Believe it or not, drumming is a physical task that is very demanding on our joints and muscles. Like any other physical task, warm ups are a must! You would not believe the amount of drummers who do not take the time to warm up on the drums before they play a show. In the end, their performance is hindered as they are not able to play to their full potential. By taking 10 – 15 minutes to warm up your wrists and feet before you even sit on a drum set allows you to play that much smoother. Warm ups do not only increase your performance ability, but it also prevents injury on your joints. So what I am trying to say here is take the time to warm up before you play a show, or even practice. Here are a few ideas.
The best warm up you can do is with a practice pad and a pair of sticks. Play a few rudiments or patterns on the pad to get your blood moving. Remember that this is not practice time, it is warm up time. This means you do not have to play to a click track, or worry about dynamics or anything. Try playing simple single and double stroke rolls with your sticks for 10 minutes straight. This is sure to warm up your wrists! To make things fun, try to make up patterns that sound unique to you. Or you can also mix up your rudiments to warm up your creative mind as well. Here is an example of a quick warm up that I like to play. You start out with your single stroke roll, and then move onto a double stroke roll, followed by a paradiddle. Then simply go back down to a single stroke. Try this:
Now that may be a great way to warm up your wrists, but what about your feet? These days’ drummers are playing the double bass a lot more, and need to make sure their feet are just as much warmed as your wrists. Now there are two ways you can warm up your feet, with a double bass drum pedal, or a pair of Hansen Futz pedals. Both work great, however if we are talking about warming up outside of the drum kit, taking the double bass pedal off your bass drum can be a hassle. So my recommendation would be picking up a pair of Hansen Futz pedals. These are great for muscle development on your feet, as well as warming up. Futz pedals are imitation bass drum pedals that you can place anywhere you like to warm up your feet. They are great for around the office, or under a desk etc…
The idea is the same for your feet as it was with your wrists. Basic rudimental playing will be the best warm-up. When warming up your feet, you want to make sure you are warming up both heels up and heels down. This way you warm up your whole foot and not just a portion of it. Remember when you are warming up your feet, they may not be as developed as your wrists, so do not try and match your progress. This will result in tiring yourself out, which will hinder your performance. The whole point to this is to warm yourself up, not tire yourself out!
So take these steps and give them a try. I am sure you will see an improvement once you start warming up before you play. Also, remember to warm up before you play anytime – this means practice time too! Some drummers will think their practice time is warm up time; however if you are already warmed up for a practice, imagine how much more productive you will be? Good luck with this new concept!