Practice to a metronome and get used to using one..! Metronomes are usually essential for recording, and many live situations will demand it (e.g. keeping in time with samples, or maintaining tempo consistency). If the first time you use a metronome is when you arrive at the studio, you’re going to have big problems. You don’t need to spend too much (or any) money on one – download a free metronome app on your phone and listen with headphones. Practice rudiments, fills, and beats, and slowly increase the tempo once you’re comfortable.
There are some huge reasons to use a metronome for at least some of your practicing:
- You’ll become more accurate with your beats, fills, and patterns.
- You’ll get a better overall sense of time.
- You won’t fall victim to rushing or wavering in tempo, especially when switching between sections or fills.
- You can track your progress with rudiments, become more accurate, and build up greater speed.
- You’ll be well prepared to record in the studio.
Hate the monotony of a metronome?
Do some of your rudiments in time with your favourite songs instead. If you’re on your drum kit while doing this, protect your hearing with some good quality in-ear monitors.
Want more advanced control over your practicing?
Buy a dedicated metronome. The Boss Dr. Beat or Tama Rhythm Watch are metronomes designed for drummers. If you’re really serious about perfecting your chops, try the Roland RMP Rhythm Coach – an electronic mesh practice pad, or the Alesis E-Practice Pad, an electronic rubber practice pad. Both of these tools will help you build speed, accuracy, and control, allowing you to quickly improve your playing. A bonus with these electronic practice pads is that you can use them to trigger drum samples and expand them to add an electronic kick drum, hi-hat, or snare, giving you a versatile electronic setup to add to your acoustic kit or to practice with.