Video Lesson! Raw Speed Bass Drum Workout with Mike Johnston

 This excerpt is taken from the complete article that appears in the December 2015 issue,
which is available here.

Rock ‘n’ Jazz Clinic

Raw Speed Bass Drum Workout

Increase Your BPM With a Focused 12-Minute Routine

This bass drum workout is all about developing your raw speed. Raw speed is very different from pattern speed. Pattern speed requires your brain to keep track of a specific sequence of rights, lefts, and kicks, and you have to play a sequence for a long time while your brain memorizes it before you can speed up. Raw speed is referring to how fast you can physically play something that doesn’t require a lot of thought or pattern memorization. Think of it like this: Maybe you can play singles and doubles at 160 bpm but you can play paradiddles at only 110 bpm. That drop in speed doesn’t make sense, since paradiddles are made up of singles and doubles. But the problem isn’t with your raw speed; it’s with your brain’s ability to keep track of the patterns.

Now let’s get your foot blazing with my personal raw speed workout. This twelve-minute program uses four exercises that are played for three minutes each. Each exercise focuses on a different aspect of your bass drum development, including singles, doubles, triples, and mixed subdivisions.

Check out a video demo below.

Mike Johnston

For the complete lesson with transcriptions, check out the December 2015 issue, which is available here.

See what's in the December 2015 issue of Modern Drummer featuring Dom Famularo