When you take advanced drum lessons, sometimes it can be hard to decide what to practice and what needs to be done to get to the next level. Sure, I can play everything in my band with ease and make it sound great. But what separates a great musician from a truly remarkable legendary musician is the ability to not just sit on what you know. To take your musicality to the next level, you have to always be pushing the limits of what you are capable of.
What to practice
It can be difficult to figure out what to practice when you’re already an advanced player. If you’re an advanced drummer and you’re not working on anything other than what you already know, advanced drum lessons may be what you need to push yourself further as a musician. Your teacher can recommend different techniques to expand your musical horizons.
Use your rudiments
Rudiments can be used in a surprising amount of ways to improve technique and coordination. Rudiments are different hand patterns and rolls used to increase hand dexterity and improve chops. Of course, rudiments can be used to practice chops when playing them only on the hands, but that wouldn’t be using them to their fullest potential.
Let’s take the paradiddle for example. This is one of the first rudiments learned in drums lessons and we can continue to utilize them into advanced drum lessons. The basic format of the paradiddle is RLRR LRLL.
Accents can also be used in combination with rudiments to improve technique. An accented note is one that is played louder than the rest of the notes. This requires a harder strike of the stick and at fast speeds, this can get fairly complicated. An accent is notated with the following symbol above the note: >
We can move the accent around to each part of the rudiment, creating a different challenge each time. Accents and Rebounds is a fantastic method book that presents many different combinations of accent exercises. I highly recommend it for advanced drum lessons.
Let’s not let your hands have all the fun. We can incorporate our feet into our paradiddle practice as well. We can start by creating different foot ostinatos while playing paradiddles with our hands. We can create a specific pattern with the bass drum, then later with the hi hat. After experiments with these patterns separately, we can then create ostinatos incorporating both feet. Once we’ve mastered this, switch them! The bass drum now takes on the hi hat pattern and the hi hat now takes on the bass drum pattern.
Another way we can incorporate feet using paradiddles is to sub out either the right or left hand with the bass drum or hi hat or both! For example, we can take out all of the left hands and replace them with bass drum hits on our right foot. The pattern now becomes:
R BD R R BD R BD BD
With R being right hand and BD being bass drum. This improves communication between the right hand and right foot. We can then substitute the hi hat in instead of the bass drum. Then, we can sub all right hand activity with bass drum. Then, continue with the hi hat and improve communication between the left foot and left hand.
Okay, now combine them! – Advanced Drum Lessons
After you’ve gone through every pattern with all four limbs, go back and do each with a different accent on top of a different note. Now, you’re improving dynamics and sensitivity when improving hand-foot communication and coordination. Any advanced drum lessons instructor would be very impressed!
Still think you’ve got nothing left to practice? Ok, now pick a different rudiment and repeat the whole process! There are over 20 more to choose fro