Warming up prior to playing is extremely important for any drummer. Not only does it help you perform better, but it can reduce the risk of muscle strain or injury during a strenuous performance.

Usually, the problem lies in finding the time to warm up adequately. Here’s a quick, yet very effective, routine that can be accomplished in only 20 minutes. All you need is a pair of sticks, a practice pad, and a clock or wristwatch with a second hand.

The routine is broken into five major areas: Continuous, Combination, Accent, Roll, and Single Strokes. Play each exercise at your top speed and at a moderately loud dynamic level. Repeat each pattern for a full minute and proceed directly to the next one without a pause. There are four, 30-second rest periods—one between each set of exercises.

Be sure to follow the directions of the warm-up routine exactly as prescribed. Try it before your next performance. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Continuous Strokes

Repeat each example for one minute.

20-Minute Warm-up 1

30-second break

Combination Strokes

Repeat each example for one minute.

20-Minute Warm-Up 2

20-Minute Warm-Up 3

30-second break

Accent Strokes

Repeat each example for one minute.

20-Minute Warm-Up 4

30-second break

Roll Strokes

Repeat each example for one minute.

20-Minute Warm-Up 5

30-second break

Single Strokes

Repeat the following example for one minute, increasing from slow to fast.

20-Minute Warm-Up 6

Also, double bass drum players may want to do this entire routine with the feet (with the exception of Roll Strokes). Follow the same instructions.