“FUN”Damentals - Make Practicing Great Again
Time is your most valuable resource, so ensuring you're being as efficient as possible practicing is extremely important. But we also need to make sure we are still having fun. If your practice sessions aren't fun, they're likely to be shorter as well as less productive. Don’t let the pressure of auditions or performances hinder what you’re able to accomplish during your practice time. When you stop having fun, you stop learning. When drummers try to work on their fundamentals, the practice sessions often don't last very long. People get bored too quickly and don’t spend enough time on one of the most important aspects of drumming….FUNdamentals. Give the following ideas a try and see if you can make your practice time more fun!
Practice with music as your metronome. This is a great way to increase the duration of your practice sessions. Put your headphones in and play along with your favorite bands. Start by keeping it simple here and working just your fundamentals. Legatos, Accent-tap, Paradiddles, rolls, etc. This is a great way to get a lot of repetitions under your belt and your internalizing tempo in a fun way. We would argue that playing with music replicates the experience of playing with a live band more so than playing with a metronome. If you’re wanting to take this to the next level create a playlist of songs that are the same tempos as your show music. Websites like https://songbpm.com/ can make this a pretty easy task.
When trying to become more consistent with new music or working on the consistency of a difficult rudiment, try The Penny Game. Place 5 pennies on your practice pad or drum. Place them somewhere so they are not moved or hit while you’re playing. For each successful repetition, move 1 penny over to the right. The goal is to move all 5 pennies to the right. If at any point there is an unsuccessful repetition move ALL of the pennies back to their starting point and repeat the exercise. If you want to take this to the next level, create a game incorporating The Rule of 16!
Set-up time to drum with people from a different drumline. If you’ve only had a limited amount of instructors in your life, drumming with someone from a different drumline is a great way to gain additional perspective. You’ll be able to teach each other different licks and ways of thinking about things. Restrain from making this a competitive endeavor, but but rather focus on exploration and having fun.
FUNdamentals are the building block of everything we do. Make sure you have fun practicing them so you can reap the benefits!
Author: John McClean