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Drums & Percussion/Practicing Tempos for Rudiments


Hey Mike,

Thanks for helping me again. For an intermediate player, which tempos (or at least how many tempos) should each rudiment be practiced at? I read in a book that each should be practiced at three tempos--slow, medium, and fast, depending on the individual (where fast is the quickest tempo while maintaining good technique). Another book said to play slow to fast to slow, passing through all intervening tempos, but this is a little hard when playing with a metronome.

Thanks again.


Hi Tony,
You ask great questions. I think the first way you mentioned is the better way. Slow, medium and fast with the fastest tempo still sounding good. You can change each of those tempos (even slightly) now and then which will help you cover more ground. Doing it this way, you can continue to use your metronome (which I'm a firm believer in).

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Mike Shapiro


I can answer questions regarding drum and percussion subjects. If you have a question about technique, rudiments, grooves, fills, styles, reading (etc.) in relation to the drum set... ask away! I'm also able to help with timpani, vibes, marimba and hand percussion. I can also answer questions regarding the purchasing of drum and percussion instruments and accessories, including vintage and current items. I can help with restoration projects or research with the history of percussion instruments, music, repertoire, manufacturers etc.


I've been playing professionally and teaching music for 25 years. I'm involved in many genres of music and have played with a wide range of musicians from Todd Rundgren to Zubin Mehta. I'm also very interested in the instruments themselves and have owned or played many interesting ones.

Professional Drum Teachers Guild

Bachelor of Music, The Juilliard School

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