Drum Practice Tips

Many times when we're practicing, the way we're using our time could be spent more efficiently. For example, when you're playing a new groove and you're having trouble with one small part of it each time it comes around, you can get way more out of your practice if you would focus in on only the problem spot.

You see, music is a language, and when you began to speak English (or whatever your native language might be) you started with short, simple words. You didn't say, "Mother, if you would be so kind as to bring me that toy automobile over there, I would be forever grateful and in your debt." You said, "Momma" and then "car" and then "Momma, car," etc., until you could create a more complex sentence with all of the nouns, and verbs, and adjectives, and so on.

And this is what we tend to do when we're practicing a groove. We want to get the whole thing down RIGHT NOW. I understand, but if you slow it down and break it down, you're going to have a far better result far quicker. Which is ultimately what we want, we just don't see the quickest way of getting there naturally on our own.

This brings in an idea from yesterday's blog - PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (which will always be typed in ALL caps, btw). So if you can play most of the groove, and you're just stumbling on one little part, we'll need to use what I call the "zoom in, zoom out" method. This means that we'll take the part of the groove that you're struggling with and focus only on that. For example, let's say we're learning the groove from Brain Stew by Green Day. (See also, Last Resort by Papa Roach.)

For many drummers, playing this groove is a piece of cake (the method still applies to whatever you're working on), but beginners tend to have trouble playing the double sixteenth notes on the bass drum while keeping solid eighths on the hi-hat. So we'll isolate that part and work ONLY on the problem spot.

It may even be helpful to only play one of these patterns at a time. Both, Bass, Hat. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over some more. This is getting good at the word, rather than struggling to say the sentence. Dig it?

So once you can perform this effortlessly, you'll go back to trying the sentence. If it goes smoothly, and you can now play time SOLIDLY throughout the groove, great! You've got it down, and you're ready for a new challenge. That was super quick! If you're not successful with it yet, that's OK too. All you need to do is zoom back in on the challenge spot, and drill it again. Once it feels comfortable again, then go back to trying the whole groove, and repeat this back and forth process until you can perform it smoothly.

To learn more, download my FREE 29-page ebook here.

Aaron is the owner of http://www.TheCompleteDrummer.com where he provides drumming lessons and tips.