The Shortcut to Getting Better at Drums

Drummer Daily - Podcast for Drummers

If you’re looking for the shortcut to getting AWESOME at the drums, this is for you…

I’ve been filming all day for Boom Click Boot Camp. I’m recording this Friday night. My family’s downstairs watching the Olympics opening ceremony which is like blowing my mind. I feel like I’m that guy on Super Troopers, I’m freaking out man because it’s crazy.

Anyway, I’ve been having a great day. Like I said, we filmed all the pre-recorded stuff for Boom Click Boot Camp today and I just wanted to share with you guys. There’s this crazy thing that happened … well it’s not crazy to me because I knew it was true, but it was fun because my buddy, Dan, who’s shooting all of these videos for me was here with me today. After we got done, we were wrapping up, we did the whole thing and it was great. What was crazy was he was like,”Yes man, I think this is going to do really well.” He’s a musician too. He’s not a drummer, but he’s a musician so he kind of understood what we were doing. He’s like, you know what’s crazy is I think people are going to really like this stuff, but you know what’s crazy is it’s not really anything ground breaking. It’s not anything earth shattering or anything new. I was like, you’re exactly right.

That’s the thing is what’s going in to this boot camp is not anything mind blowingly new or different or secret. It’s some structured exercises that I’ve put together. There’s some cool, fun things in there that I’ll tell you about later, but really it’s nothing new. That’s the thing is that what’s true or what’s been true for hundreds of years about drumming or any kind of craft or art like music is still true today and that’s that the secret to getting better is not a secret. You just keep doing it. You work at it. You don’t waste your time doing things that aren’t going to help you so you don’t spend hours and hours and hours doing things that aren’t really going to improve you at all. You can’t sit there and play the same beat for hours and hours and get better at all kinds of drumming. You get better at that one thing. What you have to do is you have to be smart at what you work on.

The common denominator among being smart about how you work or not being smart about how you work or anything like that is that you’re still working. It’s still work. It’s not easy and, like a said before, there’s not any shortcuts to getting better. You can try to be an efficient as possible which is what I’m trying to do with this thing, but there’s not any shortcuts. It can be frustrating. I know, for example, for me there’s been times when I will go, especially after a tour for me it happens this way, but if I go on tour and even something that’s so much a part of my life like drumming is, after I go on a tour we’ve been for a long time, I’ll come home and I won’t want to look at the drums for awhile. I’ve gone several weeks before without playing drums.

At some point I’ll always come back and start practicing again. Man, those first couple of practices after not playing for awhile are rough. It’s frustrating. I’ve been doing this long enough now, I think I mentioned before I’ve been playing for over 25 years now. What I’ve realized is, those first couple of practices back after not playing for awhile, they’re always going to be hard. I can’t put them off because no matter how long I wait, I still the first thing I do when I get back to playing is have that first practice. You can’t skip over the first few practices. You can just put them off. It’s always going to be frustrating. It’s always going to be hard. If you can get through those first couple of ones back then it starts getting easier and you start enjoying yourself again. For me, it’s hard work. It’s really annoying when I do that. So now, I try not to go very long without practicing on the drums for that reason exactly.

The theme today is there are no shortcuts and really there’s nothing secret about getting better playing drums. You’ve got to just practice, keep doing it. I want to motivate you just to sit down and maybe try something that’s not easy for you on the drums today. Even if it’s something that doesn’t good. It’s not fun if you don’t think it sounds good, but put your head down, play something, be okay with it sounding terrible. I still do that all the time. Just have fun. Go play drums. You guys have fun. Let me know what you think on Facebook, or Instagram or wherever you find me. Hope you guys are going to enjoy your weekend. Go play some drums this weekend. See you guys later.

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