How much hours per week do you consider good enough to practice

Hi guys!

I searched across the internet and found that most of drummers are starting out to play with someone after 3 years of practice in average.

I have a fear that I practice not enough to become a good enough to play with someone.

Basically I work with teacher 2 hours per week and have 2 hours per week of practice. It's like 4 days. Plus I spend 1.5h per day on commute. I see the progress in 9 months but I'm worrying that it is slow and I should like practice each considerably more.

In lessons I came to paradiddles... and my teacher told me once that he practiced 3 hours per day when he was starting out.

So I guess that is the question how to measure my progress to understand how long is it remained before i'm ok to try play with someone at some basic level. So it it will be like 5 years due to my current practice, then i'm ought to spend Saturdays or Sundays on practice.
 

vtran711

Well-known member
Everyone is different and everyone's circumstances are different. It really comes down to the individual and how motivated you are to accomplish anything. Practice as much as you can but always try to have intent behind your practice. That's not to say that just messing around isn't valuable because I do think you need to sometimes just release and make noise! As for playing with other musicians that can start now. The sooner you start the better. The hard part is finding others that play at the same level and more importantly you enjoy spending time with. Good luck and get out there and make music!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Drop all your fears. They are hurting you. They aren't even grounded in reality. I'm not directing this towards you only, it applies to everyone. It's not a fearful situation if someone thinks something about you that don't approve of. There's no real danger there. Drop the fear...that hasn't even occurred.

A favorite quote...I've suffered through thousands of major catastrophies, none of which ever occurred.

My suggestion: Drop the thought that YOU might not think you're ready to play with others. Allow the others let you know if you're not cutting it. Chances are that won't happen. Until then, don't withhold yourself. It's not like you have to get good before you play with others, you have to play with others to get good. You're thinking in reverse. Which is completely understandable for a new conscientious drummer. But take it from me, don't wait. Do get out there with anyone you can...today...and stop putting arbitrary conditions on your timeline. In fact drop the timeline altogether. Play with others NOW. Don't wait. You will be so much further along in one month of playing with others than 3 years playing alone.

You can practice for decades in your basement alone, decades...but it means ALMOST NOTHING to your musical progress until you can drive a band. You simply cannot learn to drive a band...without a band. Period. Like swimming for instance. You can read about swimming for years. But you will never understand a thing until you actually get your body in the water and do it for real when you're cold, wet and half naked. You can't know how it feels until you have the experience. Same with playing with others. You will quickly learn things in the first hour of playing with others that would NEVER occur to you playing alone in your home.
 
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vtran711

Well-known member
To add to what @larryace said I'll share my experience.

I played drums as a kid but never practiced nor have I ever played with other musicians. I'm now approaching 50 and started playing again since January of this year. I was lucky enough to find a band that was looking for a drummer one month into starting back up. They are more experienced musicians maybe about low-intermediate. In my case the band was happy just to have someone that could keep a steady rock beat but I was able to add more to the band quicker than either I or they expected. My bandmates have told me I have made them better musicians which is a nice compliment. This is the first time I have ever played with other musicians in a band and I was very nervous at first but it has been such a great experience that I urge you to find others as soon as you can.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Follow Larry's sage advice.
Depending what music you play, playing with a band will only need to use, but help improve and maintain, your most basic skills as s drummer, like good meter and keeping the right dynamics.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Gigging and getting paid is one thing, but if you can you should just get out there and play as soon as possible. You can sort of fake it in the practice room if you already have a lot of experience playing, but if not there's no substitute. That's where you really learn. Just get out there.

I wouldn't be too picky about the music. I'd be picky about the people.
 
Hi guys,

Wov, there're so much advice!

@larryace , your thoughtful response about reversing fear motto and dropping artificial conditions are something really different type of thinking and I feel it's like an advice out of experience since it touches something inside. I'm gonna think it over.

@vtran711 , thanks for advice and sharing your nice positive experience.
I'm working hard and usually weekend days are the only time for brain to relax. I guess I should vary my practice exercises to be more efficient using existing time and go find some people to play with improving my skills simultaneously.

@opentune , thanks!

@Trip McNealy , wonderful video. I've googled and missed it. That guy says you have to have a mindful 10000-hours long practice to become a pro and then says that practicing being a pro is never ending story. I have a huge away forward. There's a joke of Mene333 under the video.
- How long should i practice every day?
- As Lang as you can.

@Seafroggys indeed!

@Odd-Arne Oseberg Thanks, I guess I ought to try!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Independent practice is essential. At the same time, you can work on rudiments until your hands fall off yet still lack musicality as a drummer. The only way to become a fully developed musician is to play with other musicians. Even if taking the plunge from your private practice room to the band studio is trial by fire for you, don't be reluctant to press on. It's all part of your evolution as a drummer.
 

blinky

Senior Member
To move along at a slow but steady pace I need around 90 minutes everyday. And one rehearsal at the least. I guess we are all very different in this respect, but it all comes down to what we are trying to achieve. There are so many aspects of drumming and to be good at everything, well for me there are not enough hours in the day. As I'm thinking of it now, I really have to stop playing every excersise each day and instead have a different schedule every day, maybe one day a week I play brushes only, another day devoted to jazz comping, a third day maybe latin grooves. Well, yes I think I'll do just that!
 
