It is an ongoing challenge for me to get my left hand to equal my right. I don’t know that it will ever happen but it is worth working on. Starting to warm up the left (or whichever is your weaker hand) first always results in a better practice overall.
Start with simple quarter and eighth note patterns at a moderate tempo and gradually bring in accents. When things start to feel relaxed and the time is steady, start to increase the tempo andlor play more complex patterns. (see exercise) Be careful not to stress the hands by pushing too hard. Remember, this is a warm-up. Repeat the process with the other hand.
When you have completed warming up both hands, it is good to challenge the weaker hand with the stronger. Play a pattern with your strong hand and duplicate it with the weaker hand. Start simply and then increase the complexity (difficulty). Accents are an excellent way to approach this, in combination with increasing speed.
At this point, move on to your favorite rudimental routine.
Your feet should not be overlooked in warming up. Starting with slow consistent quarter notes and gradually including eigth and sixteenth notes is an effective way to warm up both feet. This would also be done one foot at a time. Paradiddles and similar patterns are helpful whether you play a double bass pedal or not. For those of you who play or desire to play double pedal, the feet should should be dealt with the same as your hands.
Remember, the biggest problem is usually that double pedal is started after already playing drumset for a while. In some cases, years later. You are then expecting your feet to do things right away that your hands have had years of practice doing. Patience is crucial. Using a metronome is always a good thing but is absolutely necessary to develop smooth and even double pedal chops.
I recommend using the same exercises for your feet that you do with your hands. You may not be able to play as fast but you will still benefit.
2002 © Chester C. Thompson