December 20, 2023

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Stefan Joubert manager of London Drum Institute is passionate about adult education. He believes that absolutely anyone can learn to play the drums and it is just a matter of getting good education and getting started.


Nailing down the art of timing is a game-changer for drummers, but it’s not a one-and-done deal. Think of it as cultivating muscle memory – a gradual process applicable to drummers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.

If you find yourself slightly out of rhythm, you’re not alone. Refining timing requires aligning your mental tempo with your limbs, demanding consistent practice. While there’s no instant remedy, that doesn’t mean you’re confined to tedious drills or perpetual quarter-note routines.

Timing stands out as a drummer’s superpower.

While natural talent varies, there’s room for improvement for everyone. While we can’t conjure extra talent magically, we can enhance our timing skills by staying mindful and putting in dedicated effort.

Drumming brilliance revolves around timing – the pivotal factor. Boost your drumming journey by prioritising timing. Explore practical steps to enhance your drumming timing skills, ensuring a seamless and impressive performance!

Drummer hitting a snare drum with motion

The Fundamental Role of Counting

Let’s go back to the basics to lay the groundwork for impeccable timing.

Counting serves as the very backbone of your timing prowess.

Engage in the straightforward practice of counting beats aloud as you play, fostering the establishment of a solid rhythmic foundation.

This uncomplicated yet remarkably effective technique not only fine-tunes your internal rhythm clock but also forges a robust connection between your auditory perception and the seamless execution of your drumming manoeuvres.

Sharpen Your Timing with Active Listening

Dive into different music styles to get better at listening, focusing on the small timing details in each.

Active listening is like your special tool—it helps you smoothly blend in with the music and match other instruments.

This journey of exploring music sharpens your sense of timing and gives drummers the skills to handle different rhythms in various styles, improving your overall musicality.

By feeling the rhythm in every beat, active listening becomes your go-to method for getting really good at timing in drumming.

It’s like a guide that helps drummers become finely tuned team players, adding to the lively back-and-forth of timing in musical groups.

Practising drums with metronome

Use Metronome

Think of the metronome as your trusty friend in getting better at timing.

It’s like a cool gadget that helps you practise.

Start it at different speeds and play along with it. When you get the hang of it, try making it a bit faster.

This way, you can keep a steady and controlled beat as you play your drums.

Using the metronome is a bit like having a musical coach – helping you practise at different speeds until you’re totally comfortable and nailing that perfect pace in your drumming.

So, set it up, play along, and let your timing skills get even more awesome!

Feel the Weight of the Sticks

Getting a feel for the weight of your drumsticks is a crucial step in mastering perfect timing.

Think of it as getting to know your tools, your drumsticks!

Take a moment to really understand how heavy they are and how well they balance in your hands.

It’s like becoming friends with these essential instruments of drumming.

As you practise, focus on being gentle with your strokes and finding the right touch.

This not only helps you keep a steady beat but also adds a smooth and skilled style to your drumming.

It’s like creating a connection with your drumsticks, allowing you to control them effortlessly and make your drumming sound truly awesome!

So, take the time to feel the weight, find that balance, and let your drumming finesse shine through.

A man playing drums with headphones on

Groove with Music

Getting into the groove with your favourite tunes is a really cool way to get the hang of timing.

It’s like playing your drums along with the music, just feeling the beat and going with it.

Imagine it as joining in with the rhythm and melody of the song—it’s like being a part of the music.

This fun practice not only makes your timing better but it also makes you better at creating music overall.

It’s like a fun rehearsal that helps you become a pro at keeping the beat and adding your own flair to the feel of the music.

So, put on your favourite song, feel the rhythm, and let your drumming become a key part of the musical experience!

Accent Techniques

Discovering the world of accentuation in drumming is like adding a secret ingredient to your playing!

It’s all about trying different ways to make certain beats stand out in your rhythm.

Think of it as experimenting with the loudness of specific hits to make your drumming more interesting.

Accents are like little boosts that add excitement to your beats and make your timing even better.

So, when you’re practising, play around with how hard you hit each drum, emphasising different parts of the beat.

It’s like giving your drumming a personal touch and making it stand out with cool dynamics.

Practise changing up the power of your strokes, and you’ll notice your timing becoming more refined and your drumming gaining a unique flair!

Close up hands playing guitar


Becoming a master of timing as a drummer involves a well-rounded approach.

By regularly integrating these seven steps into your practice routine, you’ll not only keep the beat but also take your drumming to higher levels of precision and musical expression.

Remember, most drummers can significantly improve their timing and groove with dedication and consistent effort.

If you’re passionate about improving your drumming skills further, don’t miss the opportunity to explore our exceptional drum lessons at the London Drum Institute.

Our experienced instructors can help you refine your timing, enhance your technique, and unlock your full rhythmic potential. Visit our website to learn more about our drum lesson offerings, and let’s embark on a rhythmic journey together.

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