The Great Question: How Many Hours Should I Practice Each Day? The Short Answer: As much or as little as you’d like. 😉 The Long Answer: It’s relative to your goals. Do you wish to be one of the best? Then, you should make sure you’re practicing quite a bit. And that means a whole helluva lot! “But what if I don’t wish to be among the greats?” you ask. Well, from there you need to determine the level of player you are. I believe there are basically 4 levels of players. The first is the beginner level where that player is more or less just getting started. The second is an intermediate level where maybe you’ve been playing long enough just to be dangerous (as the saying goes, lol). After that, you’ve got the pro player, or level three, that has quite a bit of experience and knowledge under their belt but wants to be better. Finally, you’ve got the very serious-minded musician at level four. They desire to swim among the best out there. Level 1 – Practice a lot in the beginning. Get those fundamentals down (basic drum rudiments, beats, styles, etc.) These are at the core of drumming. Consider them the roots of the tree or the foundation of the house. It’s got to be solid. Level 2 – There’s more to drumming than cool gadgets and gear. Put some extra practice in so you can hold your own. You don’t want to be falling apart on stage or playing the wrong beats to the songs. Make sure you know what you’re doing. Do it for the band. Do it for yourself. Don’t be stuck at level two. You’re capable of so much more. :) Level 3 – You’re reasonably good (maybe even great) and people enjoy your playing. You know you can do better and want to do better but you tend to make excuses for why you’re not practicing more. Stop making excuses. Excuses are the nails that build a house of failure. Get in the practice room and put the time in. You’ll thank me later. Level 4 – Listen friend, you don’t have time to be messing around. If you want to be among the best, you’ve got to eat, drink, and live this stuff like there’s no tomorrow! You should be putting in long hours of practicing and be laser-focused on your goal. Make sacrifices. Don’t stop until you get there. David Garibaldi once told me, “Most musicians stop right before they make it”. He also said, “There’s a lot of room at the top”. Food for thought. Now to the good stuff. You don’t really ever have to practice. I repeat; you don’t really have to practice much at all. The last two sentences are a lie. You get out of life what you put into it. You reap what you sew. If you don’t practice, you’re gonna suck. Want it stated more eloquently? If you practice and put the time in, you’re going to get good. It will increase confidence in your playing as you progress. Others will be complimenting you all the time. Your peers will want to play like you. Bands will want to hire you. You will enjoy playing even more. You will have the ability to make lots more money. You will get to play with other great players on a higher level. And so on. CUSTOM IMPRINTED DRUMSTICKS “But Mike, you’ve yet to tell me how hours I should be practicing each day.” Oh that’s right, the very theme of this article. Well, we recently posted the following in an online drummer’s group: “Is practicing 6 to 8 hours a day a good thing or a bad thing? What about life balance?” – With over 200 answers, my favorites were those about quality being more important than quantity, about what else in life one is currently juggling, and about not hurting yourself with repetitive stress injuries. There were the expected handful of negative Nancy’s (that’s Karen’s sister) that had something to prove but for the most part, everyone had constructive feedback relative to their life experience thus-far. But what really caught me by surprise was, the most insightful post happened to come from a drumming legend! It was from none other than country drumming icon himself, Larrie Londin. This is what he wrote: … I can boil this huge subject down to a few points of experience. More practice equals more ability. The idea of diminishing returns over time is negated by the fact that if you start out 100% productive and later you’re only 50% productive, then you are still productive, especially over others who stop early. Love the quote, “Laziness is nothing more than resting before you get tired.” Also, that you learn differently in multiple short sessions and in singular long ones, so do both. Last thought on a huge subject: If you want to be extraordinary, you simply have to do the extra.” But Mike, you’re still not telling us how many hours each day! Alright, alright! Here it is: Practice 1 hour a day. Practice 4 hours a day. Practice 8 hours a day. Practice every day. Practice every other day. Practice once a week. Practice once a month. Practice the exact amount of time that will get you to your goals. BUT… (notice how big that BUT was? lol)… I recommend doing more than less. That’s because as human nature has it, we generally fall short of the goals we set for ourselves. Pick the level of musician you want to be and practice the amount of time that it takes to get there. I wanted to be among the greats so I generally practiced 4 to 8 hours a day in my heyday. It allowed me to reach a very high level of playing and even live out many of my dreams. The number of hours you should be practicing is up to you. Quality practicing is more important than quantity practicing but remember; repetition is also how you get really good. Repetition requires lots of time (repeating over and over again until you get it down pat). Put the time in. Put it in until you get there. Pick a rudiment, groove, or lick and make that the thing you learn for the day. Practice however many hours in that day that you need to to complete that goal. Do it again the next day. Set goals for yourself. Make sure you’re disciplined. Write it all down if you have to and hold yourself accountable. You get out of it what you put into it. How many hours should you be practicing each day? As much or as little as you’d like. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But… “If you want to be extraordinary, you simply have to do the extra.” I hope you enjoyed the read. I like keeping it loose and fun. I’m a frustrated writer so thanks for indulging me. I hoped it’s been inspiring for at least some of you. – Mike Donovan P.S. I don’t promote myself too much but I do practice what I preach. At 59, I still practice daily (about an hour or so). If you’re interested, I occasionally post something here. Learning Resources DrumChat.com - One of the largest drum forums online, packed with valuable drum information. DrumTips.com - Over 2000 tips and tricks for drumming! Daniel Glass - Top drummer, author, and educator in the drumming industry.
