Got a gig coming up? Playing night after night can be brutal on your body. Check out how our worldwide team of Zildjian Artists warm up before a show so they’re ready to play their best.
1. Bunta (Tatsuya Sugawara) – Japan, Totalfat
Stretch your body and practice rudiments for at least 10 minutes each.
2. Cherisse Ofosu-Osei – UK, MIKA
I like to warm up on a drum pad for 20 minutes before a gig and do a variety of arm and wrist stretches. For the pad, I warm up with the rudiments and snare exercises from the book 'Stick Control' by George Stone.
3. Alex Salinger – Australia, Deez Nuts
Singles, doubles, paradiddles, flam taps, in that order. I usually do this for about 10 min before I go play.
4. Jake Dargaville – New Zealand, Confession
Jog on the spot, push-ups and a beer!
5. Roberto Gualdi – Italy, Independent
Play the following very slow with a large movement: For wrist control (with Random Accents or Diddle Family) Finger Control Rolls Flams – Play very slow and with accuracy.
6. Lucas van Merwijk – Germany, Independent
Play rolls and change from singles to doubles to paradiddles. Make them sound all sound the same.
7. Daniel Hanson – Australia, Ball Park Music
Play basic rudiments on a soft surface with little rebound. Play each rudiment for between 1-2 minutes gradually speeding up until you reach maximum speed at 30 seconds, and then slowing down to walking pace at 1 minute and repeat. Just keep the sticks in your hands a couple of hours before the show too, you will be tapping away the whole time without even knowing it’s a warming up.
8. Ian Matthews – UK, Kasabian
See 4 above. Although I do love 7's. 7L 7R, together.
9. Steve White – UK, Independent/Trio Valore
A meal. A walk, and some pad time.
10. Gary Husband – UK, Independent
Very moderate, even tempo exercises, concentrating on consistency, accuracy, tempo and control. I don't try and play powerfully or fast before a show, and it doesn't serve me if I do. I recently experimented with kind of "air drums" idea, where you're literally playing your sticks in the air with no surface to play off. It's interesting. I'm always looking for new methods.
11. Gino Banks – India, Independent
Singles, Doubles, Flams. All at a medium-slow tempo with big motions.
12. Joe Clegg – UK, Ellie Goulding
Four bars of each of the following: Singles, Doubles and Paradiddles. Practice starting at 100 BPM and working in 4bpm increments.
13. Mark Richardson – UK, Skunk Anansie
Pad work, stretches, deep breaths. Raising your heart rate will help to get the blood oxygenated and feed the muscles that need to go to work!
14. Ash Soan – UK, Recording Artist
Stretches and being physically warm before I go on.
15. Ben Gordon – Australia, Parkway Drive
I practice on a pad for a while and then stretch. To get the blood going I do a kind of yoga routine combined with push ups and sit ups.
16. Atom Willard – USA, Angels and Airwaves/Against Me
I warm up on a pillow, the same pillow I've had for about 12 years actually. I use a heating pad on my shoulders and space heaters near my legs while I get my hands going. This just helps get everything loose and ready.
17. Brooks Wackerman – USA, Bad Religion
Yoga stretches. Slow rudiments before lift off.
18. Vasily Rudenko – Russia, Elvira T
I never warm up. But maybe if you play metal or hard rock, you may need to stretch your hands and play something on pad.
19. Fredrik Larzon – Sweden, Millencolin
Jump, run, play with your drumsticks on your knees or practice pad or some couch or whatever.
20. Akira Jimbo - Japan, Independent
Alternate single strokes of the hands and feet. Like this: Right Hand - Right Foot - Right Hand - Right Foot. Left Hand - Left Foot - Left Hand - Left Foot.
21. Stephen Perkins – USA, Jane’s Addiction
Rudiments from slow to fast, from fast to superfast, then back to slow and then super slow. Quiet to loud and very soft.
