DON’T CLAP THIS ONE BACK

REDISCOVER YOUR SENSE OF RHYTHM

Posted: 12 September 2018

We’ve been learning about rhythm since before we could walk. From an early age we were able to clap along to nursery rhymes and dance along to music just from observing the world around us. Without even realising we picked up rhythm from our childhood experiences. But a lot of us struggle to translate that childhood understanding into our study of music as adults. For many new drummers, rhythm and timing is a challenge. So what can you do to improve?

exercises

While ‘don’t clap this one back’ may no longer be an appropriate exercise for an adult drummer, it does give us a starting point for activities that can improve rhythm. Call and response drumming from which the game derives, encourages you to focus on both the rhythmic pattern and your ability to keep time. It’s something you can easily practice with your friends both on the kit and away from it. The complexity can be increased as your drumming improves.

Other popular activities include paradiddle exercises. The basic rudiment involves the sticking pattern RLRR LRLL. These aren’t just great for rhythm but they also help with overall control and groove. A variety of examples can be found online.

The great thing about being a drummer is that there’s plenty of practice you can do away from a kit. Look out for exercises you can do on a flat surface and get practicing during your lunch breaks, on your commute home and when you’re out and about.

It’s easy to get frustrated when we start out on an instrument but looking at our idols can help to keep us motivated. We picked out three drumming legends who are known for their incredible rhythmic abilities.