3rd April 2017 Wil Wainwright

Warming Up The Hands

Hello and welcome, today I will be sharing with you a really useful hand warm up exercise that I not only teach but also use myself for loosening up my wrists and getting warmed up.  Before we actually get into it (are you sitting down?) it’s not another iteration of the standard singles, doubles and paradiddles exercise that everyone knows a version of, although that is a great exercise there are loads of versions already out there.  Not sure what I mean, then just watch Joe Morello’s killer exercise here for a great display of the basic idea.

Ok so what are we actually going to look at today? Its a simple enough idea, treat the hands evenly.  Almost everyone has a dominant hand and therefore a weaker hand.  As drummers, we strive to lessen the gap between our hands as much as possible to allow us to fully express our ideas musically.  As always, I have written this with a right handed player in mind, if you’re a lefty, just flip the sticking and enjoy.

  1. In the first exercise, we are just playing constant 16ths on the hats with the right hand and 8th notes with left on the snare.
  2. Now we are just flipping it so that our left hand has to play the constant 16ths.  This can be surprisingly tough to keep sounding smooth and consistent so stick with it.
  3. This is the main exercise.  We are playing the first two patterns back to back, effectively switching between right hand and left hand biassed grooves, we have also added an 8th note bass drum pattern to help hold it all together.  Take your time to make this feel and sound smooth and then slowly increase the tempo.
  4. This is can be a little tougher depending on your comfort level with a samba bass drum pattern.  It is essentially the same as 3 just with the different foot pattern.
  5. As a bonus, I have put number 5 in as I often like to play this straight after 4.  It is just a pataflafla with the samba foot pattern underneath.  It’s a great pattern as the flams lock in with the right foot.  This really gets my hands loose and ready to play.Warm up for hands

I hope you all got something out of that and find it useful for getting your hands warmed up.  To start with it can be a little challenging, but once you have mastered it, you will be left with a quick and effective warm up.

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About the Author

Wil Wainwright Wil Wainwright has been a student of the drums for well over 20 years and a teacher for over 10, starting his musical journey in the early ‘90s. He has been a part of many bands over the years ranging from Punk, through Rock, Prog, Math-Core, Math-Rock, Metal, Pop and Electronica. Although he is an accomplished performer, teaching is where his real passion lies. He now teaches at various schools and colleges in the UK including prestigious institutions like Ardingly College as well as smaller primary schools. Wil also does a lot of private tuition, really focusing on getting students to be the best versions of themselves possible. He proudly plays Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals both on his teaching set ups and also on his live and studio kits because “They just sound right!”

Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals

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