Stretches for Drummers

Samba is about endurance. It's not unreasonable that you might be asked to hold a steady rhythm for over an hour. So you need to minimize your effort, and play loosely (or as Bob once said, "Give slack!"). Unless you're dancing while drumming, you should be consciously relaxing the parts of your body that aren't being used to make sound. When tension starts to build, try shifting the way you hold the stick, or the angle you hit the drum, or your posture, so that you can use different muscles for awhile.When that doesn't work, try simplifying your part, or gradually getting quieter, or just stop and rest for awhile. Try not to make abrupt changes, unless they correspond to a change in music: a break, or section of a song. Whatever you do: DO NOT DRAG! In everything else in your life, when you get tired it's great to just slow things down a little, but not in music. If you start playing slower, you will cause everyone else to feel tired. Resist the dark side! Don't drag! Like any other athletic endeavor, the more you practice, the better in shape you'll be.

When you get a chance to stop, try a few of the following stretches:

Wrist Stretch 1

Hold your sticks out in front of you

bend your wrists down, and then up

repeat a few times

Wrist Stretch 2

Hold your sticks out in front of you again To stretch your right wrist, hold the sticks tightly in your right hand, and bring it back towards you until your right palm is facing up; keep your left hand in the same position while holding the sticks loosely and they will rotate in your left hand.

Then raise your right hand, straighten your right arm, and rotate your left hand so the sticks are vertical. For an added stretch, pull back with your left hand.

Then repeat with the other side.

Wrist Stretch 3

Hold your hand up, palm facing in.

With your other hand, grab your hand.

Twist your right hand so the palm faces outward.

Pull your right hand straight down.

Hand Stretch

Stretch you hand straight out in front of you with your fingers up and pull your finger tips back with your other hand.

Repeat with the other hand.

Stretch you hand straight out in front of you with your fingers down and pull your finger tips towards you with your other hand

Repeat with the other hand.

Arm Stretch

Hold both sticks in one hand, in the middle of the sticks. Rotate them back and forth.

Shoulder Stretch 1

hold your sticks in one hand, put them up over your shoulder, and grab them with your other hand behind your backtry pulling up as high as you can go, then try pulling down as low as you can go

repeat on the other side

Shoulder Stretch 2

put one straight arm accross your body and put your other hand on the opposite shoulder and pull it

repeat on the other side

A great stretch is to hold your hands up and shake your fingers wrists, arms and shoulders for a few seconds.

special thanks to Jorge Martins of Corpos Percusivos

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