• Percussion IQ

How To Use Technology To Get Better, Faster

Marching percussion continues to evolve at breakneck speed.  If you want to keep pace you’ll need to ensure you’re using every tool available!  Below we’ve listed 3 of our favorite ways to do this but there are countless more!


1. Slow Motion Video:  One of the themes you’ll often hear us refer to is creating awareness around what you’re doing.  We’re big advocates of utilizing a mirror for this reason.  Once you're aware of a particular pattern or behaviour, you’re more likely to be able to improve or correct it.  If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you own a cell phone.  Most phones these days have a slow motion video feature that comes standard with the operating system.  Use this to your advantage!  Record yourself drumming with a friend and look for similarities and differences.  One of the biggest things you’ll notice here will be how quickly your sticks are rebounding.  To the naked eye it might appear that you’re rebounding at the same rate.  Once the video is slowed down you might be surprised by what you see!


2. Practicing with music as your metronome:  Being deliberate and intentional with everything you do will help you reach your goals faster.  Knowing the tempo you're practicing at plays into this theme.  Practicing with music is one of the best ways to internalize the tempo and be intentional during your practice session.  It helps you feel the beat rather than listening for it and reacting to it.  One way to take this to the next level is to practice with music that’s the same tempo as your show music.   The two links below are great resources to help dial in your practice sessions and be more exact.


  • https://songbpm.com/ - Type in the song, get the BPM

  • http://www.tempotap.com/ - This site is very similar to the “tap” function on a Dr. Beat.  Tap the spacebar with whatever song you’re listening to and the BPM shows up on the screen

3. YouTube: This one might be obvious but you need to know how to properly utilize it in order to benefit.  Brandon Olander is a great example of someone who used the “Natural Learning” process and became successful at a young age.  Natural Learning is simply a conscious decision that learning should take place in a natural manner without recourse to the institution of school.  He was able to watch videos online and not only mirror the style and technique but also learn the vocabulary being played.  Brandon wasn’t overwhelmed by years of technical comments and critique.  He simply replicated what he saw on YouTube and used the natural learning process to achieve success.  There’s nothing stopping you from doing the exact same thing.


These are just 3 ways to use technology but there are countless more.  If you’ve got something that works for you we’d love to know about it!  Shoot us an email or comment below!


Author: John McClean

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