There is nothing new about this statement. We’ve all heard it before in whatever we’ve strived to achieve. Whatever your passion is, there is a lot of truth behind this statement that we should not over look.

I’ve been playing drums and percussion for over 30 years, In my time I’ve heard many people say, I never practice. I just play. I often questioned their dedication to the instrument and if there was any credibility in that statement. I guess anyone can just play. If you listen to the greats and have any inspiration to become a quarter percent as proficient on the instrument as they are, the answer is obvious.

To put this in prospective, study the work of any of the greatest drumming pioneers. You will see their passion for challenging themselves, always striving and pushing their limits to achieve the absolute best they are capable of on the instrument.

I recently attended a drum clinic with a renown professional. He mentioned the 10,000 Hour theory by Malcom Gladwell which is not exactly proven, but the concept is what is important here. The theory and Gladwell claim that greatness requires enormous time. He referenced The Beatles who performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000 Hour Rule. Most people know how great their success was and how great they were at what they did.

I know everyone has very different motivations, passions and dreams. The bottom line is, as it is with most things, to maximize your drumming ability you just have to put the time in and practice. You have to work on your coordination especially, as well as everything else that goes along with getting you to a level where you can reach whatever your goals are set up for yourself – which should be inspired by your favorite players.

Intellectually knowing your weaknesses is a big part of maximizing your practice time as well as making sure you realize that listening is a big part of the practice regime as well. Like any other skill it seems like the more time you spend doing it, the better you will get doing it.

Chart your progress, Work on things slowly, making sure that what your working on will improve whatever skill of your drumming your trying to improve. There are hundreds of things to work on to get better, try and do as much research on whatever facets you enjoy and stay inspired. Try and keep taking in new information by listening/watching and always checking out all the other people who share in your aspirations.

Have a question about practicing or about drums in general? Give me a call – I love to talk shop! – Mike