How to Improve Drumming Technique: Improving Accuracy on the Drums

How to improve drumming technique: improving accuracy on the drums. Grayscale drums.

Something that doesn’t get talked about (in my opinion) as much as it should, is improving accuracy on the drums. And by that, I mean where on the drum pad you hit consistently.

I realize there are many aspects involved in learning the drums, and this can make it challenging at times to know what you should be focusing on as you continue developing as a drummer.

Typically, we are busy working on limb independence, practicing to a metronome, or working on learning the groove of the chorus of our favorite songs.

Don’t get me wrong! Those are all great things that we should be continually working on as drummers and musicians. But I want to point something out that you might not have thought about before.

Instead of jumping in balls to the wall with your playing, try slowing it down a little and take a look at where your drumsticks are landing on the drum heads as you play.

Now, it could be that you hit the head perfectly with every shot. If that’s the case, you might as well go ahead and skip over this lesson because chances are you’ve been playing for years and this may not be an issue for you.

However, if you find that you’re consistently hitting different areas of the drum with each strike, it’s probably a sign that you should take some time to focus intently on that pesky little thing called technique.

Make a mental note of where your drum sticks are landing on the drum. Are they consistent? Do they land all over the drum head?

Are you able to consistently hit the middle of the snare drum, but when it comes to the floor tom, you have a habit of accidentally bumping the rim of the tom as you strike it with your sticks?

How to improve drumming technique: improving accuracy on the drums. Another drum set.

These are all issues that should be worked out sooner rather than later. It’s much better to fix a nasty habit in the beginning as opposed to trying to fix a technique you’ve been practicing wrong for years. Take it from personal experience.

Here’s another one that I struggled with, and I’m sure you can relate. It’s honestly one of the few things that got me straight up turning green and raging (okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement) when I was new to drumming.

I couldn’t stand it when my sticks clicked together. Or what was even worse, was when one stick smacked the fingers of my other hand. Now, in my opinion, that’s straight up sloppy playing, and it’s painful as well. But the good news is, with a little patience, this problem can be easily eliminated.

Fortunately, the answer to this problem is quite simple. By taking the time to focus on every stroke you make, you will train yourself to be conscious of any sloppy playing that might be starting to rear its ugly head.

How to improve drumming technique: improving accuracy on the drums – quick video

That’s all there is to it. Make a conscious effort to hit each drum exactly where you intend and you will naturally develop your accuracy over time. This might require you to tone it down and use half a practice session playing slow exaggerated strokes to help reinforce the motion required to hit the drum exactly where you want.

This doesn’t just mean hitting dead center every time. As you may have noticed, every drum sounds different depending on where you hit it. That means, it could be that you want to hit the drum two inches from the rim, or it could be that you want to hit it directly in the center.

Or maybe you want to alternate every other hit between the bow and the bell of the ride cymbal. All of this requires a level of accuracy that needs to be focused on and developed.

So in conclusion, be diligent and focus on consistently hitting exactly where you want with every stroke. Not only that but focusing on your stick awareness in general is great practice.

You want to avoid hitting your sticks together not only when you are switching back to a closed drumming position after a fill, but also just as you play the hi-hat and snare in general. If you find yourself clicking your sticks together while playing those two drums, it could be that your hi-hat is set too low, or your snare drum is set too high.

Eventually, you’ll get to the point where your accuracy will hit a level where you’ll be able to focus on playing and not on watching your drum sticks. You’ll just be that good!

What to do next?

If you are brand new to music, music production, or are interested in learning to play the drums, you can check out my article: What is a DAW? – What Does DAW stand for?

You might also want to check out this article: Acoustic Vs. Electronic Drums – Which One is Right for You?

If you are looking at buying your first drum set or any other musical instrument for that matter, take a look at Zzounds. They have a variety of acoustic drum sets and electronic drum sets for purchase.

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Andrew has been a life long lover of music. Although starting his musical journey on the guitar, (we won't talk about his skills on that particular instrument) he found his true passion was for drumming and making music to share with others. He also enjoys writing blog posts about off the wall subjects that are very much real—such as Bigfoot, UFOs, and what's up with European mayonnaise. Why is it sweet???
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