The Power of Drums is a captivating movie documentary made on the road and chronicling the experiences of numerous rhythms and percussions worldwide. Watch as presenters Bernard Lavilliers (a French musician) and Karl Perazzo (percussionist for Santana) travel across continents in search of "drum's soul". From India, where they explore polyrythmic tabla to Europe and the Asias where drums interact musically through beliefs and cultures. To top off this brilliant drumming documentary, you'll experience informal interviews from some of the world's musical superstars like, Al Jarreau, Trilok Gurtu, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, Dennis Chambers, Nana Vasconcelos and many more!
You're practicing and practicing and even putting in longer hours. You’ve acquired self-discipline and a handful of wisdom that taught you to concentrate on ‘quality over quantity’. You’re seeing the results. It’s paying off and after 10 years of drumming, you’re well on the way. But wait? What’s this? A drummer that’s only been playing for 3 months and he’s playing circles around you! WTH?!! A child prodigy? Vinnie's son? Nope, it's a new gadget that he simply strapped on and made him into an instant drumming superstar overnight! While we're having a little fun, we're not exactly far off and neither is this amazing, scientific device. The gadget is attached to an appendage of your body and utilizes science called proprioceptive interaction. If you're looking for someone to blame just blame science, lol. Source: http://www.chicagomag.com Unless you've had your head buried under a rock, you've been hearing about advances in AI (short for Artificial Intelligence). It powers everything from mobile phones to robots utilizing speech recognition, eye movement and so on. Walmart even managed to put thousands more low income workers out of a job by purchasing AI robots to clean their floors. Just when we got used to drum machines taking our gigs, now it will be arm(ed) robots! Screengrab/Walmart /YouTube How will all of this happen? Well through a serious of programmed muscle contractions in a particular speed and sequence, your arms/legs will soon be playing drums robotically. With the utilization of AI through muscle memory, the sky is the limit regarding the possibilities of what is ahead of us and researchers at the University of Chicago are on the trail. Just like the demise of rotary phones and cassette tapes, today's methods of learning drums and percussion through traditional methods, drum lessons and our approach to learning and playing will likely change significantly in the coming years. So throw out all of those drum lesson books and videos and start saving for your very own Bionic Drummer Arm 3000. Maybe you'll be on the cover of Modern Drummer afterall. The first one to master that baby gets the gigs! :) Buy Cool Stuff for Drummers
Here are our Top Picks for Drummer Gifts! After 20 years specializing in gifts for percussionists, we know a thing or two about what drummer's want. Take heed ladies and gentlemen, here our top 10 suggestions for best gifts for the percussionist in your life. #1 Drummer’s Tuning Tool - We picked the drummer’s tool as one of our first cool drummer accessories because it’s so practical. This 14 piece tool includes not only a drum key for tuning drum lugs but numerous other screw drivers and hex drivers for tweaking the drums or drum hardware. See all Drummer Gifts #2 Personalized Drumsticks - When it comes to the perfect gift, something personalized is always nice. Consider a nice pair of drumsticks with their name on them that they can display on their clothes dresser or in a case in their study or office. This particular pair features 'engraved' personalization which is nicer than 'imprinting'. See all Drummer Gifts #3 Drumset Stationery Pad and Sticks - This is one of our favorites! A clever idea for the perfect present to bring a smile to their face. This colorful stationery notepad, featuring a 5 piece drumset, is also a mock drum kit for practicing with your drumsticks. The drumsticks say, "Drum Up Some Ideas". What fun! See all Drummer Gifts #4 Drum Bum Sling Carry Bag - We're a bit partial to our branded carry bag but it's because it's lightweight, has slots and pockets for accessories and is just an all around useful gift for any student or professional. Add to that our famous logo and you've got the perfect