How to warm up on the drums

Billy Cunningham

March 27, 2018

Welcome Students, Parents and Friends to the SDS monthly blog. I will be using this to keep you posted of all the latest SDS news, info, practise tips for students, photos, videos, social media and more.

This month’s feature is going to be about ‘How to warm up on the drums’ before you do your main practise or before a live performance.

Why warm up?

“The idea is to increase blood-flow to the working muscles to decrease the risk of injury”

It is important to warm up before any physical activity whether it is football, horse riding, skiing or even drumming. The idea of a warm-up is to avoid injury but I think in drumming it is also important to relax the muscles to get the most out of your practise or live performance.

The worst thing you can do in drumming is dive deep into some fast intense drumming straight away causing your muscles to tighten which in worst case scenarios could lead to an injury but more than likely will just cause you to be less flexible on the drums which will affect the rhythm of what you are playing and make you less coordinated on the drums.

See the video below about why it is important to warm up before a physical activity.

Warming up on the drums by Improvising 16th Notes

In the following video I am demonstrating one of the warm-up routines I use daily on the drums. I have found this really helpful in not only warming up to make the best use of my practise but also as a great routine to develop drum fill/soloing ideas, develop coordination and improve rhythm.

I have demonstrated this by improvising 16th notes around the drums at first using Single Strokes and then adding Double Strokes and then adding the feet (Bass Drum and Hi-Hat pedal notes).  Each example in the video is played with a metronome/click at 70BPM, 90BPM and the 120 BPM. Using a click in practise is an excellent tool which I thoroughly encourage.

There are many exercises to develop the ideas I’m using, if you have any questions about this please get in touch or book a lesson for me to explain this in further detail.


To finish off this month I hope this has been of some help to you and please do warm up properly for your practise to avoid injury and encourage more productive relaxed practise.


Have a great time drumming!