A lot of drummers don’t really sit down for drum practice, but rather just sit down to “play.” Just sitting down to play what you already know is fun and can be great for maintaining certain techniques, but little progress will be made.

If you are into drumming only for a hobby, then making progress is probably not really a great priority for you. If that’s the case keep doing what you are doing, and enjoy it.

On the other hand, if you want to progress as a great drummer, you will have to focus. You just can’t expect to sit down at your drum kit every once in a while and just beat around the skins. You need to be clear what it is you need work on, and then apply it.

Each one of your practice sessions should create a challenge for you to accomplish something not previously mastered.

When you sit down at your drum set do you know what you should be practicing? Many drummers don’t have a clue what they need to be practicing to become better. This lack of information can kill your potential to really excel at your instrument.

Sometimes, even if we know what to work on, our practice sessions can be weak simply because of a lack of focus.

If you have ever caught yourself saying, “I don’t know what to work on” or, “What did I forget to work on” when you get on your drums, this cheat sheet will do you good. Hang it up on your wall and pick which exercises you want to work on before you begin.

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~ Stick control

~ Playing with a metronome (playing with, behind, and ahead)

~ Odd timing

~ Finger control

~ Left hand lead

~ Double bass drumming

~ Fast tempos

~ Slow tempos

~ Odd groupings (3’s, 5’s’ 7’s and 9’s etc.)

~ Polyrhythms

~ Beat displacement and/or metric modulation

~ Shuffles

~ Showmanship (stick twirling, etc)

~ Creating your own patterns and ideas

~ Filling around accent patterns

~ Triplets around the set

~ 16th’s around the set

~ Left hand and foot isolation

~ Brush technique on the snare drum

~ Crash cymbal technique (which one to hit, when, how hard, etc.)

~ Two handed cymbal rides

~ Soloing

~ Recording yourself and listening back

~ All 40 drum rudiments

There are probably many more things, particularly your own technique and signatures. But, just remember, you want to be working on something new at all times.

The main thing is, keep challenging yourself by never being satisfied. Strive to constantly improve during each drum practice session. Just never say again, “I don’t know what to practice.”