Practice (part 3 of 3): How to Practice 

  1. Invest Yourself - Nobody else can do this for you. Adopt the motto; "If it's to be - it's up to me".
  2. Warm-up Before Diving In  - Spend a few minutes gently preparing your joints & muscles.
  3. Relax - Remember to breathe calmly and be patient with yourself. You can't rush this.
  4. Stick to the Script - Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish before each session (see part 2 below) and don't allow yourself to be distracted. FOCUS.
  5. Practice with a Mirror - Continually check your grips, strokes…
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Practice (part 2 of 3): What to Practice 

Deciding what to work on during practice is totally up to you (and sometimes your teacher) and should be done only after assessing your current state of development in relation to your areas of desired improvement and performance goals. Goal-setting is like mapping a trip. You need three pieces of information; Your current location, Your desired destination, and the best path to get from here to there. 

 Honest evaluation is vitally important. (A good teacher can be most helpful). You must be aware of…

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Practice (part 1 of 3): What it Is ... and Isn't 

Music teachers and parents are always telling young musicians to "Go Practice." Yet there seem to be many misconceptions as to what it actually means to practice. I'd like to clarify this issue as best I can by, first, stating that ... practice is NOT:

  • Playtime
  • A Drum Solo
  • An Assortment of Favorite Licks
  • Playing Along with your Newest Favorite Tune
  • Working on What You Already Do Well
  • Working on Arbitrary Weaknesses
  • Just about Chops & Technique
  • How Much Time You Spend Playing

Practice IS…

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Drummer as Point Guard 

A number of great musicians over the years have made the analogy of a musical group to a basketball team. There are parallels on many levels. Both are groups comprised of individuals, each with distinct roles, but who work together toward a shared goal. The team's success depends less on the individuals' one-on-one/ solo skills, than on their ability to communicate effectively and work as a cohesive unit The point guard's responsibility is to distribute the ball and unselfishly help his/her teammates…

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Purple Lancers return in '08 

I'm very pleased to be involved in the reorganization of the Purple Lancers drum and bugle corps. The Lancers were a great source of pride for all Auburnians from 1949-1974. Our goals are to march in the 2009 Memorial Day parade, then to return to competition within two years, and to capture the DCA crown within five. This will not be easy... and we need your help. For more info go to, or contact me.

Singles & Doubles 

- This is a great exercise to further develope speed and control of your singles & doubles while also broadening your sense of "time" by incorporating "odd" groupings. It can also serve as an excellent hand warm-up.(Above the line = R, below = L) Practice by starting @ top left - either work down left column (singles), then top-down on the right (doubles), OR ... work left-right, top-down. ALWAYS return back to top the way you came. Repeat entire exercise, this time starting w/left hand. USE A METRONOME…

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"The Path to Success" 

Contrary to the oft repeated plea of disillusioned musicians, the great players out there were not just born that way. Without exception, its the result of alot of hard work - on the right things. They share common pedagogical regimens that they practiced for countless hours - and still do. These are proven methods passed down over generations by great teachers. Unfortunately, many teachers today haven't been exposed to these methods themselves, or once were merely on a superficial level. They can't pass…

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