Drummers naturally pick up a wide variety of bad habits; however, there are 5 that seem to be extremely common!
Not only will these bad drumming habits hinder your ability to play a beat properly, but they will also cause you a great amount of physical pain if they have been left uncorrected!
I have managed to pick up a few habits over the years that I have been drumming, and I greatly regret not reading a post (like this one) that pointed out what to avoid. With that being said, I have written this post with hopes of you avoiding 5 of the worst habits for drummers.
Using Your Shoulder When It’s Not Necessary
New drummers have a common misconception that people use their shoulders to play; however, this is thought is extremely wrong!
The act of striking a drum stick on a drum is almost completely done with a person`s wrist. Some hits, such as rim shots, require the drummer to use a little bit of their forearms. However, a drummer`s shoulders only come into play when they are moving from one drum to the next.
Drumming with your shoulders is bad for 3 specific reasons:
-Using your shoulders while drumming takes up much more energy than using your wrists
-You can`t play drum beats as fast because your shoulders move much slower than your wrists
-Each drum hit doesn`t sound nearly as good because the angle that the stick hits the drum head at is not ideal
These three reasons should be more than enough to break your bad habit (or avoid it altogether) and avoid using your shoulders as much as possible!
Over Doing It With Rim Shots
This one is very simple...
Rim shots are meant to spice up drum beats!
Imagine rim shots as being equivalent to paprika. A little bit can really take what you are working on to a whole new level, but too much will ruin it entirely!
Rim shots, by nature, are loud and obnoxious! However, they can really make a drum beat sound awesome when they are tastefully used!
Hard shots to the snare drum`s rim may sound awesome to you, but they will turn an audience off if they are used too frequently!
Slouching While Playing The Drums
This is definitely the most common bad habit that many drummers get into!
It is really easy to slouch over when you are sitting on a drum stool. Not only does it feel more comfortable, but it also puts your eyes a few inches closer to the drum set.
-That comfort fades really quickly, and slouching over will make you feel sore for hours after you have finished drumming!
-Getting a few inches closer to the drum set means that you will be putting your face at a higher risk of being stricken by a drum stick! Do you know how painful it is to take a drum stick to the face? I do!
Make a conscious effort to sit up straight when you are on your drum stool, and you won’t have to worry about feeling lower back pains for hours after drumming!
Holding The Drum Sticks Too Tightly
New drummers seem to fall into this habit REALLY quickly!
One of the best tips that I give to beginner drummers is to hold the sticks as loosely as you can without allowing them to fly out of your hands. You should essentially be holding the drum sticks with the tips of all of your fingers; however, the grip should be relatively loose!
A great way to check whether your drum stick grip is loose enough is to try to swing the drum stick without moving your wrist at all! A loose enough grip will allow you to swing the stick through about 90 degrees of motion!
Looking Away While Playing
Most drummers have been a victim of this bad habit for at least a portion of their percussion career, and I am actually still trying to rid myself of it!
Drumming requires a ton of concentration, and one of the best ways to concentrate is to focus on a still object that is somewhere near you! Looking straight at the drums will cause you to lose your focus because there are sticks flying around. So most people tend to focus on something that is to the side of them!
However, this is one of the worst habits that a drummer can get into because it virtually takes them away from what they are doing!
Looking directly at the drums, and learning to concentrate while doing so, will allow you to watch every move that you make, and improve on them! Looking away from the drums will cause you to do things like hit the rim of the drum, or miss the drum altogether!
Don’t be a victim of the “concentration stare” and break this bad drumming habit today!
These drumming habits will hinder your beats and fills substantially, so you should do everything in your power to avoid them!