Good breathing is an important part of all aspects of drumming. Most drummers aren’t conscious of how or when they breathe. Performing in a loud environment with many stimuli makes it easy to forget. You’re thinking about the beginning or ending of the tune, or big fill, or reading a chart. Breathing properly promotes good circulation and overall relaxation. It can decrease tension in every part of the body. By breathing freely and consistently, your ideas will translate with more clarity from your mind to your body. Your body will be more able to execute thoughts and ideas of the music while playing. Poor breathing will decrease muscular endurance, leading to overall tension. It will also lead to a feeling of constriction in the chest and mid-section. The idea is to be able to play faster, longer, and harder, with more precision. Here are several suggestions toward better breathing. Inhale from your diaphragm, keeping upper body relaxed. Exhale slowly and comfortably.
Ex. 1 While practicing with a metronome at a slow to medium tempo, try to inhale at the beginning of the bar and exhale at the beginning of the next.
Ex. 2 Try breathing deeply with no relevance to the time. Focus on taking slow deep breaths. Play a simple groove.
Ex. 3 As your control improves, increase the tempo of the groove or rudiment. Remain conscious of your breath and the effect of breathing on your relaxation.