The importance of warming up cannot be overstressed. I always warm up at the start of my practice ritual. Without dedicating several minutes to warming up, your hands and arms will be tightening up in no time. A warm-up routine helps to increase elasticity of the muscles in your arms and hands. It warms muscles, tendons and joints to ensure they are prepared for more rapid movements.
The exercise below is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Stick it to Your Chops. I call it the “90° Bounce.” It is the absolute first thing I play and I use it religiously. It is most effective when played very slowly. The downstroke should be strong, allowing for more bounce. Both sticks should come up to equal heights, approximately 90 degrees and arms should remain parallel to the floor. Play each line several times before proceeding to the next and observe the metronome mark. I strongly suggest using a metronome and following the metronome marking.
Kirby Jacobsen is a freelance drummer, composer, author and band leader in the New Jersey/New York metro area. Find him online here.