Drum Lessons by Perry Senn, drum instructor The Rock and Pop Music Academy
Why do some people get more done… Why are some drummers better than others?
(well, that second question can be much longer than there is room for in just this post)… However, the short answer to both is very much the same…
They focus on ONE THiNG. Doing ONE right thing, then they do the next right thing that leads to them closer to the overall goal.
When my students ask “How much should I practice?” I think of it from my own perspective.
Knowing how I practice now, what I know about my abilities, and how we all generally learn specific things, and considering the over four thousand drum lessons I’ve given … I WANT TO TELL THEM THE TRUTH…
Whoever is asking the question wants to be told a certain amount of time… whether it’s 10 min or an hour… and really- it could be whatever — even 5 minutes — WHAT?! Yeah, check it out.
Let’s use ME as an example so no one gets their feeling hurt…
What happens if I just go to ‘put in the time’? I am going to just be ‘beside the instrument,’ sitting there in front of this fancy drum set, but not being with it, and I believe that it’s going to take months and years to achieve mastery or even a modicum of progress…(And yes, I used to have that mindset too…always watching the clock) then I’ll get up from the instrument at time, and hardly have taken anything in…yeah 10 min, 45 min, or an hour and a half-it doesn’t matter- (I know I can find a way to mess away time like nobody’s business), and at the end of it I would pretty much sound the same as I have before time ran out, the following day and into next week…unless I’ve decided to care and DO THE THING in front of me (in this example the drums and the specific work I need to take care of).
I know that if I’m going to apply myself-(whether it be 15 min. Or an hour), I know for me now, I can get something out of 15 min, and get way more out of an hour if I have that much time…
So I pick out WHAT is important to make me either sound better or learn right now – that will build on my skills…And if you also know HOW to practice, you will ultimately get the most out of the effort for that time.
If we look at this ‘thing’ we don’t do well just yet… if we believe, that we can and are getting better and getting better faster (not in a delusional way) depending on the intention and focus –or if you prefer, when we really dig in…Then, no matter what span of time we talk about, we will come away with progress.
So, with that in mind… FOCUS on One Thing at a time and commit to Do That Thing in your practice — therein lies the magic, and when we realize this, our focus allows us to blur the lines of what is referred to as ‘Talent’.
To be clear, This is what I strive for in my life… being where my feet are. Yes even relaxing- or doing ‘nothing’ which used to be next to a sin in my mind and attitude… and as you can tell today in most ways. I used to have this voice in my mind always saying: “Don’t just sit there- Get Doing Something!”, and many times I felt as though nothing significant ever got done–or finished–that I REALLY WANTED to DO. But over the years, I’ve learned that anything takes focus and presence to be truly effective at it. Embrace the moment and don’t worry about what you have to do 30 minutes from now or an hour from now. Focus for the time that you’ve set aside, focus on that ONE Thing.
As a drum instructor my goal is to help students believe that they can progress and show them that in a few short minutes of even taking an exercise or specific drum beat really sLow…they are actually PLAYING IT! And each moment of this kind of focus is a step toward their bigger goals.
This thing of the One Thing is such a time-saving, productive way to roll, and it’s FUN, and I wish I could go into more detail for you here…but that’ll be another time.
So, if you still think,’ it takes a long time’, months and years to sound like you know what you’re doing on the drums or an instrument – I want to help show you believe that you can get better with the right focus and the right attitude – and believe me, you will get good.