When it comes to practicing drums, did you know that just a few minutes of regular practice per day can make a big difference over time? This is great news for anyone who wants to start rocking out to their favorite tunes but has a busy life, limited practice time, or too many other distractions. It's all about establishing good habits, having a plan, managing expectations, and above everything else, having fun.
When we designed Drum Ambition, we understood that most beginner drummers do not have huge amounts of time to dedicate to practice. We all lead busy lives and have had to adjust so many of our priorities, particularly this last year. That is why we purposely keep our videos short, always provide practice guidance, set realistic goals, and are there to support you when you need help. These five simple tips can help set you out on the right path. You may also want to check out our video blog on this subject.
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1. Keep a practice journal.
No matter how much or how little time you have available for practice, it's an excellent idea to keep a practice journal. This doesn't have to be a detailed novel and could be as simple as using the notes app on your smartphone. It should include important details such as the date, which lesson you practiced, how much time you practiced, and a note of your metronome tempo if you are using one. We discuss this in the closing section of our first free video from Module 1. Then, include a brief sentence on your achievements and victories, what you found challenging, and where your improvements might be. This is always an interesting read when looking back. Also, make a note of your practice time to date. We guess you will see some great progress when you have reached your first 20 hours. If you choose to subscribe to Drum Ambition, we reach out after your first week and at the end of your first month to see how you are getting on and how we can help you further.
2. 10 minutes per day can make a huge difference.
We all have big differences in our available time. Some people can allow an hour a day, but that is completely unrealistic for most. Progression on any musical instrument, or any hobby for that matter, depends on practice time. It's all about practice and repetition. However, the good news is that 10 minutes of focused practice per day can make a huge difference to your experience. Of course, it's great if you can do more. If you can only do your 10 minutes every other day, then that's fine too. This is about finding out what works for you.
3. Smart practice vs. letting loose.
One important point to clarify is that when we talk about 10 minutes of practice, we are talking about practicing the lessons you are learning through our curriculum. We call this smart practice. It's also imperative to just let loose and have fun, of course. This can include just letting off some steam and busting out some end-of-the-day, blood pressure-reducing grooves, doing your best Neil Peart or Dave Grohl impressions, or something we strongly recommend; playing along to music. Even if you don't feel you are ready for that, have a go! It's great fun, and you can always simplify parts. It's just worth noting that anything in the letting loose category should probably be in addition to your 10 minutes, but that's your call. Any time behind your drums is time well spent.
4. Manage your expectations.
This is an important one. Remember that drums, like any musical instrument, take time to learn. If you put in your practice time, keep a journal, and always be mindful of the smart practice approach, you will see some good development over time. Setting realistic goals along the way is a good idea, and we help with that in our videos. The lessons in Module 1 are designed to give you the tools to develop a good foundation so that, ultimately, you can play along to songs and have fun. Perhaps choose a song and work towards it. Be mindful not to pick something too fast or over-technical, and remember what we said earlier about simplification. A piano student would not expect to play Mozart after six months of study. Ultimately, you get out what you put in. So if you are ever unhappy with your progress, you might want to reflect on that. Just reach out to us if you need help.
5. Keep it fun.
Never forget why you started learning the drums. The idea of sitting behind the set and playing along to your favorite music, getting in a garage band with friends, dominating the competition at Rock Band parties (is that even a thing anymore? We need to bring that back!) or just something to do at the end of the day to forget about the pressures of the world. With this last year behind us, we need a fun release! Perhaps this is your first step to a career in music, or you have aspirations to attend music college. Whatever your aims and goals - have fun, and enjoy the ride. There will be some ups and downs, and great progress will follow some natural plateaus. There will be mini break-throughs, minor setbacks, and major achievements. This is all to be expected. Most hobbyists abandon their interests when they lose the fun element. If you combine these tips and remember to have fun, you will be setting yourself up for success.
We are here to help.
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