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Stick Control

To become a better drummer and to maintain a certain skill level, we need to work on our stick control. With total control over the sticks, we can virtually play anything we want. Exercises that improve stick control can be very simple and straightforward. Just set a metronome (not just fast tempos!) and try to play these very simple stickings as accurate as you can:

Singles:
RLRL RLRL
LRLR LRLR

Doubles:
RRLL RRLL
LLRR LLRR
RLLR RLLR
LRRL LRRL

Paradiddles:
RLRR LRLL
RLLR LRRL
RRLR LLRL
RLRL LRLR

Record yourself to check your timing, sound and consistency. Doesn’t it sound right? Do it again at a slower pace.

Now try the following stickings which require a bit more focus:

RLRL RRLL
LRLR LLRR
RLRL RLRR LRLR LRLL
RLRL RRRR LRLR LLLL
RLLLLLLR
LRRRRRRL

Actually, it’s really easy to come up with your own stickings, combining singles and doubles. You can make them as easy or difficult as you want. Just some ideas here:

RLRLRL RLLRRL
LRLRLR LRRLLR

RLLRRL RLLRRL RLLRRL RLRLRR LRRLLR LRRLLR LRRLLR LRLRLL
RLRLRR LRLRLL RLRLRR LRRLLR LRLRLL RLRLRR LRLRLL RLLRRL
RLLRRL RRLLRR LRRLLR LLRRLL

So, when you can play these stickings consistently, you can do a couple of things to make things more interesting and challenging:

– Accent every first note of the group.
– Try faster tempos.
– Add a foot ostinato.
– Orchestrate the stickings: Play every first note on one of the toms/cymbals.
– Play the right hand on the hi-hat/cymbal, and the left hand on the snare drum. Add bass drum notes to create grooves. Apply dynamics to the left hand, search for the logical spot to pop in a backbeat.

In my online courses you will find a lot of exercises that will improve your stick control. It will benefit your drumming dramatically!

Good Luck!

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