gift! See all Drummer Gifts #5 - Drumsticks Holder - You know what really dresses up a room? This cool drumsticks holder that holds up to 25 pair of drumsticks! It's clear acrylic finish stays out of the way so that it shows off the drum sticks themselves. Use it to dress up a room while keeping your sticks in order. See all Drummer Gifts #6 Drumsticks Fire Necklace - Their passion for drumming runs hot and this drumsticks necklace reflects that emotion while offering a unique gift to your favorite drummer or percussionist. This unique drum necklace is a sure fire winner! See all Drummer Gifts #7 Drumset Money Clip - The best gift is something they will use time and again. This drummer's money clip with a silver drumset charm fits the bill - the $100 bill they'll make on their next gig! You can't go wrong with this one. A classy, practical gift idea that will last for years. See all Drummer Gifts #8 Zildjian Cymbal Clock - You can't go wrong with the most popular cymbal brand in the world. Chances are, the drummer you're buying for has at least one or two of these cymbals in their arsenal. Now, they can hang that famous brand cymbal on their wall as a functioning wall clock. See all Drummer Gifts #9 - Metal Drummer Creature - The ultimate conversation piece and one of our favorites! This artistic drummer figurine will be the hit of their party whether it's a birthday gift, Christmas gift or to celebrate their drumming excellence. See all Drummer Gifts #10 Drum Bum Logo T-shirt. A very popular gift for drummers over the last 20 years has been our drum bum logo tee. It comes in 5 different colors and instantly sends the message of drumming passion. See all Drummer Gifts So that's it folks, our top 10 drummer gift picks for 2019. All great things related to drums, drumming, drummers and percussion. Whether it be cool music accessories, snazzy jewelry, clothing or drum stuff to decorate the home, you can't go wrong with these drummer gifts! Click Here for 100's more Gifts for Drummers
National Drumming Day - Do you tap out rhythms on your desk or air drum along to your favorite rock song? Maybe you know a drummer that plays in the school band or on the big stages. November 15th is the day we celebrate DRUMMING- throughout the nation. Celebrate by: 1. Joining a drum circle or local drum practice group! 2. Wearing your favorite drumming t-shirt or hat. 3. Posting your favorite drum pics or videos of your drumming on social media. Use hashtag #NationalDrummingDay 4. Revisiting your drumming goals and making sure you're still on track. 5. Setting up a drum club using the 'drumming' theme to help 'at risk' school kids. 6. Calling in sick. Tell your boss it's National Drumming Day. 7. Taking your drums apart for a thorough clean and repair. 8. Giving a free drum lesson to the kid down the street. 9. Getting a 'serious' day of effective drum practicing in. (No jamming) 10. Drumming up Support for a better world. The history of National Drumming Day: This special day was created by the proprietors of Drumming.com. Upon building this website, it was realized that there was no special day particularly for drumming. There were 'months' dedicated to percussion but not one particular day that we could call our own. It only seemed fitting that we designate that official day. Not to be outdone by National Coffee Day and National Cheeseburger Day (yup, you heard right), DRUMMING can now join the ranks of "official" days on the national calendar. Grab your drum and let's go! Chat about National Drumming Day with other drummers over at DrumChat.com Putting on a drumming event for National Drumming Day? We can supply promotional drum stuff for you. From custom drumsticks to pens, bags and more, we've got hundreds of products that can feature your event phrase, company name or logo. National Drumming Day was created by Drum Bum, Inc. in 2015. Contact us with relative inquiries, promotional products, advertising, and sponsorships.
“Reaction was mixed… I’ve always been a little too jazz for rock and a little too rock for jazz, and that’s kind of the area I like. If you’re always asking ‘what is it?’…I’m very happy.” – Bill Bruford
This guy is one of the best. You’ll hear speed, chops, musicality, metric modulation, amazing creativity, endurance and expert precision. – Feast your ears on Mark Guiliana! Peruse our site for even more drum lesson solos and videos.