New Year, New Practise Routine

Some quotes/mantras that have encouraged me to turn my practise routine upside down and re evaluate everything i’m doing….

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”Henry Ford

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.”Tony Robbins

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”Mark Twain

While i do believe it’s silly to wait till the new year to re evaluate things, i have done that… kind of.
I was unable to practise or play for most of 2016 due to an injury so it gave me a lot of time to think about how to maximise my practise. I did a lot of research into multiple practise techniques and a lot of looking back at typical patterns in my practise sessions.
I eventually had back surgery in December and it was the eye opener i needed. There isn’t enough time to do everything. I have to make my practise time count!

Having a family, teaching and enough gigs already booked for the year, i am not on the hustle for gigs. I REALLY want to practise this year and upskill.

I have realised…
#1. I want to delve more into ‘deliberate practise’. ie focusing on small, incremental and bigger picture type training.
#2. I want to work on things that i would never have done before. ie things that are a real weakness. The type of things that will make me sound really terrible in the practise room.
#3. ”What gets measured, gets managed.” If you don’t record it or note it down it didn’t happen. This is essential for the incremental improvements i’m after.
#4. To avoid distractions i need a ‘practise folder’. This will change month by month. At the end of each month i will file it. All the other cool DVD’s and books can wait.
#5. I need to use a timer. I don’t want to have my practise out of balance. I don’t want things getting ignored or running out of time to do them. Another fear is sliding into the things i WANT to do.

“If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would.”
Neil Gaiman

So here’s what i have come up with. It’s quite defined. I hope to finish, ie record and ‘present’ something (or some things), from each of these segments each month.

Rudiments. I have never delved deep into rudiments. I am stealing and adapting a Benny Greb technique. I aim to focus on 1 rudiment a month for the year. I hope to turn each rudiment inside out and improve my facility around the kit. 12 rudiments for the whole year is more than enough.

Wilcoxon Snare Solos. ‘The All-American Drummer, 150 Rudimental Solos’. This is a book i have attacked a couple of times and have given up on. Determined to see it through this time. I hope to learn and record the first 30 or 40 solos this year. I found this book quite difficult last time, so time to dig in.

Groove Essentials. Like the Wilcoxon stuff, i want to start working through the grooves and recording the progress. My aim is to play them as if they were a session and i have to use the material given to best effect. ie Tommy has palmed the session off to me and i have to play the track the best i can!
Would be happy to get through 10 – 20 of the grooves this year.
I believe this is the single best drum resource ever created. My review HERE

Great Hands For A Lifetime ‘Advanced’. I haven’t had a go at the advanced workout yet. Dying to get into it! Again, like ‘Groove Essentials’ this is a seminal work from Tommy Igoe. My review HERE

Licks/Chops. I don’t have any chops… I’m not really interested in them. I don’t like drum solo’s either. This year i will spend some time on working on some cool, fun DRUM stuff. How i will approach this? More to follow!
It will involve systems using linear ideas and orchestration around the kit, as opposed to just taking an Aaron Spears fill and playing it over and over.

Benny Greb: ‘Language Of Drumming’. Another text that i have started and stopped many times. This is the year! Benny’s techniques are so effective and deceptively difficult. I really want to use this to iron out my grooves, subdivision and time.

Just like when you watch a really great movie you just want to tell people about it.
Some people i credit for making me turn things upside down and think!
Any or all of these people are worth serious time and attention.

K. Anders Ericsson (internationally recognized as a researcher in the psychological nature of expertise and human performance).

Tommy Igoe
Mike Johnston
Benny Greb

Tim Ferriss, ‘The Tim Ferriss Show’ (Podcast)
Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics Podcast.

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