I recently started playing drums and I'm kind of self-taught - I'm studying them by following online lessons from a few sources. I understand this is something a good teacher would probably be able to answer and I'll probably get some real lessons with someone to correct me, but in the mean time, I thought I'd ask here.

Part of my practice includes rudiments - for now singles, doubles, triples and paradiddles on a pad. I noticed that my wrists might become too slow at some point (I can currently play these cleanly at around 115-135 BMP, depending on the rudiment) and that I should figure out how to include more fingers in a proper way. If I switch completely to fingers, I can play all of it quite a bit faster and still clean, but I guess that's not really the point and that I should probably blend both approaches as the BPM goes up?

What I was wondering is whether there is a common BPM range at which people usually (or rather when it is OK to) start including more and more fingers. I'm wondering what's a rough BPM threshold when this should start happening to try to avoid relying on fingers too much or too little if that makes sense. Or is this something I should not yet worry about and just try to keep it clean sounding and bump up the speed?

I understand this is personal, but I'm not looking at extremes here (for example someone who is a totally obsessed with rudiments and can play them wrist-only at a power level of "over 9000" without breaking a sweat), but at your "regular" (but still good, solid) drummer.

I was also wondering should I at some point/speed switch completely to fingers? This would perhaps mean relying a bit too much on rebound which is probably not the best idea (I'm trying to rely on it as least as I can while on the pad).

Thank you.

2 Answers 2


The basic principle is this: The faster you want to go, the less mass you'll want to move.

This means you should use fingers the most at fast speeds. Wrists at mid speeds and arms at low speeds. You will of course use more than one group of muscles during transitions.

Jojo Mayer explains it really well on his Secret Weapons DVD but it is just an extension of the Moeller technique.

The BPM range is dependent on the actual rudiment you are practicing. I'd suggest you rather focus on the quality of the stroke and the economy of your movements (sorry I can't give you numbers :\ )

Hope it helps.


I'm kinda a new drummer to and when I watch myself go faster and faster and like Alexis said the faster you go the more body mass you need to controle, if you watch you wrist and your arms you can tell the faster you go the more you use your wrist and that will come over time,my friend taught me how to use my wrist instead of my whole arm.

But for the most part playing faster beats dose mean using your fingers I personally need to work on my left hand with the fingers they don't react as fast as my other fingers do. Gripping your sticks to tight can also be a problem when trying to use your fingers. The pinky finger and the next finger up are the fingers your going to use for speed.

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