The ability to play at top speed on a single drum is great but that's just the beginning. Unless you plan to be a drum corps snare drummer, you'll need to develop an additional type of speed. You'll need to develop what I call "mobile" speed. This is what allows you to apply the speed you already have on a single drum or practice pad to the entire drumset without adding any additional muscle tension to your movements.
Welcome to part three in my series designed to increase your speed and ease of movement around the drumset. It is based on my concepts of Tension Free Drumming, which allow you to play at maximum speed, power, endurance, and precision while maintaining exact control over each stroke. If you missed either of the first two lessons, I suggest you work on them before moving to this one. When practiced in the correct order, you will find these exercises to be a tremendous help in developing your mobile chops.
After studying the written exercise below, watch the video clip. I first demonstrate the optimum method of playing the exercise slowly around the drumset. I then play it up to speed. 200 bpm is the tempo I'm playing on the video. Think about that for a second. The tempo I'm playing equals 600 beats per minute with a single hand. That's not a bad speed if you were to play it on a single drum but develop that speed while moving around the drumset, and you will definitely have a valuable addition to your bag of tricks!
It's much easier to play at high speeds on a single drum, while remaining Tension Free, than it is when moving around the drumset. But, with proper practice, mobile speed can be developed at nearly the same rate as your speed on a single drum. The key is to practice daily and start slowly, gradually increasing your speed over the days and weeks. It is also critical not to increase muscle tension while you're gaining speed around the drumset.
For more details on my concepts of Tension Free Drumming, visit http://www.TensionFreeDrumming.com.