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Drum Lesson 101 | Groove Consistency

Updated: Mar 4

Berakah Music Drum Student

The Human Metronome | Drum Lesson Basics

A drummer's primary purpose is to keep time, to be a human metronome for the band. This will enable the other instruments to divert all focus to their playing while relying on the drummer to keep time for them. We cannot overemphasise the importance of keeping proper time on the drums.

If your drum practice does not involve a metronome, it is time for you to start! Beginners normally find practising to a metronome daunting, and that is the sole reason why they avoid it. If this is you, follow the steps below in this drum lesson and you will find that the metronome is truly your friend!

Using The Metronome For Drum Practice

  1. Download a metronome app on your device | We recommend Soundbrenner

  2. Dial the metronome to a slower tempo | 55BPM

  3. Change the count to eighth notes | Click should now be heard on "1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +"

  4. Spend 5 minutes practising each drum groove | Focus on following the click

  5. Increase the tempo gradually | In 5BPM increments

Understanding The Steps For Effective Drum Practice

Always Start Slow

The main reason that drum beginners find it easier to play fast is because they do not have much control over their limbs, they rely purely on momentum to keep the drum groove going. This results in a haphazard sounding groove and a painful experience keeping time with the metronome. Basically, a messy drum groove.

By slowing down the tempo to 55BPM, a drummer who has not yet established proper limb control will start hearing their drum groove diverge from the click. The inconsistent drum beat becomes glaringly obvious now that it does not have any momentum to hide behind.

This will prove challenging at the start as your muscles need time to learn how to control these movements properly, aka developing muscle memory. However, do not fret! This is just growing pains that will pass quickly. Keep in mind that a slower tempo will give your mind more time to think and your muscles more time to react, making it easier for you to focus on playing every drum beat accurately with the click. Enjoy the slower tempo and you might just find this exercise therapeutic!

Utilising Metronome Functions

At slower tempos, it will be difficult to keep time if your metronome is set to click on only quarter notes. Maximise the metronome's functions by setting the count to eighth notes. This will offer more guidance as the click will now be doubled, keeping count on every eighth note.

Practice, Your Muscles Need It

Set aside 5 minutes to practice the drum groove on repeat at 55BPM, your muscles need time to remember these movements in order to develop limb control. Executing the drum groove in your mind is easier than physically executing it on the drum kit, so practising a groove for only a few bars and moving on is not the way to go! Upon achieving consistency at the current tempo, rinse and repeat in gradual increments of 5BPM.

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