22. Simon Scheibel – Germany, Lake Cisco
Steve Smith´s Singles and Doubles exercise and the Drum Guru Lessons of Pat Petrillo...Awesome. Just figured them out by myself :-).
23. Jason Bittner – USA, Shadows Fall
Constant Singles, Doubles, Paradiddles on a pad, feet moving on floor in constant singles motion.
24. John Tempesta – USA, The Cult
I like to get on my 6” pad for 20 mins, then do my routine of exercises, and stretch my hands and arms.
25. Pierre Nakano – Japan, Ling Toshite Shigure
Stretching. Practicing under simulated conditions.
26. Daniel Platzman – USA, Imagine Dragons
Alan Dawson's Rudimental ritual.
27. Antonio Sanchez – USA, Pat Metheny
Lots of stretching and loosening of legs, ankles, forearms and fingers.
28. Venzella Joy – USA, Beyonce
Alternating single and double stroke rolls is a good warm up.
29. Kent Slucher – USA, Luke Bryan Band
I actually just stretch about 30 minutes before the gig, I practice on the pad before sound check then I don't touch the sticks until show time. I like it to feel fresh when I step on stage.
30. Tobias Derer – Germany, YouTuber – Ultimate Music Covers (UMC)
Cold beer and loud single strokes!
31. Ivan Panella – Italy, Hopes Die Last
I usually do a quick stretching routine. Then I play some single-double strokes and diddle rudiments (slow and fast) to warm the wrists.
32. Matt Greiner – USA, August Burns Red
I usually play my best shows when I'm comfortable walking onto that stage. If I'm tired before the show, I'll do pushups. If I'm cold before the show, I'll do rudiments on a pad. If I'm nervous I'll forget about the show and just focus on having fun.
33. Toni Mateos – Spain, Independent
Sextuplets with hands and foot, as fast as you can (you can practice on a pad): RLRLBB, LRLRBB, RRLLBB, LLRRBB, RBLBRB, RRBBLL BBRRLL. (Where R=Right hand, L=Left Hand, B=Bass drum). HiHat always on quarter notes.
34. Ihan Haydar – Denmark, L.I.G.A
Drum around on anything that can be drummed on to warm your hands and fingers. Also make sure that your body is warmed up as well.
35. Jacopo Volpe – Italy, Vanilla Sky
Rudiments and stretching.
36. Darshan Doshi – India, Bollywood/Shankar-Ehsaan-Lory
Doing basic rudiments on a practice pad in the green room.
37. Mike Gaspar – Portugal, Independent
I do lots of sports and also during my spare time I practice and teach Tae Kwon Do. Stretching is a big deal for me. Also breathing exercises and even meditating a bit before gigs make a huge difference. Its a routine I've developed mainly because of all the traveling and sometimes doing two shows in less than 24 hours in different countries; or just all the touring mayhem you have to deal with to get the show done.
38. Bernhard Schimpelsberger – UK, Independent
Stretching my hands and free floating paradiddles just to get a feel of the stick in my hand.
39. Samantha Maloney – USA, Independent
Jumping jacks, then stretching my hands, wrists, and legs. Then I practice rudiments on a practice pad or bottom of my sneaker.
40. Barry van Zyl – South Africa, Johnny Clegg
Sound check! I rarely warm up as an accompanist.
41. Pete Lockett – UK, Independent Percussionist
I never warm up before a gig and never have done it.
42. James Payne – Italy, Hour of Penance
Single stroke rolls playing 1 limb at time, so first right hand - then left hand - then right foot - then left foot. Then combine the 2 hands playing alternated strokes. Then alternate strokes with your feet. Then play single stroke rolls between right hand right foot, left hand and left foot, right hand left foot, left hand right foot.
43. Marito Marques – Portugal, Independent
I warm up with single strokes on a blanket with the drumsticks I'll be performing with, for around 30 minutes. Any sort of technique exercise is great to warm-up.
44. Gavin Harrison – UK, Porcupine Tree/King Crimson
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