Advice for agility around the drums


Hello everyone, I have finally managed to find the time and space for some serious workout on my drums. I have been working mostly on the snare drum with a selection of rudiments for around a year now with good results as I see some progress in speed and control.
Now, I would like to work on my technique and get better in moving my rolls, paradiddles and such around the drum set with fluidity.
What exercises should I look for? I have taken a look at Rod Morgenstein's "Drum Set Warm-Ups" that seems to be fitting on the subject, yet very dense.
Any other ideas that anyone can share? I tend to prefer digging deep on a specific drum book and stick with it, if possible.
Many thanks for your answers, keep drumming and stay at home at this time!



Senior Member
In addition to the Drum Set Warm Ups book, here are a few others that address getting around the drum set:

Rudimental Jazz by Joe Morello (even though the word "Jazz" is in the title, these patterns can be applied to a lot of styles)
Rhythmic Patterns for the Modern Drummer by Joe Cusatis
Rudimental Patterns for the Modern Drummer by Joe Cusatis
Killer Fillers by James Morton
Drum Set Control by Marvin Dahlgren (this one is more advanced, and incorporates the bass drum in a linear fashion with the hand patterns)

Another way of approaching this is taking rudiments and/or accent exercises (from books like Syncopation by Ted Reed, Accent on Accents by Dahlgren and Fine, or Master Studies by Joe Morello) and playing the accents on the toms and the non-accented notes on the snare drum. Yet another approach is to take a rhythmic reading exercise (from, for example, Syncopation) and play continuous 8th notes, triplets, or 16th notes while accenting the rhythmic line on the toms (or on cymbal plus bass drum). The book Syncopated Rolls by Jim Blackley covers this concept very thoroughly, and there are also similar ideas in the beginning of Ari Hoenig's book Systems, Book 1.


Senior Member
If you want a go-to book that you can just grab and start with right away I would definitely say Joe Morello's "Rudimental Jazz". (It doesn't matter if you play jazz or not)


Well-known member
Lot's of awesome resources getting sent your way.

My 2 cents (anecdotal, so take it with a grain of salt):

Regardless of what book or video series you choose, spend a fair amount of time doing exercises that are new to you. I spent a lot of time grinding things over the years and not seeing much out of it. Try to do at least one new etude, exercise, song, or groove a day. The more awkward it feels, the better. I've found that when I throw myself into that "pat your head, rub your stomach" tongue twister feeling, I notice a perceivable improvement in my overall drumset dexterity.

For example, I've also been trying to feel more planted and mobile on the kit. The most improvement I found was running 3:2 polyrhythms with my feet and then running different hand patterns. I believe that this worked best for me not because it was the ultimate solution for agility, but because my LF/RF interplay is probably the weakest part of my drumming. Might give something like that a shot (not the exercise itself, but the philosophy behind it).