The Two Minute Rule

The most useful practice tip you will ever find. Very useful for speed training.

The two minute rule is a practice technique that will help provide some focus when working on exercises and rudiments. Using this method you will be able to easily monitor your practice progress and you will quickly notice an improvement in your playing with very little extra effort.

You will need:

  • Something to hit (drum kit/practice pad/pillow etc...)
  • Drum sticks
  • A metronome
  • A clock with a second hand / a stop watch
  • A notebook if you decide to keep records

The process for the two minute rule goes like this:

  1. Set the Metronome to a slow tempo. You will get a good idea of what exactly this should be yourself but the exercise should feel slow while you're playing it. Usually 55 – 70 bpm is a good starting point. This first step is about making sure you can play the part correctly. From step 3 onwards we will be focusing on speed.

  2. Play the rudiment or exercise for two minutes (use your clock or stop watch here rather than just guessing). Whilst playing the exercise make sure you are using correct technique, make sure you are exactly in time with the metronome and watch your stick heights to ensure they aren't too low and both hands are going up to the same height.

  3. If you can play the exercise for the full two minutes without mistakes, speed the metronome up by 5bpm and repeat step 2.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you can no longer play the exercise without making mistakes.

  5. It can be helpful to log your fastest time in a practice journal. This will show you clearly how you are progressing with each exercise.

Another variation of this is to count bars rather then timing two minutes. The advantage of this is that it will help develop your musical memory, the disadvantage is that it's easy to lose count!

Using this method you should quite quickly notice a big improvement in your playing. What I've found with the two minute rule is that it keeps me at my kit longer for things such as rudiments and independence exercises as I am always wanting to beat my previous 'high score'.