Get serious about your drumming!
From around the world I get letters and also in my travels I see many people who are not improving in their drumming skills. They are staying at the same level of drumming they were a year or two ago and still can only play one or two rhythms. Why is this happening? Some people blame the teachers and say the teachers are not good. However, it is not up to the teacher to make the student practice. Or is it?
In my case I do indeed actively encourage the student to practice. If they do not practice they often get an encouraging lecture. Maybe it is with some passion from me. The bottom line is I don’t care what you think about me, if I am a nice guy or not. Really. And I don’t care if you don’t like me getting on your case. I will. Because what I care about is you learning and not being lazy.
There are a million excuses for not practicing and not learning and believe me i have used them all and heard them all. I don’t have time is the number one excuse. You will find time to do something you want to do though!
It’s like relationships between men and women. When there has been someone I was hot on, I would drop everything, work drumming, whatever to make time to see her. Think about it. When your dream girl (or boy) showed interest you were ready to drop it all. On the other hand when there was someone I was not sure about or not really interested in I would be more in the “I have to work today, go to bed early, take a shower..etc., etc mode.
Students of which we all are, need to ee results and the only way to see results is through repetion or practice.
Many teachers are too nice in that they don’t speak the truth or get on people to practice more and actually learn what they are teaching. If you teach for a living you will indeed loose students if you appear to be mean, angry, unhappy or too critical. Many people go to drum classes to relax or exercise. So therefore it is up to the teachers to dictate the pace and also keep on students to practice.
I took piano classes with an excellent teacher named Gary Marx who set the standards before he agreed to take me on as a new student. He said, “you have to practice one hour every day or I will not take you on as a student”. And furthermore he said, “And i can tell if you practiced or not”! He was a nice guy he was not mean, but he was strict. There is a difference between mean and strict.
By following this stye his students all, everyone of them..get better and improve rapidly. 100% success rate. They see results. I am not suggesting teachers suddenly get mean or abusive with students. I am saying as teachers we should all set high standards and have requirements for the students in terms of what they need to do, to practice and to bring back to class as well.
Its time to poop or get off the can for students and teachers as well! Lets get it together, practice, learn and have more fun. all it takes is you making the decision and commitment to do so and a little follow through. Where there is a will there is a way. Lets find that way together.