Drum Practice Makes Progress – An Introduction

Practice does not make perfect – this idiom makes for what may be an unrealistic goal.  Get the most out of your drum practice by changing your approach:

Practice Makes Progress

Changing one crucial word for a more pro-active word can make a huge difference to the approach and attitude of drummers towards practising.

This is the first in a series of blogs which aims to discuss the various issues regarding practice.  This blog aims to introduce and discuss some of the issues faced by drummers when it comes to practising.

It can be challenging to carry out a ‘successful’ drum practice session. This may be down to a number of factors both singularly and together; lack of motivation, not setting realistic goals for the session or just not having time – distractions can sometimes get in the way of your drum practice and motivation may be adversely affected.

Over my experience as both a drummer and a tutor, I have often encountered what I call ‘The Troublesome Trio’ – the three most common excuses drummers use for not putting in the time and energy needed to effectively progress.

‘I don’t know / can’t remember what I need to practice…’

‘I haven’t had time to practice…’

‘I find it difficult to practice and end up playing along to songs I like…’

I understand that due to the vastness of material, studies, books and concepts in drumming, it is impossible to practice every aspect of drumming in one session – but it is important to practice what aspects you feel need the most attention.

To really observe your strengths and weaknesses and take action to progress is key to both setting goals and working to success.  A good tutor will assist you in analysing your needs and setting goals for your drum practice sessions.  I would suggest writing out your goals to help make them more tangible and also to enable you to look back at a later date.

As a general rule and for the purposes of this introductory blog, I would recommend firstly to set time aside for drum practice – Commit to it and make sure you divide your time into three equal chunks:

  1. Start your drum practice with a warm up session which should consist of rudimentary and numeric exercises firstly to waken up the hands, feet and mind.
  2. Now you’re warmed up it’s time to get stuck in to material you don’t know – the challenges you currently face may be tough at first but always remember: The more you practice – the stronger you will become
  3. After challenging yourself, finish off by playing material you do know and love to play – be it your favourite song/band/solo – it is healthy to finish up on a positive note which can help with motivating yourself for the next session.

What you may find in time is that the challenges in section two will gradually start entering section three and may even become your warm up!

Remember it is OK to sound rough when you are practising – Practice Makes Progess

Stay tuned for more in-depth material regarding the art of practising!

Thanks for reading – have a great drum practice!

Scott