A Quick and Effective Warm-Up Routine for the Hands and Feet
The following exercise routine is great for drummers who have limited practice time. It also makes for a killer warm-up before gigs, sessions, or rehearsals. The routine is multifaceted in that it works on technique through rudiments and helps develop hand/foot coordination.
The paradiddle pyramid is a sticking that combines three rudiments: the single, double, and triple paradiddle. The sticking involves four single paradiddles, four double paradiddles, and four triple paradiddles and then goes back to four double paradiddles and four single paradiddles. It’s a seven-bar exercise, and the sticking looks like the following. Be sure to play through the sticking groupings without stopping, and use continuous 16th notes in 4/4 time.
Add the Feet
After you can play the paradiddle pyramid with the hands by themselves, begin adding different foot ostinatos. Start with quarter notes on the bass drum, and then try quarter notes on the hi-hat. After you have that down, add the hi-hat on the offbeats.
If you play double bass, try playing steady 16th notes with the feet, using right-foot lead, left-foot lead, or double strokes (RRLL and LLRR).
You might want to begin the exercise by playing four bars of simultaneous 16th notes between your hands and feet, to get them steady and tight, before moving into the paradiddle pyramid. Just make sure your hands and feet are playing in perfect unison—no flams!