Online Drum Lessons

The Outward / Inward Approach to Drumming

Monday, January 28, 2019 by Chris McCaig | Concepts

I have recently updated my drum book 'Basic Drum Kit Studies' for at least the fifth time since I first wrote it in 2001.

Don't let the word 'Basic' fool you. 

Basic doesn't necessarily mean easy.

Basic Drum Kit Studies is a collection of basics that form the foundation of your drumming. 

You can work on these ideas for years to come and you will keep finding new ways to apply them.

The Outward / Inward Approach

I like to think of the outward and inward approach to learning.

Outward is when you are learning new things and expanding your horizons on the drum kit.

Inward is when you dig deeper into the things you already know, to refine them and discover new ideas that you never realised were there.

This recycling image is a good visual for how this works. 

The white arrows represent the outward approach as you learn new things.

The green arrows represent the inward approach where you take the things you've learned and dig deeper with them.

A good example of this in Basic Drum Kit Studies is with the Sticking Combinations exercise on page 17.

The first step is to learn the 16 different sticking combinations (outward).

The next step is to replay the same 16 combinations, but now we add the Foot Ostinatos and Sticking Orchestrations from page 18 (inward).

We are playing the exact same patterns but in a new and more interesting way.

So the next time you come across something that seems 'basic' or 'easy', consider the outward/inward approach.