Re: Donny Gruendler here!
Ahh.. a nice morning in California. Just having some coffee and checking some e mails. With this in mind, I have received many e mails lately -- and many of them as the age old question "how to practice". Well, I know there are thousands of valid methods on the subject. However, since our common aim in the DW forum is to share knowledge. - I thought I would pass along a response that I have sent to one such drummer friend...
I hope this helps out there!
Excerpt of the Question:
I finally have the opportunity to invest more time in what I love, and that's getting regular time behind a kit again.
I hope to get a little advice - your opinion means a lot. I really wanted to know how you practiced. What warm-ups and practice methods or routines do you employ? I'm not a beginner, but find my playing kind of trapped in a rut, if you know what I mean. I realize there are a hundred avenues to go with this, but I'm looking for any and all advice you could give.
Excerpt of the Response:
The most important thing to do is actually prior to your practice session.
Before you even sit down at your kit, it is very important to decide what
item/items to be accomplished that day, week and month. For example: Do not
sit down, "jam" at the kit -- and then examine what else you need to work
on.. That is called playing. (Playing is running through what you already
know how to do -- and do quite well.) This is wonderful for having fun
(which we need to do) as well as for finding inspiration. However, do not
confuse it with practicing.
Practicing on the other hand is actually working on things that are new,
challenging or difficult for you to accomplish in the here and now.
Anything that you cannot do easily or comfortably. Thus, develop a list of
goals for that day, the rest of the week and then the month. Take notes each
day on what you have worked on, the tempos covered and what still needs
work. Then review them (and build upon them)the next day... This will insure
consistent progress and help you make the most of your practice time each
day. As these initial items get easier -- add new goals and difficulties to
your practice session list. The great thing about this is that it can be
applied to any drumming subject that you wish to learn.
An example within context:
So lets just say that you play 4/4 8th note rock very well; but your one
handed 16th note grooves are uncomfortable to play -- and make groove. Put
this on your list of things to accomplish. Take note that 80 bpms is OK; but
95 bpms is still difficult. In addition, also that 2 note BD patterns are
fine; but groups of three (or four) are difficult. Then, work on this for a
while, take some detailed notes, make some progress and then reward yourself
with fun (inspiration). Thus could be done with a short jam session to a 8th
note groove and CD track etc... Make sense? Furthermore, any warm-ups that
you could do would also work in tandem with this one handed 16th note groove
goal. i.e. warming up on the snare with alternating 16ths, then rrll, rrrr
llll, etc. This will prepare you to tackle your new goal.
Anyway, I hope this helps and please feel free to write again with any
additional questions. Have a great day and I look forward to talking with