Functional Drumming Series: Simple Coordination
This is a series of warmup exercises in 4 steps that increase with difficulty. The goal is to use full strokes as you play and to practice at a tempo that you can manage while staying relaxed.
First we start off with a full unison between all limbs. Right hand, Left hand, Right Foot, and Left Foot all play together on the 8th note. Next, we keep the hands together and the feet together, but alternate them. I call this “split unison” and we start first with the hands (right and left hand play together), and then follow with the feet (right foot and left foot play together).
The third step is what I refer to as “alternating unison” and it involves alternating the hands and then adding the feet, which are still playing together. Right hand plays, then left hand and finally both feet together. The final step I call “full alternating” and has each limb alternating with the others. In this example I start with the right hand, follow with the left, then the right foot, and then left foot.
There are many variations you could create with this idea, so use your creativity, take this idea and make up your own sequences. I encourage you to use this to develop your technique in a way that will be useful to you and your playing.