Getting back to the drums after a long break...


Silver Member
I have not played drums for about two months and I am thinking of getting into some sort of practice routine to maintain and improve technique so that, when I get back to playing with my stage band in March next year, I am prepared for whatever repertoire we will be handed. We play mostly jazz and funk tunes. Sometimes my drumming calls for using brushes. I am on holidays so I can dedicate plenty of time towards a drumming routine.

So far this year, my only drums practice has been from weekly band rehearsals, where we learned our numbers from charts with the help of a conductor, and I have not dedicated any time to working specifically on "chops". Unfortunately this meant that playing highly energetic and fast tunes with the band could be tiring and out of control. So for me, working on chops is a priority.

What strategies and exercises do you used to get back to good technique when you have been away from the drums for a while? What strategies and exercises do you use to maintain and improve technique on your own when you are away from regular (what I would call) musical practice for a long time? I am also concerned that if I do not do enough practice my sight reading ability (which was good the last time I used it and which I relied on a lot for band practice) will also decline, so is there any advice on that? Technique is one of those things that if you do not use it you lose it.


Senior Member
Good for you to have motivation for more practice. I would just say there is no special sauce other then your own hard work and dedication over time. There is also no race, no winners and no losers. It's all in the music and your enjoyment of ultimately moving others with your musical expression. Your technique and chops will be an means to get you to that expression for others. In watching your videos (nice job btw), I would dust off some basic books like stick control and also work on rudiments, single, doubles, paradiddles, etc. with a metronome. Relax and work through each exercise slowly and repetitively. Structure your practice routine to meet your objectives whether that is hand / foot coordination, time keeping, or whatever your goals are. Your chops will improve as a function of the integral of time and energy you put into it. Keep in mind the three Ps - Practice, Patience and Persistence. Then when you get together with your friends, forget about technique, don't think, just play for the music. Get outside of yourself and inside the music. Hope that helps...No magic bullets except for hard work. And remembering to have fun!