Whatever style of music you play, it always helps to work on techniques that improve your balance and posture behind the drum set. As drummers, we have to maintain stability while applying varying pressures on pedals with our feet while rotating our torso around the kit—no easy feat! These exercises will not only help improve your balance but will also help reveal weaknesses and inconsistencies in your overall technique.

Play these exercises beginning at a slow tempo. Start without using the hi-hat foot, and once the hands and bass drum are feeling solid play the hi-hat on quarter-notes. Once that feels comfortable move on to eighth-notes with the hi-hat foot. Once it’s all put together, gradually increase tempo to challenge yourself.

While playing these exercises pay close attention to the following areas.

  • Are the crashes lining up perfectly with the bass drum?
  • Are you over-lifting your foot off the hi-hat pedal?
  • Are you leaning or losing control of your balance, even slightly, when moving from cymbal to cymbal, snare to toms, etc.?

Additionally, have fun and experiment.

  • Play with your torso twisted over to the right side of your body by playing on the floor tom and cymbals on the right side. This will further expose any balance issues you may be experiencing.
  • Mix the exercises up and create your own.

Stewart Jean is Program Chair for Drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA.

Lesson: Warming Up with Accented Doubles