We have all heard the age old saying practise makes perfect, and it is true. Practise, practise, practise, are the 3 P’s of development.
When you are practising, you are your own best teacher. Get critical. Play difficult things in a loop, listen to how it sounds and make small adjustments as you go. This is where rudimental exercises come into play. Rudimental exercises allow us to work on a particular component of drumming and work it out. Listen to how you are playing it. Check your stick grip to make sure you are not gripping too tightly, check that your taps are not too loud, accents are not so loud that they affect the rest of the material. Train your ear. Listen to your teacher. Your teacher has great information and can both demonstrate it and explain it. Try not to be in a hurry to play along with your instructor every time. Take a moment to listen to what they are playing and how they are playing it before diving in. Just once or twice should be enough.
Once you have the concept and the score or rudiment running, you need to work on it until it becomes part of you. Digest it by practising it. Practising it over and over and over.
Generally, an hour a day is enough to get yourself on the path to becoming a good player.
A typical hourly practice regime could consist of:
• Warm-ups and stretches – 5 minutes
• Rudiments/technique development – 10 to 20 minutes
• Revision of latest material – 10 minutes;Look at new material and work on it – 20 minutes
• Play your favourite piece – 5 minutes
If there is memory work to do, then do that in the second half instead of learning new material.
The challenge is to keep the routine. It is recommended that you pick a time in the day which is suitable for most days as your mind will be trained to do its job more efficiently at that same time every day. “Oh, here comes drumming time, I’m going to learn some new things, yeah!!”
BEWARE! One thing to be aware of is the potential of practising the wrong thing. When we practise an incorrect sound, our ear remembers it and it can be very hard to “unlearn” it. Having a teacher, tutor or peer to listen to your playing will always make sure you stay on the right path without straying too far off.
Points to remember:
• Record yourself often
• Get a tutor to check your progress
• Be consistent with your practise routine
• Be Patient
We’d love to hear from you. How much do you practise? Do you feel you are doing enough? Too much? Just right? Share your tips and tricks on how much practise you do to achieve your goals in the comments below.