Tips On Using Lessons

The collection of worksheets and lessons that make up our resource area have been designed to function as a series of progressive lesson that can also be dived into as single lessons if needed. Whilst you can jump in at any point and start working on any exercise you wish, it is advised that you familiarize yourself with each topic, one section at a time. Most lessons give advise on what you should study before starting the lesson as well as suggestions for what to study next.

The list of areas to be familiar with is particularly important. Through each lesson it will be assumed that you have covered these topics and you may struggle if you are not.

Suggested Tempos

Whilst you are learning an exercise take it at your own pace, there is no such thing as 'too slow' at the start of the learning process. The most important thing initially is to get sticking, technique and rhythm correct. Once you are feeling confident with the exercise you can then start pushing the tempo. This is where the '2 Minute Rule' practice technique becomes very handy. Have a look at the lesson and follow the instructions with a starting tempo of around 50bpm. If this feels too low for you feel free to start a little higher, don't go crazy though. Although building up a good amount is speed is important, your priority will always be technique and correct sticking.

In each lesson advice for a top speed is given, and this generally increases as the difficulty level of the lesson increases. It may take you months or years to get some of these exercises that fast, but the more you practice the quicker you will get there.

It is a good idea to keep track of the top speed you reached while practising with the 2 minute rule. Personally I used to have a list of exercises in a note book and I'd jot down the tempos in there. When I reached a higher tempo I added it next to the hold one. Seeing your tempos get slowly higher will give you a great idea of how well you are progressing. It will also highlight areas that need work.

General Practice Tips

  1. If you are struggling with a particular exercise keep playing it over and over. You aren't going to get any better at it by skipping ahead.
  2. As I’ve previously mentioned, technique is one of your highest priorities at this point. A good way to monitor this is to have a mirror near your kit so you can watch your hands. It is completely possible to teach yourself to be a really good drummer these days, but if you are in anyway unsure of your technique get a couple of lessons.
  3. I've hinted at it a couple of times but: practice with a metronome! There are so many reasons for doing this but my top 3 are: it develops your natural sense of pulse, it ensures you are playing exercises/parts in time and it is a good way to monitor your progress.
  4. Once you are comfortable with the concepts and exercises in each lesson, start thinking about creating your own versions. Being creative is an important part of being a drummer and I will encourage this wherever possible. A PDF of blank manuscript is provided to allow you to jot down your own ideas as you think of them. Don't worry if you are unsure of how to write things down, either do your best and write it in a form you understand or write the concept of your pattern in words.


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