@blinky I came to switching sets of staff to train as well because time is limited.
- vary by type (one day once exercises sets, one day others),
- vary by time (for example once - do for half a minute for certain exercises, once for 4 minutes)
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Siarhei. Sounds like your ready. If you can keep good time using basic beats and simple fills you should do o.k. Remember everyone has to start somewhere and yes you might fail a few times but in time playing others will become natural. Just have fun because that's what it comes down too. :)
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
When I first started playing in 1963 I spent about 3 hours a day 7 days a week. Couple years later when my parents moved the family to Berkeley CA and I got serious about it, I spent up to 8 hours a day 7 days a week. Never took a lesson, just watched and listened to others and figured it all out myself. In addition to learning during the long days of practice, I built up a lot of stamina. I guess my advice for anyone wanting to be a musician is practice and play with others as much as you can squeeze in and don't let other things get in the way. It can make for a tough balancing act with work and relationships but if it's what you want it's what you have to do. During my time in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was fortunate to have played with a lot of great people. Some made it big, others should have. My band was good. Played a lot of gigs, but in the 60s/70s everyone with hands and feet in SF was in a band. Consequently we were competing with the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, Country Joe, Beau Brummels, Steve Miller, Captain Beefheart, Eddie (Money) and the Rockets, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Santana, I can go on and on but now I'm drifting away from the post. Bottom line is if you want to get good, don't limit yourself to "how many hours should I practice?" The answer is....... as much as you can.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I think I have something to add here that is helping me. Use your commute time and any other for it.
Practice counting forms. For example the twelve bar blues form: One tri plet, 2 tri plet, 3 tri plet, 4 tri plet, Two tri plet, 2 tri plet, 3 tri plet 4 tri plet ....... Twelve tri plet, 2 tri plet etc.
Straight eighth counts too in groups of four or eight: One &, 2 &, 3 &, 4 &, Two &, 2 &, 3 &, 4 &, Three &, etc.
No need for sticks or sound, and really does help my skills as a drummer. Especially good when ones schedule is tight.
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
I think I have something to add here that is helping me. Use your commute time and any other for it.
Practice counting forms. For example the twelve bar blues form: One tri plet, 2 tri plet, 3 tri plet, 4 tri plet, Two tri plet, 2 tri plet, 3 tri plet 4 tri plet ....... Twelve tri plet, 2 tri plet etc.
Straight eighth counts too in groups of four or eight: One &, 2 &, 3 &, 4 &, Two &, 2 &, 3 &, 4 &, Three &, etc.
No need for sticks or sound, and really does help my skills as a drummer. Especially good when ones schedule is tight.

Yes, to get good you have to practice as much as possible, and besides spending time behind the kit, you have to really live it. Much of your time away from the kit, you can be mentally practicing, like Rock Salad said. Also you need to a lot of deep, critical, analytical listening to all kinds of music. I think all the great musicians have for the most part been totally consumed with their art beyond just the confines of the practice room.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah, you obviously have to put in the hours, but it's more about quality well planned practice though, and that's hard to know what is without other input.

If your time at the kit is at a premium, but you have time here and there, like others have said you can get a lot of good work in.

Padwork
Work on mental stuff
Listen to recordings from your practice session.
Counting and internalizing rhythms
A new groove and independence stuff. It's not quite the same, but doing it in a different way, e.g. just hands and feet, without you sticks and pedals may help you learn things a lot deeper.

The list is endless and if you're not driving yourself you can work on charting tunes etc... If you are, you can still work on memorizing them.

If you are in many locations have a pad and sticks already set up there.

Hours are what you can do. I've had periods when it was all day most days, like I did nothing else, and there are periods or days when it's hard to just squeeze in 20 mins. If you really want a number I'd say 2-4 hours of well planned practice should work for most professionals. If you don't gig, but plan to, some of that practice should be just going through what a gig would be like. There's a conditioning aspect to doing a full show or 4 sets at a club that's very different from a typical practice session. That could be like your routine for Saturdays, or something.


 
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So you've been playing for 9 months, right? How about just looking for a beginning guitarist or bassist on the internet? It will show you how much fun it is to play music with others but you also get feedback on what didn't work so well (tempo, vocabulary, dynamics, transistions, whatever). Those things can then guide your regular practice routine. Once you know that you can make it work together and you get along with each other, search for a third member and you're already in a "band". How good you want to become from then on out, is up to you.
You don't need to jump right into playing in a band - developing some confidence and ability to adapt to what other people are playing can be easier in a low pressure situation like two beginners having fun. Having fun is very important - you say you don't have too much free time, so don't make practicing a chore, please!
 
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