5 Ideas For More Productive PracticeNate Brown
Your slow progress may not be due to your lack of effort in the practice room. What’s the saying? Perfect practice makes perfect. Here are 5 practical tips to make your practice time more productive.
Before you sit down behind the kit, think about 1 or 2 specific areas you’d like to improve. You might decide that you’re going to focus your practice on paradiddles and the first 2 lines of a new song you’re working on.
Doing this ensures your practice session will be focused, and you’ll likely see more improvement in the areas you want to improve.
Goals are for motivation. They allow us to keep track of our progress. I often hear drummers complain that they don’t feel like they’re improving. The problem is, we hear our drumming everyday. The progress happens gradually. Having our progress documented will keep us motivated and moving forward.
Setting daily goals isn’t necessary. I suggest weekly or even monthly practice goals. For example, your goal may be, “By the end of the month, I will be able to play this song at 100bpm.” You can then plan your practice time accordingly to work toward your goals.
Practice Before Bedtime:
This might not be possible for a lot of us. However, studies have shown that sleeping right after studying significantly improves the forming of new connections in the brain and retention. Try it. Most likely you’ll be able to play the piece better in the morning than you could the night before.
If you can’t play before bedtime, napping is a good idea. Take a 30 minute, carefree nap as part of your practice routine.
Along with setting goals, recording yourself playing can be a great motivation. When you feel like you haven’t been improving, you can watch a video of yourself from 2 months ago. Chances are you’ll be impressed with your progress.
Recording yourself is also a great way to discover things that you may be doing wrong or that could be improved. When playing the drums, you’re focused on your playing, but you may be missing something because of that.
Take a Break:
You may be working too hard and have reached the burn out point. Even if you don’t feel you’ve hit the wall yet, a few days to a week off can help to reset your drive and progress. It’s similar to taking a vacation from work. Everybody needs some time away to regroup and to get their drive back.