Great Warmup Tips for Drummers
Contained within each practice session should be a warm up routine. Different drummers may find different routines more beneficial to them, but there are certain elements that are essential to every successful warm up. These include a physical warm up, aural warm up, and technical warm up. While each of these elements shouldn’t take up a significant amount of time, they are beneficial to the practice session.
Physical Warm Up
The physical warm up is exactly what it sounds like, a warm up for your body. Specifically, the muscles that are used when we drum are the arms, wrists, and fingers. While stretching is often considered a beneficial body warm up (and it is), I think that a more dynamic warm up is more efficient. This dynamic warm up includes playing exercises that utilize legato strokes to warm up the wrists, fast finger strokes to warm up the smaller muscles in the hand, and some sort of accent pattern to allow for a bit of forearm involvement. My favorite warm up exercise includes singles, doubles, and paradiddles as well to work on my physical flow.
Aural Warm Up
Following the physical warm up, an aural warm up should take place. This means, you should be warming up your ears (and mind) as well as your body. My favorite approach to this is playing grooves or exercises with a metronome. If you have an app like “Pro Metronome,” you can utilize the disappearing metronome trick. This feature will have the click in for a certain number of measures, then will silence the click to truly test your internal time, an essential skill for drummers.
Technical Warm Up
Finally, a technical warm up should take place. This can include a variety of things but should be centered around improving your technical approach to the instrument. My favorite technical warm up includes moving around the drums and concentrating on playing in the sweet spot of each instrument in the kit. I start out very slowly, and gradually build up my speed to ensure my accuracy doesn’t suffer.
Try including some of these elements in your next warm up!