Posts tagged practice
How to Become Great at Just About Anything

If the title of this post attracted your attention, I recommend checking out this episode of the Freakonomics podcast of the same name. 

My biggest takeaway from listening to the episode was this quote from Bob Fisher on the importance of deliberate practice:

Instead of just practicing, you are focused; you’re engaged; it’s like a rubber band. You are constantly stretching the rubber band, and you don’t want to stretch it to the point that it breaks, but you want it to have continual pressure. In other words, you want to try and do things that you are not able to do at the present time.

If you want to get good at anything it takes a lot of focused practice. Practice that is directed on things just beyond your current level of ability. Start with one thing you want to improve at, and find a way of breaking it down into smaller, easier pieces. 

Here's Bob Fisher again:

People who continue to get better never allow themselves to go on automatic pilot; they’re continually breaking down the element they are trying to do and working on pieces and then putting it back together.

So whatever you're planning on improving at in 2017, bear this in mind.

Listen: "How to Become Great at Just About Anything" by Freakonomics Radio

What are the best ways to build a strong internal clock for drumming?

From time to time I answer drumming and music related questions on the q&a website Quora. This is one of those answers...

Q: I've been playing with a metronome and I have it skip beats when I practice. I just feel that there is more I could be doing to get my internal clock as tight and solid as possible. Do any expert drummers out there have any secret ways or unique to practice keeping better time?”

A: Practicing to a metronome that skips beats is a great idea. Have you tried this with bars? Four bars on, four bars off for example.

A couple of other suggestions...

  1. Set your click to half time — Playing at 120pm? Set the click to 60bpm.
  2. Click on different subdivisions — Instead of assuming the click is on the 1, 2, 3, 4 try playing with it on the offbeat (1 e AND a, 2 e AND a etc) or if you're up for a real challenge the 'e' or 'a'. I strongly recommend doing this slowly and something you are very comfortable playing at first. Benny Greb's book The Language Of Drumming has some great exercises to practice in this way.