In this post I want to address one of the most common issues when it comes to drummers being frustrated with the progress of their playing. I’ve teached hundreds of drum students. And for the most part they want to practice way too many things at once.
An impossible quest if you want to make real progress on the beautiful instrument called drums.
If you can relate to the stress of wanting it all at once – it’s time to take a deep breath and calm down.
The result of practicing too many things at once is that your learning curve will be VERY slow. If that’s the case, you will most likely never experience the great feeling of real progress. I think most of us can agree when saying that slow progress can be one of the most effective ways to KILL our passion to play drums. After all, if we practice hard but don’t see, hear and feel the progress in our playing – what’s the freakin’ point?! We might as well lay on the couch, watching reruns of Desperate Housewives…
To make this post as concise and actionable as possible, I’m going to give you a little mission. Imagine you had a wand (why not the Elder Wand itself?) that could take away ONE problem in your playing – what problem would you choose to get rid of? Single strokes with your left hand? Double strokes with your right foot? Improving your timing playing half-time shuffles? Be as specific as possible.
”Hand technique” is not good enough. What PART of your hand technique is causing you the most headache? Is it the left hand on the floor tom? When you switch between singles and doubles on the snare drum? If you can identify the problems in your playing (…and we ALL have them) and have the knowledge to make a plan on how to fix them (and sticking to the plan), it is IMPOSSIBLE to not make progress on the drums.
Imagine practicing exercises that will turn your current weakness into a strength. Imagine the freedom it will give you when playing music. It’s time to get excited and get to work.
So, what is YOUR number one problem in your playing – the ONE thing that, if fixed, will open up your playing the most?