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Joels Tips – Common mistakes that amateur drummers make

Joel Practice
Here at the shack, we love helping our fellow musicians improve their chops.  No matter who you are or what you play, we can help you get started and make sure you keep improving.

This week, our newest Drum teacher Joel Prime is back and he’s getting serious about how to get the most from your practice time, here is what he has to say:

 

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MOST DRUMMERS ARE GUILTY:

One of the biggest mistakes many amateur drummers make relates to the way they practice. Over the years I have been teaching I have found that many students, when given an exercise, will immediately try to play it at speed. I believe most drummers are guilty of this at some stage (myself included). The problem is that the mind and body don’t have time to process the information properly and the exercise ends up sounding inconsistent. It’s much better to begin playing something at a slow pace and aim to make it sound and feel as accurate as possible.

ACCURACY & CONSISTENCY IS KEY:

If the student is focusing on playing accurately and consistently then it will be much easier to play at faster tempos and ultimately save practice time.

I often relate it to climbing a ladder. If you try to jump four steps there is a greater chance you will fall, however if you climb one step at a time the process will be much easier.

ONE TEMPO AT A TIME – DON’T SPEED UP:

Keeping this process in mind, it is also important to stay at one tempo at a time. Try to avoid gradually speeding up an exercise as this will mean there is a greater chance you’ll do this when playing live. If the intention is to play the exercise at a faster tempo, stop momentarily and start again at the new tempo. Repeat this process until you reach the desired tempo. This way you’ll also develop a better sense of time.

USE PLAY ALONG TRACKS – DON’T FORCE IT:

When trying to work ideas into your playing, use play-along tracks to help incorporate the new ideas. There is nothing worse than trying to force a new idea or phrase into a song when playing live as it will often sound out of place and un-musical. It takes a long time as the idea needs to feel completely comfortable in order to flow on from your other ideas. I recommend learning all inversions of the idea as I suggested in the last blog post. This will mean the idea can be used in many different situations.

 

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