hand-eye coordination

3 Hand-Eye Coordination Exercises for Drummers

hand-eye coordination

Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate drummer, good hand-eye coordination will help you develop accuracy and control. Here are some tips from music teacher Tracy D., to help you improve your hand-eye coordination…

When you’re learning drums, you need to watch and sense where your hands are in relation to the kit. It’s easy to let your hands outrun your field of vision, and this can result in sloppy execution.

Pay attention to your hands; make sure they land in the right place, and then think about your next move. You can accomplish this by moving your eyes before your hands. As soon as you land on one surface, move your eyes to the next surface or target. This will help you play with fluid, accurate movements.

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Since your hands will be on different parts of the drum kit as you play, it’s also important to develop your peripheral vision, the ability to see objects and movement outside of your direct line of vision. Also, when you play with other musicians, good peripheral vision will allow you to focus on the drums and still see what your band mates are doing on stage.

Use the pattern and the exercises below to improve your hand-eye coordination.

Hand-Eye Coordination for Drummers

Take the time to work out each pattern, until you no longer have to look at the page.

  1. Look straight ahead and practice the six measures four times through.
  2. This time, follow your eyes around the kit and practice the measures four times through. Make sure to move your eyes to the next target before your hands finish playing the pattern on the current surface.
  3. Challenge yourself, and practice playing with your eyes closed.

These exercises were written for a five-piece set, so adjust the notes accordingly for your own drum kit. These exercises should spark your creativity, so don’t be afraid to try some new things and have fun!

Developing coordination and technique will help you be a better drummer. Need some extra help? Find a private drum teacher near you.


Tracy D. teaches percussion and drum lesson in Edmond, OK, as well as online. She has been playing the drums in various bands for more than 13 years, and has also played intermittently with the OKC Community Orchestra for the past five years. Learn more about Tracy here! 



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Photo by Darrell Miller

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