Backsticking was originally developed for use by drum corps drummers to add visual excitement to their performance. The goal of this lesson is to help you learn proper backsticking that will yield maximum speed with a minimum of effort. This will not only add exciting visual effects to your performance but sound variations as well. Let’s start by looking at the first exercise in the music notation below.

Video Lesson
There are many variations in backsticking in addition to the ones I demonstrate in the video. I encourage you to research them all. As with any sticking pattern, the key is to practice very slowly at first. Don’t be in a rush to gain speed or you may find your technique becoming sloppy. The difference between an amateur and a pro is precision and control at all tempos!

The sticking pattern in Exercise #1 uses what I refer to as inefficient sticking but, even so, it is important that you practice and learn it well. Once you have perfected this exercise, you’ll find it much easier to play Exercise #2 at a faster rate of speed because it uses our little trick — more efficient sticking.


Practice Tips
Once you can perform these backsticking patterns cleanly and up to speed, work on them again with the stickings reversed. Even though you are using backsticking, you should not feel tension anywhere in your arms, wrists, or fingers. Try to stay relaxed especially when playing the first exercise where the pattern is made up of single strokes, which are much more difficult to incorporate into your backsticking. Once you get to the second exercise, you’ll appreciate the minor sticking changes that make it so much easier to backstick at faster tempos and with less effort!

Now it’s your turn. Work on these exercises regularly so you’ll be prepared for the next step, which will be to take our backsticking speed tricks around the drum set.

If you have questions on this lesson, leave a comment for me below.

Until next time: Have fun and stay loose!

Tiger Bill Meligari