Rock Drumming System

Learn To Warm-Up And Stretch Before Drumming

Drum Warm-ups are essential to effective practice sessions, jam sessions, and performances. Have you ever been disappointed in yourself when you sit on a drum set and are unable to play the same fill you could the day before? Have you ever tried to play a complex beat first thing in the morning, but couldn't quite get it? These are problems all drummers face from time to time. The solution - Warm ups and Stretches. What most drummers fail to realize is the importance of a proper warm up before a set. In addition, a lot of drummers will forget to do key stretches that are vital for your general health.

Warming Up Before Playing The Drums

Lets start with warm up exercises for a practice pad. A drummers warm up routine should be any where from 15-30 minutes in length. Remember your doing this to get warmed up, not to practice! It is important to do a warm up every time you play the drums, even if its just a practice session. Try and make it a habit to take a few minutes before you play to do some of these exercises.

Drum Notation

Drum Notation

Drum Notation

Using your practice pad, start with the basic rudiments. This will get your wrist warmed up, and your stick control going! Do each exercise for about 5 minutes each. Another great way to warm up is to use different stick grips for each routine! This will exercise different parts of your wrists, as well as work on your fingers too!

NOTE- Do not forget to warm up your feet as well. This is just as important as the sticks, and should be done in the same way. To save time, do the beats at the same time.

Stretching Before Playing The Drums

You can chose to stretch before, or after the warm up; both are equally effective. Stretching is very important for drummers, and it takes very little time to do! Keeping up with this is what allows drummers to play well into their senior years. These are just a few stretches I will show you, feel free to experiment with your own, or whatever feels right.


This stretch works your fingers as well as your wrists. Make sure your palms are facing up - with your other hand, simply pull your fingers towards your body. Feel the stretch? If it hurts, STOP. You're not supposed to feel pain, just a stretching sensation.


This stretch will work your wrists only. It is a very basic stretch. Simply hold onto your stick with both hands, and roll your stick upwards and downwards. Again, make sure you do not hurt yourself.


These feet stretches are very self explanatory. You simply want to place your foot up against the wall, and lean into it. This will stretch the tendants around your foot and ankle, allowing for better movement on your pedals. Try both ways for variety!

There you have it! A few warm up practices and stretches to try out. If you get into a habit of doing these before you play, you will definitely be able to see and hear the difference, plus you will not hurt yourself. There are many different varieties of stretches and warm ups you can do, these are just examples. For instance, you can warm up to practically any drum rudiment you want, i chose to show the main three. For stretching, do what feels right. If these stretches do nothing for you, try something else. However, like i always say, make sure you do not injure yourself!

By: Dave Atkinson

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