Don't have time to practice the drums? Not motivated to practice or hitting other natural plateaus? Don't worry - you are not alone, and these are all common scenarios. Drum Ambition is here to help you rise above them, and become the drummer we know you can be!
Learning the drums is a great experience. It's fun, rewarding and entertaining - all while being challenging and sometimes frustrating. When starting out, most of us envision the day where we play along to our favorite songs, let loose, and do some serious drum stick shredding.
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While basic early progress on the drum set is attainable relatively quickly, you'll need to commit to some practice time if you want to get the most out of the instrument. We've written before on how to practice, but this article is about a topic that affects the majority of hobbyist drummers - identifying and removing the barriers to practice.
"Do what you can when you can, keep a practice diary so that you can see your progress, and keep your precious practice time a good balance of focused goals, and fun."
Simon DasGupta - Founder, Drum Ambition.
"I don't have time to practice."
Whether working, at school, parenting or just juggling other day to day priorities; we all live busy lives, and finding practice time can often be difficult. The good news is that you can make good progress on your drumming if you are able to find just 5-10 minutes a day, or every other day. You'll certainly hear stories about someone else who is practicing hours a day, but the simple fact is that they may have different priorities, and their lifestyle enables them to do that. Most of us don't have that luxury, and it's quite OK. Do what you can when you can, keep a practice diary so that you can see your progress, and keep your precious practice time a good balance of focused goals, and fun.
"I'm not motivated to practice."
Not having the time to practice and not being motivated are two very different scenarios. A lack of motivation normally, at least in our experience, comes down to one of two things. Firstly, you may have just discovered over time that the drums may not be the instrument for you. That happens, and again, it's OK. But before you rush to put your dusty drum set on Craigslist or the local Free Ads, do a little self appraisal and ask yourself if you paid enough attention to the basic fundamentals. Learning the drums can quickly break down if you have skipped too quickly through essential early grooves and fills. It makes the experience very difficult, and can make you feel like you are not progressing. This is a marathon not a sprint, so it is very important to manage your expectations, and commit to staying the course, even when you hit natural plateaus. If this was easy, everybody would be doing it.
"I don't have a drum set at home."
Some people play during their drum lessons, some play at school, and others play in practice studios. Not everybody has a drum set at home, but that shouldn't mean that practice is out of the question. The early days of drumming are mostly about understanding rhythm and building coordination, and all of this can be done by air drumming, or with a simple practice pad. We covered this at length in our article: Do you need a drum set to learn to play? If air drumming or working with a pad is not for you, consider researching local rehearsal studios. Most are equipped with drum sets, and some offer special rates for drummers who want to rent a small room to practice. If you have a drum teacher, they may also have some suggestions on where you can practice.
"My only available practice time is late at night, and the drums are too loud!"
There are more options than ever before to address this common scenario. Electronic drums can be played using headphones, and acoustic drums have sound control pads that reduce the volume and tone of the drums and cymbals significantly. We wrote about this in detail in our article: Sound Control. Practical means of managing drum set volume. In the rare event that none of the tips outlined in that feature work for you, there is always air drumming. It works, and it is particularly useful if you live in an apartment where playing, even with reduced volume, is still problematic.
"I hear all of this, but I just can't commit to a regular practice routine. I'm done."
Not necessarily! Even with occasional practice when you get time, it's all time well spent. Drum Ambition has been designed so that you can learn the drums from home, on your schedule. Part of the key to success on the drums is keeping it fun, so please don't stress about lack of practice to the point that it puts you off pursuing what I hope will turn out to be a great hobby. There's nothing wrong with doing things on your terms, it just may take a little longer.
If you have any comments or questions on this article, please email [email protected].