WHAT IS DRUMDRILL?

Created in 2020, the Drumdrill was intended first and foremost as a way of providing moral support for the drum community.
Inspired by my formative years working on all things rudiments with my flatmate, the main purpose was to connect with fellow drummers, see friendly faces, offer a routine and find some motivation and inspiration in challenging times.

A couple of years later and we are still going strong, having realised the incredible value of this friendly commitment to each other.

Our community is a varied one. From jazzers to metalheads, electro avant-guard wizards to 2&4 pop-rockers. It’s an open and  inclusive place and there are many different reasons why you should join:

Whether you feel
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Out of touch with the “technique’ stuff and need a boost of confidence.

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Overwhelmed by where to start and who to listen to.

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Intimidated because you’ve been playing and gigging for years but never really invested time in all of this. It’s fine!

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In a rut with your playing, feeling uninspired and locked into the same old ideas.

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Left cold and disconnected by all the ‘technique orientated’ drummers out there.

or you simply want to

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Dedicate focused time to work on your chops.

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Get guidance starting some long overdue hand maintenance.

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Learn new stuff and get some inspiration.

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Help with motivation and build a practice routine.

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Connect, meet like minded drummers, find moral support…and add to our collection of bad drummer jokes!

This beautiful bunch of drum nerds have kept it all amazing during lockdowns […] I have been enjoying it for months and I can’t begin to describe the improvements both mentally and physically. There is no ego, just ideas, sharing and banter. If you are a drummer or even just interested in drumming: Get zooming. It is not about being great or anything, just about drumming and having fun.

Niall Woods

Loving your work G
Just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying the drum hangs.
You’re a bloody grouse! Thanks so much for what you’re doing and the fun drum times!
Loving getting my arse kicked by your silky chops.

Adam Coad

The point is that it’s up to you to shape the Drumdrill around your needs.

14-day Free Trial

As I’ve mentioned on the Home page, this is not a technique lesson. I am hosting not teaching. We don’t follow any particular ‘method’ but rather draw inspiration from many great drummers and instructors. There are a lot of discussions happening on this aspect but ultimately, it is up to you to challenge your hands and your ears the way you see fit.
In terms of material, we work through some of the classic staples but also experiment with some more conceptual ideas. However deep we may venture into the rabbit hole, the main commitment is always to try and make everything sound and feel good.

So with this in mind, before launching into any exercise, I encourage you to think about these two points of reflection:

Bring the drumkit into your practice pad. Think about how it sounds right now and how it would translate onto the kit. What part of the kit are you playing? We often hit the pad way harder than we’d hit a hihat or even a snare. Think about context.

Use the material to challenge a skill rather than collecting and storing a load of exercises with the vague and hopeful notion that with enough practice ‘you’ll get better’. There is so much stuff out there for drummers to “practice” that it becomes very easy to lose focus and start amassing ‘content’ rather than working meaningfully on developing a set of skills that will actually raise the quality of your playing. We constantly hear ‘musicians’ saying: Practice Makes Perfect. Does it? In tennis, you’ll hear: Practice Makes Permanent, which I think is a much more accurate picture and encourages you to think about how you’re practicing and why…and kind of bursts the simplistic idea of ‘the more (hours) I practice the better I’ll get’.

As an experiment, try this:

Start playing a ‘simple’ single stroke roll, no need for click.

Get going and simply observe, going back and fourth through the following questions:

How ‘much’ Time can you hear?

Can you comfortably hear the pulse? Can you hear the rhythms played by each hand individually? The resulting 16th note? You just assumed these were 16th right? Without changing the motion or the speed of your hands and without adding accents, can you hear this single stroke roll as triplets, 8th, quintuplets?

 

How much (and where) do you get in the way physically?

Call it technique if you like. From the neck down, left to right, try to get a feel for all the muscles involved.
What if you change dynamics or subdivision? What about if you keep the same rhythm (say 16th) but now you change the sticking? How is your body ‘fighting back’, how is your notion of time and rhythm being affected? The quality of your sound and dynamics?

 

This is ‘just’ a single stroke roll, right?
…and we’re only playing on a practice pad! Move around the kit, with different sounds and pitches and all these perceptions will be even more challenged.

 

We are all at different levels of understanding and familiarity with some of the material and so we will all be reaching our ceiling at different times. When that is the case don’t feel any pressure to ‘perform’ but rather find your way around the particular issue by perhaps halving the subdivision, simplifying the sticking or changing the note placement etc., be creative! We do push the tempo but this is by no mean a paradiddle speed contest, there’s no prize for the last drummer standing, and since only the host can share their sound, you’re practicing from the safety of your own room anyway.

With all of this in mind the Drumdrill is not going to be a substitute for working on your own and doing the leg work. A lot of the material, you will have to take home and go through slowly and methodically. Turning up and checking in with the group will hopefully be a great source of inspiration, motivation and support, promoting meaningful practice. However, it will not replace the time that you will also need to put in doing it alone…hopefully only making it more enjoyable!