Rudiment timing and progression


Senior Member
Hey everyone, I was hoping someone could help me.

I know there are tonnes of rudiment threads, I just wanted to ask a specific question about them.

I have started to use Buddy Rich's rudiment book and I have just started working on the first few exercises.

My question is that in all these books they are pretty vague in their direction. What I mean is that they say do the exercise slowly at first and then build up the tempo.

I understand everyone is different but I was trying to figure out how quickly I should try to progress through these?

I just wondered what you guys did?

Should I stay on the same rudiment until I can play it well from 20bpm to 160bpm and then move on or should I combine some?


Silver Member
You'll find that you revisit certain drum books over the years. You will probably redo this book again in the future, maybe in a year or two, so just use your common sense and put an honest amount of work into getting out of it what you can. When you have done this move on to another book, try to do as many books/exercises as you can without cheating/sacrificing proper technique.
Learning to play drums is a massive learning curve, don't get stuck in one spot for too long and don't become obsessed with beats per minute, how fast how slow. Use your better judgement and just put an honest amount of effort into it, if you do this you will notice a fair amount of improvement.


Senior Member
"Should I stay on the same rudiment until I can play it well from 20bpm to 160bpm and then move on or should I combine some? "

I often wonder the same thing. What I do is stay with the exercise at a 'doable' tempo for about five minutes. Rest a minute after three mistakes in a row. And then raise the tempo by 3 - 5 bpm when I'm satisfied I've 'mastered' (until the next day, lol) the exercise. I try to spend no more than ten minutes total on any one exercise before moving on to the next. Sometimes I find it useful to inject a familiar exercise between those I don't know to gain relaxation. I hope this thread get the attention and comments it deserves. Good question.


Senior Member
It a personal thing, but for me, its definitely NOT about 'getting' an exercise or pattern or rudiment at a certain speed and then moving on.

Drumming is so much about muscle memory so getting it right at a certain speed is the start not the end of your practice at that speed. Then I just play it solidly for at least five minutes and that's when it really sinks in for next time.


Silver Member
I agree with Veggo32.....I will work a new book/DVD for about a year(depending on the material)in addition to maintaining my existing daily workout. Then I move on to new material...and revisit old material as needed. Denis


I usually do the rudiments at 80 bpm, so I can hear my stokes clearly and I have to make sure they are accurate. Quality is more important than speed. You can speed up after doing one correctly. Do one rudiment first, then move on other ones until you feel happy about your work.

Make sure you are doing them right!
good luck.


Gold Member
Try warming up by playing things you don't know well slowly in order to program coordination into your hands. Then play rudiments or exercises along with music that you dig for a muscle memory building workout. Of course make sure that the repitions you're getting are correct.

Practice the faster tempo's technique slowly in order to build speed. Slow and correct usually doesn't match fast and correct since almost all rudiments require a change in technique to play them smoothly fast with little effort. So, "slow correct repitions will result in speed" definitely isn't always true, though sometimes it's what a student needs to hear.

Monica McCoy

Senior Member
There's two phases to each rudiment in that book. One is strength building. The other is a bounce exercise.

I think my teacher took me though 50 of the lessons before we started bouncing the sticks. So when I was on like lesson 60 & 61 for strength I also did lesson 10 & 11 for bouncing.

Get a teacher who can show you how to do it and correct your mistakes.