Backstage Warm-Ups

by Rich Redmond

In this lesson, I’m sharing some of the warm-ups I use before hitting the stage with Jason Aldean each night. I improvise with rudimental figures that isolate both sides of my body, which helps me focus on my weaker hand. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these exercises continually find their way into my routine.

I begin by slowly stretching the muscles in the forearms, hands, and fingers. Drumming often boils down to a combination of full strokes (louder hits played higher off the head) and half strokes (taps played softer and closer to the head). The exercises in this lesson combine full and half strokes with a variety of accent patterns.

Flams and drags are also incorporated into the phrases. I use single strokes, double strokes, and paradiddles as shifting points to make sure both sides of the body take turns starting each pattern. Although your weaker hand might never fully rival your stronger hand, make it a lifelong goal to develop both hands as equally as possible.

Backstage Warm-Ups 1

Backstage Warm-Ups 2

Backstage Warm-Ups 3

Backstage Warm-Ups 4

Backstage Warm-Ups 5

Rich Redmond drums for country star Jason Aldean, is an award-winning clinician, and is an active session drummer in Nashville and Los Angeles. His recent book/DVD, FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids (coauthored with Michael Aubrecht), is available through Modern Drummer Publications.