Behind the Beats: How do Drummers Keep Time?

December 20, 2023

In this article, we explore a crucial aspect of drumming: how do drummers keep time, focusing on drumming timekeeping techniques and rhythm consistency.

Essentially, this revolves around the drummer’s ability to maintain a consistent rhythm, serving as the backbone of the band’s tempo and synchronization.

We’ll dive into the various techniques and skills drummers use to keep time, from internal metronomes and physical cues to relying on external devices like click tracks or metronomes. 

Join me as we delve into the rhythmic world of drummers and discover how they stay on beat and keep the music flowing seamlessly.

How Do Drummers Keep Time?

One effective method is using metronomes in drumming, a skill that requires mastery for precise timing and rhythm.

The second approach is to practice with a metronome to develop the SENCE OF TIME that will make your groove steady. 

Playing with a click

Some drummers use external devices like click tracks or metronomes, especially in recording sessions or complex live performances. 

These tools provide a steady tempo to follow.

Drummers also rely on physical cues from their playing and the band. 

In today’s music industry, virtually every large show relies on a metronome due to the widespread use of backing tracks. 

The Internal Metronome

It’s About FEELING.

Developing drummers’ internal rhythm is ingrained through consistent practice, essential for genres with subtle tempo shifts.

Why is this important? 

This internal rhythm is crucial for the drummer to lead the band effectively. Without it, maintaining a cohesive beat and synchronizing with other band members would be a challenge.

how do drummers keep time

Pros and Cons of Playing with a Metronome



Pros and Cons of Relying on Internal Clock




In conclusion, drummers keep time using tools like metronomes and click tracks, but the real magic lies in developing an internal clock/rhythm for effective band leadership.

But, the real magic lies in developing an internal rhythm. 

This skill, gained through practice, lets drummers be flexible and natural.

 The best approach? 

A mix of both – use tools for accuracy but also nurture your inner beat to lead the band effectively.

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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