if you only had 30 minutes a day to practice drums how would u be practicing that time?

Probably some mindless duties thinking it would work somehow only to realize a month later that I was worse. That's why I'll be watching this thread like a hawk for ideas.
This is different for everyone depending on circumstances. I'd probably break it down like this.

If you just play for fun and don't gig at all if ever, you could probably just warm up for five minutes and play along with records for the rest of the time.

If you're in a band that plays a couple of times a month, I would probably do the same five or 10 minute warm-up and then spend time on a few exercises, mostly jazz. Independent stuff to keep your limbs coordinated ,and definitely playing with a metronome. Maybe play with a fun few songs at the end.

You can probably get a lot done in 30 minutes, but you have to be pretty focused and disciplined about it
My three kids went through a very tough middle school band program (they won national high school competitions every year). The bandleader was an ex-Air Force bandleader and suffered no fools or controlling/busy body parents. If a student was late to rehearsal due to another program (e.g., volleyball or science lab) they were cut. He expected—and got—100% dedication without excuses. My oldest son loved it. My daughter feared it. My youngest endured it like any #3 kid would.

One of the requirements was 30 minutes of practice per day, every day, weekends & holidays included. I would meet my kid (whichever was in band at the time) in our basement @ 6:25am sharp (they would practice, I would suffer on my Concept II rowing machine). Five minutes were spent on buzzing with just the mouthpiece to warm up the lips and wake up. 30 minutes were broken out as: 10 minutes on scales, 10 minutes on one or two of the tunes to be learned, 10 minutes on their favorite tune (for fun).

To my unbelieving ears and brain, each of them improved incrementally every day. I really was totally surprised. Only 30 minutes per day? Yes.

So, now that it's my turn, I spend 10 minutes on a rudiment (lately it's been 6-stroke rolls) on the snare, on each tom, and around the kit using a click and varying the tempo from 75 to 136 BPM. Then 10 minutes on a tune that is above my pay grade (e.g., What is Hip?), then 10 minutes on a tune that is so fun I don't want to stop (e.g., Bon Bon Vie-Gimme the Good Life). The time goes by quickly and I don't suffer like I did on that rowing machine.
if you only had 30 minutes a day to practice drums how would u be practicing that time?
Not that I do this (but I should)..... If you only have 30 min... are you using some of that time to warm up?

I guess my warmup is playing along some mid tempo song (mid tempo for me is around 198-200 bpm).
So having played that, (maybe 2 songs) would take about 10 min, so now I have only 20 min.
If I practiced my weak spots, it would be on building double bass stamina to play 200 bpm for longer than a few seconds. (I can play 150 just fine, but once I reach 200 bpm, I can keep it going for long).

Now all of this is to say that I can play a CLEAN run were my hits would be even and not dragging or speeding.
For this purpose, 20 min is a long time, and would probably be enough to get someone going.
For a lot of other things 30 min just don't seem to be a lot of time unless you break it down onto... say, you have 2 weak points you want to work on, you could work on one the first day and on the other the next day, alternate days and you would use that time better than if you focused solely on one thing and neglected the other... but, some things don't need drums to be practiced. Double bass can be practiced on the bare floor, stick patterns can be practiced with a practice pad, and songs can be memorized by just listening and finger tapping on your legs.
30 min would be using the actual drum kit, but you don't have to settle for just that. Now for those who mock practicing playing music you enjoy, listen to this guy and you can see his huge improvement over the years:

Yes I can play this, no I could not play anywhere near at his age.

I have a pad at home but only get 30mins behind a kit each week. I my current regime is to pick a beat and play for 15mins straight without stopping. I do this as to try and develop focus and meter. Doing that every day would eork eonders imo
Probably try to cover a couple of bases at once.

1) independence....... have some kind of ostinato between my right and left foot.

2) Hands....... syncopated accents while executing a single paradiddle for say 15 minutes.

Then spend the next 15 minutes working on transitioning between alternating strokes with wrists and buzz rolls using the arms....... this is a tricky thing for me.

Seriously, it's ghastly at the moment.....I sound like I'm back at kindy.
I would look to keep things ticking over, so fo me I’d play singles, doubles, flams, diddles, ABCD triplets, quintuplets and septuplets…usually with a 4 to the floor kick and hats on 2&4…and also work on my double bass singles, doubles and hertas… :) (y)
if you only had 30 minutes a day to practice drums how would u be practicing that time?@
@georgeusa You can sleep one hour less each day, then you have 90 minutes of practice per day, wich it´s not a lot too, but if you get a really good teacher, will make your drumming blossom.
Last edited:
@georgeusa You can sleep one hour less each day, then you have 90 minutes of practice per day, wich it´s not a lot too, but if you get a really good teacher, will make your drumming blossom.
I was already sleeping for only 5-6 hours, getting less sleep would be even more harmful... Fortunately I was able to return to a more acceptable 6 1/2 to 7 hrs a night.
if you only had 30 minutes a day to practice drums how would u be practicing that time?
alternately, sounds like a practice pad, a music stand , seat, stick control book, a pair of Vic Firth Generals #1's, and a Franz metronome.
5 days a week for about 9 months. or what I like to call
"freshman year at Berklee"
I agree with the previous statements but mostly with, it depends upon your skill level and where you either wish to be or are at currently. I am between bands but want to get better all the way around. I understand my current level and also understand what I need to work on. I try (not always) to set a goal maybe for the week or just a musical goal and work towards it. So I would spend five to ten minutes warming up my hands, the same warming up my feet (plus 4way coordination), leaving me 10 minutes to work on the goal. My current goal is to do single and double strokes while doing scales. Triplets, 16ths, 5's, and 6's - one measure each then back down all against a metronome. Then triplets single stroke one measure, then 16ths in double strokes, then triplets singles, then 5's double strokes, etc. After I have the feel for that I will do the triplet singles in my feet with the doubles in my hands. My goal is to get my hands and feet clean, in tempo, and controlled when mixing between groupings and limbs. Of course not stated is I also incorporate dynamics as well. So set a goal, do your warm-ups in a limited time, and then work on your goal.