Finger Drumming Training

Importance of training

Training is important if you want to make progress, and so is a certain amount of structure in your finger drumming training. Training structure helps you to stay disciplined. Ideally, your training plan should have different focuses and should highlight not more than three specific focus areas per training session.

Make sure that you incorporate repetition into your training plan. Again, pad controller finger drumming is based on motor skills. Motor skills can only improve through repetition. Therefore, repetition should be a crucial element of your training.

The problem with repetition is that it can make an interesting exercise boring. This is most often the case when you stick too much to set goals. This is why I strongly encourage you to keep an eye on your feelings while you practice. If you set up a training plan that requires three minutes of a particular beat but you find yourself to be bored after two minutes – skip the last minute! It can be a good sign if you notice boredom in some areas of your practice. It can mean that this specific area is no longer a challenge for you and you do not need to practice it further. My recommendation is to add some flexibility to your training plan in order to keep it interesting.

Practice routines

When I practice, I usually split my session into four sections with small breaks in between each section:

Technique (finger development)

  • To warm-up
  • To gain flexibility, strength, stable timing, and precision
  • To develop hand and finger techniques
  • All of which enables me to practice:

Stylistic exercises

  • To develop whatever style I am interested in at the moment
  • Which makes me want to jam along with:


  • To improve my musical understanding and my feeling of how my playing fits into a general musical context
  • The music can be my own compositions, playalongs that I bought with books and magazines, or stuff that I found on the web
  • When I have arrived at this stage I am usually so involved that I want to start:


  • My muscles, rhythmical feeling, and my thoughts are all wrapped around finger drumming by then, and all of my senses are ready for new experiences and a deeper understanding

I do not encourage you to use a fixed master finger drumming training plan unless advised during certain passages of this course. I do not exercise with a fixed master training plan either. You should work through this finger drumming course chapter by chapter. You will find many small exercises that you can complete in minutes with ease; others will take you a few days or weeks to master. Once you have gained a good skill level you should write your own exercises. The good thing about setting up your own training plan is that you will commit yourself to your own goals and not to goals that someone else has set up for you. You will put tasks into your plan that you really want to master.

Progress evaluation

As mentioned in the practice tips, progress evaluation is important, but it is also important that you avoid doing it on a weekly, or even daily, basis. One strategy that works well for me is to make an initial assessment about how well (i.e., solidly, easily, slowly or quickly, etc.) I can play a certain finger drumming technique, style, or groove. I write down the tempo of my practice starting point. After noting my initial capacity, I only assess my progress from time to time. This keeps the situation more relaxed and I grant myself more time for experiments.

I do not set these types of goals: β€œIn six weeks I will be able to play this beat 30 bpm faster.” In my opinion, goals such as this one are frustration boosters.

I think it makes no sense to over-structure your expectations, especially in the beginning. Progress is always much faster at the start than in later stages when you are already good. It is in the later stages that training plans become really important in the attempt to reach new capacity levels. In the more advanced sections, you will find some rock-solid performance measurement cards (PMCs) that will challenge your discipline. I really recommend that you work with these cards because they will greatly expand your capabilities. But for the time being, keep your finger drumming training as flexible and fun as possible.

Strategic finger drumming training plan

A strategic finger drumming training plan helps to keep you from losing focus and aids in building good capabilities. The XpressPads finger drumming course itself is built strategically, so there is no need for additional strategic planning. Step by step and section by section, the course increases the challenge and focuses on capabilities that build on top of one another. Also, the exercise elements will change over time. If you follow this course thoroughly you will not need to worry about strategic goals. The chapters are not just for your information. They are designed to take you on a journey of accomplishment. Challenges need to be balanced on this whole journey. The right exercise slots at the right time will lead you comfortably to solid success.

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