you want to go musically. case in point- reflexes slow as we age. that's a proven fact, and yet, many drummers just get better and better as they age.


Hi Guys,
Do you think its possible to have naturally too slow reactions to play drums?
I feel this is me.
Steve B