Tiger Bill’s Speed Lesson: 6 Steps to 1,000 bpm Part 3

Tiger Bill’s Speed Lesson: 6 Steps to 1,000 bpm - Part 3

This month we continue with our developmental exercises designed to strengthen your weak hand. The goal of these drills is to allow you to develop equal speed, power, endurance, and precision with both hands. This will also help us reach our goal of playing single strokes at 1,000 bpm or whatever personal goal you may have set for yourself. If you missed part 1 or 2 of this series, please go to the DrumMagazine.com lesson area and work on those before moving on to this one.

Video Lesson

Study the written exercises below. The lines marked S are to be played with your strong hand and the lines marked W are to be played with your weak hand. You should be practicing these drills daily and marking your metronome speeds in a notebook to keep track of your progress. After you are comfortable playing each of these exercises separately, then practice playing them straight through repeating each of the six two-bar exercises only once.

These exercises are designed to help you develop the ability to play continuous sixteenth notes (four to each metronome click) with a single hand. Once you can do that at a tempo of 125 bpm, then (theoretically) you should be able to play at 1,000 bpm using single strokes with both hands together. We will learn to coordinate the two hands together in the final two lessons of this series.

Polyrhythmic & Metric Modulations
Having Problems Getting Up To Speed?

There are two main reasons you might have difficulty playing these exercises up to speed.

First is incorrect practice routines. You should start with the first exercise in part 1 of this series and don't skip to part 2 or 3, even if the initial exercises seem easy for you. These exercises have been designed to practice in the exact order they are written. If you skip over any of them, you will find it much more difficult to reach your end goal.

And, while we're mentioning the end goal, just because I chose a goal of 1,000 bpm for this series doesn't mean you have to make it your goal. Choose any goal you like. The most important thing is to chose one and write it down in your notebook. Strive to get closer and closer to your goal each day. Once you have reached your goal on all of the exercises in a particular lesson, then move on to the next lesson.

The other reason you may be having difficulty playing these exercises up to speed is poor technique. If you can't reach a particular speed or can't stay at that speed without feeling tension in your arms and hands that seems to force you to slow down, then you need help with your technique. In this case, I suggest you seek out a qualified instructor to help you develop your speed. How do you know if a particular instructor is qualified? Simple. Verify whether he or she is capable of actually playing at the speeds you're looking to attain, not simply talking about them.

Additional Workout

Once you can easily play these exercises up to your end goal speed as written, reverse your hands. Play the Strong (S) line with your weak hand and the Weak W) line with your strong hand. You should find this much easier to perform and this variation will help ensure that both of your hands stay balanced and equal in speed, power, endurance, and precision.

If you have questions on this month's lesson, visit Tension Free Drumming

Until next time, have fun and stay loose!

Tiger Bill Meligari