Make it Count

“Practice makes perfect.” We all know that isn’t true. However, practice does make you better. In fact the very essence of a musician is built upon how seriously he or she takes their craft. The ability to practice varies. Some players have all the time in the world to finesse their chops while the vast majority of others have to fit practice in between the daily demands of life. Family, work and other commitments dictate when, and sometimes where, one can rehearse. I have a limited amount of time to work on my chops so I work very hard at making the time I do have as beneficial as possible. This requires time management and accountability. One way that I tackle this challenge is to keep a practice diary next to my drum set. In it I record what works, what didn’t work, what I did well, and where I need to improve. The next time I sit down to practice I look at the diary and see what items I need to address. In addition to keeping me honest, it also serves as a motivator. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment as I can see exactly where I improved. Sometimes I will video myself and watch it back later to critique my playing just as an athlete does. Another way to make practice time count is to take risks and try new things. If you sound good all the time you probably aren’t learning anything new. Struggling through a particular pattern or part means you are truly working at it. Relying on what you already know will prevent you from growing as a musician. Try playing music that you don’t normally listen to. Spread your wings and try to expand your skill set. If anything you will pick up some tips you can use in your own genre. Nothing worth having comes easy. Now go practice…

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