Tips for Getting Good at Drumming

11 Jan 2019
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Drumming is a fantastic hobby for people who are into music. However, learning how to catch the beat and set the tone can be difficult for people who are just beginning. Michael Blakey, a legendary musician and drummer, who is also a producer, has a few tips that he’d like to share with budding drummers.

1) Do not look for excuses.

First, do not look for excuses when you make mistakes or when you do not understand an exercise. It may take some time for some people! It’s normal, you just have to begin! It’s human to be wrong. One of the tips that I like to pass: “Accept your mistakes as soon as possible to continue to progress”. Do not take your head.

Blakey says that he sees a lot of novice students racking their heads and making excuses. He began playing the drums relatively late, nor does he come from a family of musicians, so none of these excuses are worth it. 2) Do not be too hard on yourself.

Secondly, putting yourself under constant pressure is not a good thing! Since you are starting out, be patient with yourself. Take a break from time to time to follow your own evolution. In addition, it will be more motivating to see the path you have traveled. We can go ahead without being stressed. Music is cool, and it must always stay that way.

2) Patience and compassion

First, put time on the table and take a breath. Then accept the fact that you cannot go faster than time; otherwise, you will suffer a lot. When it comes to learning, some people move quickly, even very quickly, others slowly, even very slowly. Accept your pace and make it your ally instead of developing useless complexes that will not help you progress faster. Likewise, it is important to have compassion for yourself! That is to say, always be kind to yourself, it will bear fruit.

Another advice which Blakey states readers should follow: “React to your difficulties and sufferings with a lot of understanding, warmth and positivism, instead of being hard on yourself”.

3) Do not try to go too fast.

Third, despite a concrete motivation, when you start, you should never try to put the cart before the horse. Time is really a formidable and unpredictable weapon, you have to make it your most precious ally. Indeed, taking your time will allow you to acquire much better skills. Many drummers burn out on stages and have to go back over very basic things 6/7 years after they started learning because they were advised not to learn such and such things to “win time”.

Other tips

In addition, having a good drum teacher who plays well is very important, but having a good teacher who plays well and gives very good advice is more important. Blakey credits his success to the fact that he was always very consistent and organized, and that helped him get an edge over others.

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