Want to improve your drumming skills faster?
Have a go applying the following system:

THE PLAN

The Practise PlanLet’s start by sketching out an effective Practise Plan/Routine.
This is of utmost importance for some serious improvement!
Grab a pen and some paper or Smartphone/Laptop. This is where you’ll be monitoring your work and progress.

PHASE ONE – Practice Pad

Chose 5 aspects of your hand or foot technique that you really need to improve. Or maybe select a brand new technique/move you would like to develop.

For example:

    1. Flam Taps
    2. Moeller pumping motion
    3. Paradiddle – applying the Moeller whip motion
    4. Heel/Toe foot technique
    5. One handed roll

Bear in mind that developing/improving hand or foot technique is all about muscle memory.
So, for best results, you should practise these on a daily basis!

PHASE TWO – Drumkit

Now write down 5 things you need/want to learn or improve at the drumkit (grooves, coordination, dynamics, dexterity…)
Example:

    1. Groove 1: Toto’s “Rosanna”; Groove 2: Jojo Mayer’s “Jabon”. Developing ghost-notes and pull-out strokes in a half-time shuffle and drum & bass groove.
    2. Incorporating triple strokes with the bass drum in hip-hop grooves
    3. Funk: Developing speed with right hand playing 16th notes on HiHat.
    4. Time playing and improvising in odd-time signatures. 1st step 7/8
    5. Timekeeping: playing “behind the beat”

Ok! Now we’ve got a clear plan on what you should be working on for a certain period of time.
The next step is to apply a schedule plus a time frame to monitor your work and progress.

Putting it together

You’ll be working on these topics for thirty days straight (schedule permitting)!

So, get back to what you’ve written/typed down and add this figure to every topic: 0/30.
When you’ve completed a day of practise, you add a number to that figure. So after three practise sessions your log should look like this for each topic: 3/30
Woodshed until you reach 30/30.

If you feel really comfortable with a groove or technique after only 20 days/practise sessions, pick something new and start from 0/30.
If you think you need more work on some things, add 10 more days. Or start from zero (that will surely be the case when developing hand or foot technique and/or advanced coordination).

Focus for 20min a day on each of the techniques/grooves/concepts you picked.
Work exclusively on that! Don’t lose focus!

The Results

If you stick to your practise routine, preferably practising on a daily basis, 30 practise sessions n a row, you will be astounded by how much your technique, grooves, chops will improve!

And now the best part of it!
You’ll need one hour and ten minutes at the practice pad and the same amount of time behind the drums.
It totals up at 2h20min for your daily practise routine.
It’s not that much is it!?
If you’ve got more time on your hands, you can choose to dedicate more time for each area.

The idea is to develop a focused, systematic practise routine and achieve a lot more in less time.

Let’s say you can’t put in the hours for a while because you get really busy gigging, teaching or working at the office, when you get back to it, you’ll know exactly where you’re at and for how long have you been working on each area of your playing.

Give it a shot and you’ll feel and hear the difference!

This month’s blog entry was written by Marco Quarantotto. Please feel free to comment below if you have tried this system and want to share the results, or suggest any variations on the method described here that you find work for you.

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