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Best Beginner's Coordination Exercise

Updated: Apr 8

Hi guys, my name is Andrea Gatti, and I'm the drum and percussion instructor at Drum Arts. I have been playing and teaching for many years. I love to see my students and others growing in their passion. In this video and article, I talk about the importance of coordination and how it's the foundation of our drumming. I will also show what I believe is the best beginner's coordination exercise that will lay a good foundation for great drumming.


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Why is coordination so important?

As I just mentioned, coordination is the foundation of our drumming! We won't be able to play effectively if our coordination is not in place. Our rhythms will not groove because the notes we play will not be perfectly together. Therefore, what we are playing won't sound good. There's a reason why studio and session drummers need to be very good; it's because they need to sound good! If the kick drum and the hi-hat are not in perfect unison. the rhythm will sound off. If all the elements of our playing are not perfectly together, the result will be bad.


Steps to achieve great coordination on the drumset

  • Start working on it at the beginning - Don't wait for it to be a challenge! By learning it step by step when a challenging groove is in front of us, we will be able to face it without many problems because we will have a good foundation. Baby steps go a long way.

  • Immediately start using the hi-hat pedal - With my students, I immediately make them use the hi-hat pedal. In this way, the brain learns to use and coordinate that leg. It will soon become very natural!

  • Study the unisons by playing notes on the rims of the drums - By playing on the rims, it will be clearer if the notes that we are playing are producing a flam or not. The sound produced on the rims is short and clear. This cannot be achieved by playing on a skin since the notes will have a much longer sustain, making it harder to identify flams.

  • Start with just two elements, then add more - Doing little steps is always the best! Concentrate on working on just two elements at a time, then in a second moment add more. For example, playing the snare and high hat pedal simultaneously. Then add the kick and so on. I explain this in the video.

  • Play everything you play on the hi-hat also on the ride cymbal and add the hi-hat pedal, first doing quarter notes, then trying to move it in different positions. For example, offbeat (like on the "and").


Why I believe this is the best beginner's coordination exercise

I believe this is the best beginner's coordination exercise since step by step it covers the basic movements that we use while drumming. It's a great first-approach exercise to

study this topic and it gives immediate results. Also, it introduces the use of the hi-hat pedal which allows our brain to become used to this action.


Download your free Coordination 1 PDF exercises!


Final Thoughts

This could sound repetitive, but coordination is the foundation of our drumming! Starting with the right foot is the recipe for success. I do believe this is the best beginner's coordination exercise since I have seen good results with my beginner's students who utilize it. ;)

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We look forward to hearing from you!


Andrea Gatti

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Mar 19

You have done a great job! It's explained very well. How do I know if my grooves are played properly?

Replying to

You are very welcome. I would suggest to record yourself. That is a great tool to check yourself out ;). Also, try and play the unisons separately to see if there is a flam.

Thank you for your participation!

Andrea Gatti

Drum Arts

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