It Takes Years To Be An Overnight Success

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Every day in my teaching I have moments of clarity. Where the whole game becomes so obvious and the path that needs to be taken is illuminated. Hopefully my students have these lightbulb moments also! I certainly don’t mean to humiliate any students (no names used). But they remind me of so many moments I have had, and still have!
This one happened this week.
The student has been coming to lessons steadily for the year. So we’re talking 11 months of consistent drum lessons. He is young but is looking to play some challenging songs. This particular song has an intro with 16th note singles at 180bpm.

So it went down like this…

Me: Sounds cool man. Do you remember back at your first lesson I showed you singles?
Student: Yup.
Me: And I said you need to practice them every day for at least a minute?
Student: Yup.
Me: Did you do that?
Student: No.
Me: Have you ever practiced them outside of this class?
Student: No.

Pretty clear we’re gonna have a problem right? 180 IS playable. After 11 months it may be a stretch, but we need to constantly lay that foundation.
1 minute a day of basic rudiments would have set this student up really well to start chipping away at the song.
As it was, we weren’t close. Student feels deflated. Teacher feels like a failure. It’s a bad scene.

There is no such thing as an overnight success. You have to work for it.

My next door neighbour was in the British army and relayed this story to me. He would conduct long hikes carrying heavy gear as part of training. One plucky young officer asked him ‘what’s your secret?, how do you get so good at carrying all that heavy gear for long distances?’.

He answered: ‘Carry heavy gear… for long distances’.

We all know the answers to our questions if we look hard enough. Question is are you willing to do it!?

Back to the pad.
Catch you next time.

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