June 22, 2017 
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Lesson One:
How to hold the sticks, The Mighty Two and Preparation For A Rock and Roll Backbeat

Lesson Two: The Single Paradiddle and the Five Stroke Roll

The 7 Essential Rudiments

34 Additional Rudiments: More Advanced Rudiments

Upbeats and Downbeats: Playing with Three Limbs!

Combinations

Wrists Of Fury

Deep Fried Drums

Drum Tuning Tips

Setting Up Your Drums

Making Practice Count

 

MAKING PRACTICE TIME COUNT

Nothing about learning to play drums (or any instrument) is as misunderstood as practicing, and nothing else about playing the drums is as important to understand.

Practicing is the method we use to solve problems. It takes us from not being able to play something to being able to play something and the faster we can go from inability to ability the better. In all my years as a teacher and in all the observations I have made in my career, it has become obvious to me that practicing correctly is the most valuable skill any musician can acquire.

Early in my days as a student one of my most important teachers, George Goneconto, really hit the nail on the head when he said, "you don't know how to practice". It was something I had never considered before! Until then, practicing had meant sitting at the drums and wailing on them for an hour or two with very little direction or purpose. I discovered that with a clear direction you could really make practice time pay off.

When tackling something we can't play there is a series of steps to follow to go from I can't to I CAN!

1. SLOW IT DOWN
The most important thing to do when you are tackling something unplayable at the first tempo is to pick a tempo that is quite a bit slower and try again. If you still can't play it, slow it down again! Continue this until you find a speed that works for you. This method will not fail! Once you have found a speed that is playable, work for several minutes at that speed and try to memorize the sound of the pattern and the way it feels to play it. The next step is to gradually increase the speed until you are satisfied with the way you play it.

2. COUNT OUT LOUD AS YOU PLAY!
If you are playing a written example from a book you will find that counting it rhythmically as you play it will usually help you learn it. It is also important to create a good practicing environment. It should be a quiet place with privacy because interruptions will hurt your ability to concentrate. Good lighting and comfortable temperature are desirable and it is very important that it be convenient to get to your instrument. When you have to travel to get to your drums it is easy to find reasons to put it off until later.

3. PRACTICE EVERY DAY FOR BEST RESULTS
Missing a day or two hurts and can set you back. Do it when your mind is fresh and uncluttered, not late at night when you're tired, unless absolutely necessary. Don't repeat what you can already play over and over. Work on the area that gives you trouble. Isolate the problem and concentrate on that place rather than continuously repeating that part that you can play. If you don't get it the first day, don't despair. Try again tomorrow and again the following day. Rarely will you not get it on the third day and have it completed within 7 days.

Follow these steps and you will be a better drummer faster!







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