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Drum Forums => Drum Forum - Drum Talk - Drum Techniques => Topic started by: KenSanders on September 12, 2010, 02:59:16 PM

Title: A fast track to mastering the drum set?
Post by: KenSanders on September 12, 2010, 02:59:16 PM
I often hear from young drummers looking for a fast track to becoming ready to perform at a professional level.  Let’s talk about the reality of that.

You have heard this alot.......learn to walk before you try to run.  That applies to the drumset too. Drumming is very physical and it demands balance, control, endurance, discipline, and a keen sense of musical time.  Taste, imagination, and finesse are things that develop as you play…..and play some more….and play even more…..and get experience in what does and DOES NOT work in certain settings.

Professional drummers have spent years preparing and learning.  The only shortcut I can recommend is spending your practice time wisely.  As I and others have written before, you might consider breaking your practice times into at least three segments.

Let’s use a 60 minute practice period as an example.  Spend the first ten minutes practicing patterns with a metronome.  This should include any patterns that you might be rushing or dragging.  Practice your patterns at various tempos, so you don’t train yourself to feel a pattern at only one tempo.  This is a good warm up exercise for developing your "tempo" perception.

Next, work on something new or something that you are still perfecting.  Sometimes it takes a while to get something new ready for actual live performance use.  I like to devote thiry to forty-five minutes of my practice time here. This is the HEART of your practice time.  There is always something new to be mastered or something that you really do need to improve.  This is where you get it fixed or at least improve it some more until next time.

Sometimes you may need to break the patterns down into all the parts played by the hands and feet.  I do this especially with my double bass patterns, and I recommend playing things slowly at first to make sure all the elements are being executed to your satisfaction.  As you “assemble” all the parts and work on them it will start to feel better with time and patience.  Remember, you may not fix or master something in JUST ONE PRACTICE SESSION.  However, you want to spend the time wisely and make steady progress.  Some things may take a lot of time to perfect.

The last segment can be either sight reading or playing along to recordings.  I mix it up and do both.

Practice is really the key to mastering the instrument. I think of it as training your mind and your limbs to make musical sounds.

Practice is an investment of your time.
Equipment is an investment of your money.
Together they can help you accomplish your aspirations.

Title: Re: A fast track to mastering the drum set?
Post by: Carthage on January 02, 2011, 08:16:14 PM

       There is one fast track to mastering the drums.  Practice your ass off "correctly" five hours every day.  You'll get good quick.


Title: Re: A fast track to mastering the drum set?
Post by: Johnathan on January 02, 2011, 08:28:53 PM
That is true, practice makes near perfect :)

Title: Re: A fast track to mastering the drum set?
Post by: lucas on March 16, 2011, 09:31:40 AM
As above. Practice, practice.....

But practice will not make perfect.
If you practice  bad technique you will get really good at performing bad technique.

Start slowly, only perfect practice makes perfect.

Good luck and stick with it.


Title: Re: A fast track to mastering the drum set?
Post by: Johnathan on March 16, 2011, 01:22:28 PM
Good advice, I record myself and have others like the experts here on DSA look at my position, use of stick etc to obtain feedback on what not to do.  In fact, I need to do that again.