Practice, broad or deep?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
While practicing, I'm finding that it's better to pick one thing and work on it per practice session. Just keep hammering away at it. And the next time I practice, if I still don't have it, I won't move on to something else until I do.

As opposed to doing many different things during the course of practice, focusing on one thing translates to deeper grasp for me.

I admit that sometimes I go off in a tangent, but I try and always return to my original reason for practice that day.

Any thoughts?
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
While practicing, I'm finding that it's better to pick one thing and work on it per practice session. Just keep hammering away at it. And the next time I practice, if I still don't have it, I won't move on to something else until I do.

As opposed to doing many different things during the course of practice, focusing on one thing translates to deeper grasp for me.

I admit that sometimes I go off in a tangent, but I try and always return to my original reason for practice that day.

Any thoughts?
Yeah, I've thought a lot about this over the years, and I'm convinced that practicing for depth is a better way to go. That said, it's important not to stay on something after you have it, or you're simply wasting time going through the motions. Eventually you have to move on to different/more complex stuff.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Agreed Boomka. Deep practice advances me the quickest. When I perform repetition after repetition upon repetition, sometimes things really cool variations or whatever occur to me that I never would have thought of without the repetition.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Having a teaching degree in athletics, I can tell you about two methods of teaching new skills. One is the whole- part- whole method where you practice all of something and then break it down into manageable parts, the practice the whole again. the other is just the opposite, the part-whole-part method where you practice all of the parts then put them all together, the practice the parts that you were having trouble with. No one method is always correct, and it may change with the person or skill that is to be learned. Give them a try and see what works for you.
 

KBadd

Silver Member
larryace, I practice the same way. Play it until you get it. Then replay later and it should stick.

I played in a "band" for 5 years and the conductor took apart the music in sections THEN we play the whole song at the end. This agrees with Gruntersdad's suggestion......but that's a song and not "drumming". However, can be applied to both.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I'll do both.

There are times where I can sit there for ages going over and over the same thing and remain motivated enough to stick with it. Other times I think to myself, if I don't break it up a bit here I'm gonna ditch it, grab a beer and go sit on the couch. So I'll chop and change in order to stay motivated.

I'll employ whatever tactic is needed on any given day.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Agreed Boomka. Deep practice advances me the quickest. When I perform repetition after repetition upon repetition, sometimes things really cool variations or whatever occur to me that I never would have thought of without the repetition.
Same here. I practice the 'deep' approach too. With some 'broad' moments thrown in occasionally. What you said about going off on a tangent is similar to what I sometimes do. If I'm having issues grasping somthing, I'll take a little break from it and play a handful of grooves/fills that I know really well just give myself a break. (I think it also reminds me that despite my current issues learning something new, I can, in fact, play some pretty cool stuff.) That's a nice little mental boost.
 

utdrummer

Senior Member
Repetition is the key to mastery of any subject. That being said, I find personally it's best for me to pick one subject--a different rudiment for the day or a new "beat"--and play it until it becomes second nature. Not exactly breaking news I know, but if I try to do several things over the course of the day I usually find I don't spend enough time doing any one thing well. I have practiced rudiments for years but I will play a different one at each practice. Especially the ones I struggle with at times. Take one rudiment and explore it every which way you can on the kit...chops, beats, hands/feet combos, and toms/crashes. Get as creative as you can. That's what practice is for anyway. I rarely try anything new onstage. I find it best to apply myself to different books I have had for years and maybe just play one page repeatedly. There are tons of ways to remain creative and fresh. Terry Bozzio said it best some time ago when he said to play something you've never done before everyday. In other words, stretch your comfort zone and get out of that rut you've dug. Before long, you'll have a whole new arsenal of material you can throw out as needed. Practice like a noob and do something new everyday. Keep seeking...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I am the poster child for undiciplined people. I'm too undiciplined to be diciplined. But dicipline has great benefits, and when I focus on just one thing, again, I think of (and play) things that otherwise wouldn't have occurred to me. (the tangents, they rock)

This is not to say everytime I sit at the drums I'm practicing. A lot of times, I try and just play what's in my head. Not as diciplined but important to me. But when I do decide to knuckle down, and try and improve one area I want to improve in, I am single minded until I'm satisfied with my execution of it.
 

KBadd

Silver Member
LAce, in my band, I invite my bass player over and we just jam together. 1 hour minimum. Practicing drums alone is in that "drums alone" zone more often than not. With the bass player I can stretch out and play Sh__ that the "band" cannot. Bass boy learns new things and I GET THE BENEFIT of jamming with the main guy in my band. Can't do this with Piano lady or Guitar man......guitar man wants to DICTATE everything.....Piano lady wants to.....well...I will leave it at that. SHE IS GREAT!!! GREAT VOCALS!!! I love her!
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
larryace said:
I am the poster child for undiciplined people. I'm too undiciplined to be diciplined
Larry, I challenge you on that. I'm more undisciplined than you are :p

At least you do exercises and rudiments etc. I have played a lot over the years but done very few exercises. I've never been prepared to make the sacrifice of playing something that's as boring as batsh** in order to improve. If it's not fun, I'm not interested.

Kids, let that be a lesson to you! If you don't eat your "drumming greens" then you will end up like me - only capable of playing easy things and working in an office.

So pull out that 'nome, dust it off, find something you want to do and practice it like mad until you have it. If you can't get it at mid-tempo pull the 'nome back to 40bpm and look for its pocket there. Stay relaxed, remember to breathe, maintain a good posture and grip the sticks lighly so they can resonate.

Then, under the guidance of a qualified teacher, do as the goodly, disciplined folk here do and keep moving on once you own the new pattern you learned.

And once you have worked and slaved and struggled, once you are in a room with a band forget EVERYTHING you have practiced and just play music or they will hate you.

Haha, I feel like a former alcoholic warning people of the dangers of drinking and the virtue of a wholesome lifestyle :)

Sorry for posting.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Haha, I feel like a former alcoholic warning people of the dangers of drinking and the virtue of a wholesome lifestyle :)

Sorry for posting.
You should have opened with, "I'm Polly...and I'm a drumaholic."

Hi Polly!!
 
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