Seems like absolutely ages since my last blog. With the new year having just passed I would like to talk about the importance of setting yourself goals and finding a way to plot them and keep a track of the journey along the way. Im not just talking about personal goals as these come and go (I have also set myself a few of these this year. 1 being to lose some weight:-S) I am of course talking about setting yourself goals to improve as a musician.
I am a firm advocate of trying to learn as much as you can. As im sure you are all aware that you will never be able to learn all there is to know about your chosen instrument. And while it’s a good idea to learn the basics in lots of different styles. Its simply not possible to become amazing at everything there is out there. It’s also good to get an idea in your mind about the type of music you wish to try and master and become innovator in.
I had a sit down the other week and began looking into witch parts of my playing I would attempt to improve upon throughout this year. My main goal will be hand speed. I would love to be able to play comfortably at and around 230bpm, So this will be my main goal for improvement throughout this year.
I have also chosen sub goals to be played with around my main aim. The first of these will be to improve my double bass drum playing. Not only in speed but in technique, I already have a book that I brought a few years ago that I never got around to working though. This will be a aim of mine throughout this year.
Another sub goal of mine will be with my drum covers. I want to release at least 1 cover a month. Also putting out a proper mini series, which I have determined will be biased around the American Pie series of Films.
I have others but I won’t bore you with all of these right now. As some are personal and work related goals I wish to achieve throughout the year.
Right now I want to take a look at recording your progress and re defining goals as the year roles by.
The best way to do this is start a training log, or diary. Begin by setting aside a certain amount of time to practice each day or every couple of days.
Plan what your going to practice. I can’t stress this enough. How many times have you picked up your instrument with the goal of practicing just to mess about playing what ever. Have a goal to achieve that day.
Above all write notes and record your progress. So you have a log of how far you have come since you started. Take notes and highlight important parts for quick reference in the future.
I keep my logs on my iPad so I always have them handy and accessible in what ever situation I find myself in. It might be a bit of music knowledge you have taken down so you can recall it in a second. A rhythm or pattern you liked the sound of. Or just something you have invented. I don’t know about you but I often come up with a great sounding beat only to forget it the next week. This prevents that from happening.
Hope this little article helps.
Right guys and girls. I’d like to start by stressing the importance of getting a good practice pad to use on a regular basis.
What is a practice pad?
What is a practice pad I hear you say! Well basically it’s a lump of rubber placed over wood designed to imitate the feel and response of a normal snare drum, but with out all the associated noise attached. They are usually small, light weight and easily transportable. Meaning we can practice anywhere and anytime we feel the need. One of the main problems with learning drums is the inability to do this due to noise level and the inconvenience of having a none easily transportable instrument.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a practice pad I will attempt to cover all these for you now. But I will add im a big pusher of the drum practice pad I think all drummers should own and use one. Not let it sit there as a coaster.
So the pro’s of using a Drum Pad is the obvious ability to sit down and practice your drum rudiments in front of the TV producing very little noise on something that will react like a real drum. This also brings us into the next advantage of easily been able to hear and play along to a metronome. Which incidentally is another must have piece of kit for a drummer. These days there is no excuse not to have one as most phones are now able to download free apps that contain these within them. This used in conjunction with a metronome allow us the ability to be able to track our progress and keep records of our improvements in that search for faster rolls and slicker drum licks. Record keeping should be done as a matter of course when having your practice sessions. Which incidentally should be set out to achieve a goal you have in mind, Be it faster double strokes or a more accurate flam. These things don’t happen over night and take ages to master.