How to Play Drums Faster – 11+ Tips to Speed Up and Increase Accuracy

By James  •  Updated August 21, 2022

play drums faster

As a beginner, it is easy to feel discouraged when you try to play a particular rhythm on the drums and fail spectacularly because you cannot match the speed. 

Do not put your drumsticks down just yet! There are still ways to help you improve your speed.

We’ve compiled a few tips on how you can drum faster and play better. By the end of this article, you will have a better grasp on how you can help improve your drumming speed and accuracy. 

How To Play Drums Faster for Beginners

You do not need to be an expert drummer before you start to increase your drumming speed. Even as a beginner, there are a lot of things you can do to slowly get used to drumming faster. 

Here are some tips that we have for you:

1. Start Slowly

Holding A Drumsticks To Start Slowly For Drumming

Being able to drum fast is incredibly exciting. However, as a beginner, it is simply not realistic to expect yourself to hit those beats as quickly as Buddy Rich right off the bat. You have to allow yourself some time to improve. 

By slowing down, you are giving yourself time to adjust to the speed before taking it a notch higher. Aside from this, you are also giving yourself time to be self-critical of your drumming technique. 

At a slow speed, you can see the way you hit the drums and even match it to some of your idols. It will be easier to spot basic mistakes and even correct them. Doing these things will improve your accuracy. 

Speed without accuracy will sound like a downright mess. So, while it is important to improve your speed, it is important to do so with accuracy.

2. Make Sure You Know Your Rudiments

Drum kit

As I have mentioned on the first tip, it is important to take things a little slow. A great way to do this is to go back to your basics and perfect them. Your rudiments are there for a reason: they are there to help you improve, and that includes speed and accuracy.

Focus your practice on the fundamentals like stroke rolls, paradiddles, and flams. As you do this, make sure to focus on your form. From the very basics, slowly expand your playing style.

3. Take Online Drumming Lessons

girl playing drums in recording studio

If you are having a hard time improving your speed and accuracy on your own, you might want to consider having someone guide you through it. 

There are plenty of options to do this. You can get a private tutor or attend school. However, if you are more into self-studying with a little bit of guidance from professional drummers, then the best online drum lessons just might be the perfect method for you.

They are relatively cheap and accessible at any time. If you do not have one in mind yet, we have a curated list of the best ones out there!

4. The Right Way to Hold Your Drumsticks

man plays musical percussion instrument with drum sticks

While the right way to hold your drumsticks is extremely relative to your comfort and preference, there is still a wrong way to do it. Not holding your drumsticks correctly will impede you from being able to play drums faster

Even worse, prolonged exposure to the wrong way of holding the drumsticks can lead to some chronic joint-related illnesses in the long run. When you stop your drumsticks from its natural rebound, your joints absorb the extra impact, instead. 

By holding your drumsticks incorrectly, you are not allowing them to naturally rebound every time you hit your drum head. This also lowers your stamina, which means less drum-playing time.

We have a great article on how to hold your drumsticks correctly as well as some amazing grip techniques for you to experiment (e.g. how to twirl a drumstick)!

5. Try Practice Pads

Practicing to play drum faster

For a better way of practicing rebounds, consider getting yourself a practice pad! It is yet nice and is a safe way to practice. 

Long hours on the drums can be harmful to your ears, especially if you do not have noise-isolating headphones or ear monitors. Note that drums are extremely loud. In fact, they are one of the instruments with the highest volume in decibel

A practice pad is a perfect alternative to a drum because it has the same amount of rebound but without the loudness. While being on the drums is necessary for your improvement, practicing your rebound is one of those things that you can do off of your kit.

6. A Cheaper Alternative

Playing drum sticks to master drumming

If you are eager to get practicing or do not have the time to take a trip to the store to get a practice pad, there are other cheaper ways to practice off of your kit. For one, you can use a throw pillow! 

While a pillow does not offer any rebound whatsoever, it is great for developing the muscles on your arms. 

The lack of rebound requires you to spend more effort when lifting and hitting with your drumsticks. However, it is important not to spend too long practicing in a pillow! Make sure to give your muscles some rest too.

Fast Drumming Techniques and Tips for Intermediate Drummers

If you are someone who already knows the basics and want more advanced tips that focuses on your technique then this section is for you. Here, we will go through six intermediate-level tips on how to get faster at drumming.

7. Do Single-Stroke Rolls

Drummer playing drums on a party

It is easy to forget something as simple as single-stroke rolls. They are extremely basic and not all that impressive, so many drummers are guilty about moving on from them. However, single-stroke rolls are amazing especially when you are developing your speed and accuracy.

Start slow with your practice and build up speed. As you play, focus on your accuracy. 

When practicing with single-stroke rolls, it is important to hold your drumstick as loose as possible without dropping them at every hit. As you speed up, your hold on them will tense up.

8. Kick-Pedal Techniques

drummer wearing a sneaker playing a bass drum with pedal

When you are practicing drumming speed, many drummers associate this with the speed of their hands. However, many forget the fact that for you to completely speed up your whole drumming style, you also need to speed up your pedal skills. 

If you are unsure how to speed up your kick pedal technique, try the heel-toe technique. This works even if you have a double kick pedal. Here’s a great video showcasing how to do it:

9. Learn to Play With Rebound

man playing a drum in a recording studio

When you hit a drum and you feel your drumstick bounce back, do not try to hold it back down. A drum and a drumstick create a natural rebound, and this makes it easier to raise your sticks right after hitting the drum head without exerting effort.  

By mastering rebound at different speeds, you can save some of your stamina and use it for extra speed, instead.

10. The Moeller Technique

drum set sticks and a disc

While there are many drumming techniques, the Moeller technique is specifically focused on improving your speed. To put it simply, this technique uses the rebound of your stick against the head of the drum to produce multiple strokes. 

Here’s a great video that teaches how to do this technique:

11. The Magic of Metronomes

hourglass, metronome and memo pad with a pencil

A metronome is a great way to develop your speed and accuracy at the same time. Try incorporating one in your next practice session. The metronome will ensure that you stay on rhythm no matter how fast or slow you go.

What is even more interesting is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to be able to use a metronome. If you want a fancy looking one, I am not going to stop you from spending some money. However, if you want to keep to your budget, you can always download phone apps. They work just as well!

12. Playing With a Mirror 

man and drum type installation in a recording studio

This might sound strange at first but give it a try and you will see how beneficial it can be. If you practice in front of a mirror, you will be giving yourself a new angle of the way you play. Using this new angle you can observe yourself even closer than before.

A front view of your playing could lead you to discover some issues in your method. Resolving these issues could help you improve your efficiency and, in turn, improve your speed!

Almost like a paradox, you need to take it slow to improve your speed. By following these tips and with a little bit of practice, you will surely see improvement in your playing!