30 Day Drumming Challenge: Rules & Pep Talk

926126D4-F085-490B-BC33-FD1DD0EFD890“First learn stand, then learn fly. Nature rule Daniel son, not mine”

“You trust the quality of what you know, not quantity.”
– Mr. Miyagi

Mr Miyagi said “Man who catch fly with chopstick, accomplish anything.” To adapt to suit my teaching techniques here I’ll say “Any person who commits to incremental improvement and deliberate practice in their life can accomplish anything.”

These 30 days will start slowly and can be done easily on a practice pad or even on a pillow. You don’t even need a kit. Sticks… drum sticks or chopsticks… optional but recommended.

Videos to be released daily starting Thursday June 1st 2017 at approx 8:00 AM (8:00) NZT
= New York (USA – New York) Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 4:00:00 p.m. EDT
= Los Angeles (USA – California) Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 1:00:00 p.m. PDT
= UTC/GMT (Time Zone) Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at 8:00:00 p.m. UTC

– I will include PDF’s of music notation. Reading drum music is not essential to completing the 30 days. Fact is for various reasons, reading music is just not for everybody.
It’s there as a supplement. If you want to improve your understanding, theory, musicianship please study them.


– Don’t let the metronome ‘beat you’. Hang. In. THERE!

Don’t skip a day. Even if you can play the final day speed on the first day.

Start using a practice journal. (I use my diary). I will note the metronome speeds in the description of each video as we go. It is REALLY important you monitor yourself. I note down the speed i played and how it ‘felt’. Was it easy? Difficult? Sloppy? etc.

Don’t move through multiple days in one sitting. ie: finish all the videos in a weekend. That is not the point. You need downtime to let your brain and muscle memory catch up to your new good habits. If you want more stuff to work on, do the same days video again.

– 1 day a week will be recording day. This is important. I will explain why and how as we go.

– If you reach a peak speed and can’t move on to the next video, that’s fine. You found a weakness! GREAT!
Go back 5 or even 10 days and take another shot. You should be able to push further on each time you take a new charge at your maximum tempo.
DON’T try to force the speed at the expense of technique. Keep it healthy and relaxed.


– If you already have an established practice routine, view this as a supplement. It may (or may not) make you reconsider how you currently go about other aspects of your drumming.

Embrace the suck. If you are here with me then we share the common goal of wanting to improve. That doesn’t happen in a smooth straight line. Some days we suck, some days we feel ready to take on the world. Our trajectory IS upward. Accept there will be growing pains along the way.

Speed isn’t the only goal. We want better control, technique and execution. Remember ballads are just as hard to play as fast songs (arguably even harder). We are aiming for a level of mastery of these common and basic hand patterns, not just hanging on for dear life.

– Relax. Think of this as relaxing and meditative as opposed to stressful and tense.

– Incremental improvement is a marathon, not a sprint. Think long-term. Be patient.

– I have chosen speeds i feel most beginners can keep up with. If you are struggling with ‘Day 1’ for whatever reason, don’t give up. Metronomes are VERY tricky at first. Give yourself a chance to get the hang of it.

– 5, 10, 20, 50 attempts at any of the days (yes even day 1!) is fine. Do what you have to do.

– If the all-inclusive speeds I’m using at first are too slow, you are doing it wrong. This is an all too common way of thinking. Play at a higher level. Play more evenly. Cleaner.
Visualise you are playing the Royal Albert Hall and your favourite band has counted you off into the opening number.

– Try to start each new day at the precise tempo, don’t fall into the pocket by the 2nd bar, etc.
Sort the basic rudiments at these manageable tempos to reap the rewards at faster speeds.

There is NO ‘fail’ only quitting. What is failure? If a Baby tries to walk and falls over has he/she ‘failed’? Do we stand around laughing, pointing and saying ‘oh well obviously this Baby will never walk’. The Baby stands on its own two feet and takes a step after countless falls.

– Tomorrow never comes. You may as well start now. I’m right there with you.

Ready? Let’s DO THIS!


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