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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Practice of Practice - Part 2

What to Practice
Ah, spending time with your instrument. What can be better? Time to practice, and we get down to, well, we get down to the same old things! It's sort of like our favorite shirt, comfy and easy to wear. But what good does it do us to walk the same familiar paths? I know, it happens to me. I love to just play my favorite grooves, but the thing is, I know them so well I really don't need to practice them at all. And if I spend time playing the familiar, it takes the time away from mastering new things. There's nothing wrong with playing something familiar for a warm up, but once you are warmed up, move on to something new.
To have effective practice times, especially micro practice (see Part 1 of this), you need to stay focused:
Have an agenda, a plan: have a specific book/song/technique you will work on.Keep a note book! Write down your goals and a timeframe for them.Write down your practice sessions and make a progress report, like what you worked on, metronom…

This Practice of Practice - Part 1

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Playing any instrument and taking the time to practice it is often a constant battle for musicians. Some people have a love/hate relationship with their instrument. They may go for weeks/months without practicing, then suddenly practice almost non-stop for days. And if you have a spouse/kids/day job/pets/etc., finding time to practice can be a challenge.


My desk


How To Practice

Being a drummer is hard. To be a drummer is a life force. You have to be motivated to even deal with this instrument. ~ the late, great, jazz drummer, Roy Brooks
Now with all the distractions and commitments of today's world, it's often difficult to find uninterrupted hours in which to practice. I remember back in my high school and university days practicing all the time. It seemed like when I wasn't actually performing, I was practicing. What a luxury of time I had back then! Now, that isn't possible. But I'm wiser and am able to better use the little time I have.
First, if you are going to pu…

Given a Choice, Everything is Pretty Much Equal…

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You can open any drum magazine, or go to a drum shop, and see all types of fancy, shiny advertisements proclaiming that "Our drum/cymbal/head/stick/conga/etc. is the best!" But what really is the best? 

The best is some sort of hypothetical objective that we hope to achieve, both as seller and buyer. But the idea of best is different for everyone. My best may not be your best. And the best that you are searching for, may not actually exist. Think about that: the best that you are searching for, may not actually exist!

I must admit to having a gear fetish as big as anyone out there. I love any and all percussion. If I ever one a huge lottery, I'd have a warehouse full of percussion. In reality, I have a house full of percussion, and not all of it is the newest and best. In fact, a lot of the percussion I have, I've had since my high school & university days in the 1970's. I'm still playing it. 

Now I don't play that stuff because it's now vintage or f…