Warming up…finding your routine

I’ve been getting a lot of requests from folks about warming up.  I’m actually not going to give you a specific routine of paradiddles, flamadiddles, warmadiddles, etc., however, I’m gonna talk about the concept of the warm up.

In the 5 Minute Monday video, I’m using Power Wrist Builders.  They are heavy brass sticks in various weights that are the same principle as putting weights on the bat when you’re warming up.  When you get warmed up with the heavy sticks, then move to your normal sticks, they feel lighter and your hands move more effortlessly.  They are great!

Basically my philosophy is this.  You’re getting ready to play music.  Will you use a paradiddle in your grooves?   perhaps, but you are going to play music.  So I like to do 2 things.

1.  Physically warm up the hands with sticks and practice pad.  I use all different kind of rudiments, single strokes, double strokes, paradiddles, double paradiddles, anything to warm up the hands.  I also stretch my fingers and wrists.

Set a marker, in other words, when I’m really warmed up I can do a really fast single stroke roll smoothly, when I’m cold I totally can’t.  It’s my indication that my hands are ready to go.

2.  Musically warm up.  Oftentimes I practice with music, and it’s usually an emotional decision.  If I’m feeling angry or aggressive, I’ll warm up to Foo Fighters, Breaking Benjamin, Hoobastank, etc.  Basically play along with the song, and make your warm up feel good, don’t just bang about.  Oftentimes, I will play a hat/snare groove pocket on the practice pad, just to musically inject a groove into my brain.  The trick is to warm up both physically and in your “inner clock.”  I personally think this makes me play better.

I also personally play better when I’m relaxed going on stage.  The adrenalin is going to kick in when you get up there.  Our crowds are anywhere nightly from 5-15k people, so that will definitely ‘jack you up.’  I find that if I do some sort of cardio during the day, then go to the show maybe slightly tired, the adrenalin will pull me back up to normal and I’ll play more relaxed and in the pocket.

Again, this is my routine and what works for me, it may not necessarily work for you, but give it a try and see.  It will put you on the path of developing your own routine of warming up.  I would love to hear your thoughts on what helps you warm up.

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