“I underachieve because I have no time to practice.” Let’s unpack this.
Everybody has 24 hours in a day. It’s up to you how many of those hours you control, and which hours are stolen from you. And make no mistake, our world loves stealing as many hours as possible.
It’s very easy to resort to excuses why somebody is drumming better than you.
They are better than me because they went to a better school
They made that group over me because the instructor favored them
That other student sounds better than me because they started on the instrument earlier
Can each of these examples exist and have some impact on somebody’s drumming success? To an extent, yes. But the thing they all have in common is that they are out of an individual’s control. So what is in your control? The time you schedule daily to deconstruct your greatest weaknesses.
Let’s dissect that sentence a little bit more, specifically the 4 words in bold.
Schedule - Proactively add practice time into your calendar to convert the activity into a task. There’s the phrase “out of site, out of mind”. This applies to scheduling as well. If you fill your day with activities (or no activities at all), you may never think about drumming. By making it a task in your calendar you will also get a sense of accomplishment upon execution like checking another box off the list.
Daily - The greatest performers in any activity do it daily. This is no different for marching percussion. Michael Phelps won 28 Olympic medals; 23 which were gold. Yes, Phelps was gifted physically but a large key to his dominance was his daily work ethic. The same goes for marching percussion. There is a correlation between daily development and elite results.
Deconstruct - The majority of folks focus on improvement by mindless repetitions. In comparison, deconstruction is the act of breaking down what you are working on to its elemental form. Deconstruction drives to the root cause for each issue, isolates it, improves it, then builds it back into the system. Constantly addressing the “critical few” areas that implement deconstruction techniques will lead to higher quality results than drumming everything without reason. To learn more about deconstruction, we wrote a book on it that can be purchased in our online store.
Weaknesses - An act of humility which recognizes and focuses on the poorest areas of your marching percussion portfolio. This can be specific to drumming itself, as well as other parts of the activity like marching technique, performance expression, diet, physical capabilities, and attitude. The key here is to constantly readdress what your greatest weaknesses are that would hold back a group, and prioritize those areas within your practice routine.
Fight the good fight against time thieves like Tik Tok, Twitch, YouTube, Netflix, Outlook, Google, etc. If you remain deliberate and diligent, you will find there is always time for your deep work practice sessions. The act of being too busy is the inability to set priorities. Cut the excuses. Let’s drum smart.
Author: Matt Regua