When first discovering how to improve yourself as a drummer, you need to constantly improve your personal and drumming skills as you travel along the drumming road. You have to do this to become and stay relevant in the pond that you swim in. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, there is always room for improvement within yourself, not only in your drumming. With that in mind, we’ll give you some tips on how to improve yourself as a drummer. Along with some special areas to bear in mind. And a few guiding principles to move you into greater drumming success.
Let’s begin with the obvious areas you need to pursue as you develop yourself and your drumming.
How To Improve Yourself as a Drummer First Steps.
Listen to Music
Listening to music is the first thing any drummer should do on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to improve your drumming skills in a purely passive way. This has more to do with developing your ear. And then increasing your ability to focus and listen to a particular drum part more than anything else. But still, it is an important part of the drummer development program. That every drummer needs to pursue.
So it goes without saying that when you listen to music, pay attention to the drums. And try to mimic what you hear in your mind first. As you develop, this ability will grow as you do. So don’t beat yourself up (pun intended) if you can’t zone in on the bass drum pattern, the hi-hat pattern, and so on.
The ability to focus and concentrate on your thoughts just needs a little fine-tuning. Especially when you’re first starting out and consciously adopting this technique.
Learning how to improve yourself as a drummer is made easier by seeking guidance from a skilled instructor, as it remains one of the most effective methods to enhance your skills as a drummer. And by skilled, I mean someone who knows something that you currently don’t. Someone who can stir you in a different direction that leads to greater abilities.
I was once working with well-known British TV personalities. Whilst playing on a 6-month seasonal residency. At that same time, I decided to take lessons with a local drum teacher I found in a local paper. Suffice it to say, he moved me towards swing drumming and within a few weeks, my swing drumming expanded quite a lot. His approach just moved me where I needed to go with my thought processes.
Lessons will help you learn the basics of drumming. And they will also give you an opportunity to learn new techniques and approaches. New approaches that a different drummer may push you towards based on his external view. If you are serious about becoming a better drummer, we recommend that you take at least one lesson per week.
You can do this monthly if you want to hone a particular skill. Let’s say you want to improve your jazz drumming. Or your Latin-style drumming. Find a teacher who specializes in those areas and take lessons every month for a year.
And just see the difference this makes to your playing. So long as you do the work of course.
Never stop discovering new techniques and approaches to your drumming.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Yeah right! No one has ever said that before. It goes without saying that when learning how to improve yourself as a drummer to understand the basic premise is that all improvement requires study and practice. And as often as possible. A good rule of thumb is to practice for at least 30 minutes per day if you are a working drummer. More if you have the time. But don’t forget to set goals and establish good time management techniques.
Schedule your practice routine and build your skills methodically over time. The more you practice, the better you will become. It’s really that simple as you obviously already know.
Now let’s cover some personal development grounds. It may help improve your drumming abilities and personal success.
The Importance of Self-Discipline for Drummers
As a practicing drummer, you know how important self-discipline is. Drumming is a physical activity that requires practice, dedication, coordination, stamina, and focus. Plus a whole array of different qualities. All of which require self-discipline to get anywhere close to mastery. It will be impossible to build and maintain a high level of precision and accuracy. Without first using self-discipline to get you there.
Self-discipline isn’t only for physical activities, it’s also essential for mental activities. And possibly more so as everything we do begins as a thought.
For example, if you want to learn a new song or improve your technique. You need to be able to focus your attention and practice regularly. You need to focus on each individual drum part (as explained earlier). And to write or memorize drum charts of your own.
But I get it. It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see results immediately. And you have to get your thinking head on to work beats, fills, and phrases out and then write them out. And of course, this is where self-discipline comes in. It allows you to persevere and eventually reach your goal.
All this takes tremendous willpower and stamina, physical as well as mental.
So we need to build self-discipline over time. So that we develop the habit of pushing forward and taking action.
But how can we do that?
How to Develop Self-Discipline
Fortunately, the ability to cultivate self-discipline is within your reach as it can be strengthened and honed over time. And when we speak of development we of course mean training and practice. Like you wouldn’t expect to run a marathon without first training for it. You shouldn’t expect to develop ironclad self-discipline overnight.
But here are some tips to help you get started:
- Set Realistic Goals: Trying to achieve too much at once is a recipe for disaster. When setting goals, be realistic about what you can reasonably accomplish. In a given timeframe. This will help you stay motivated and on track. This tip could also have been. Know What You Want! Then control and plan the time it takes to get there.
- Take It One Day At A Time: The thought of developing self-discipline can seem overwhelming. But if you take it one day at a time, it will be much easier to handle. Each day, make a commitment to do something that will help you reach your goal. Something that moves you closer to your goal.
- Find A Role Model: If you know someone who exemplifies the power of self-discipline. Ask them for advice or observe their behavior and try to emulate it.
I researched the subject of self-discipline a while ago and wrote a book about it. I will add it at the end of this post. Self discipline isn’t only applicable when it comes to personal development, but also when learning how to improve yourself as a drummer too.
Back to the point.
- Reward Yourself: When you achieve small milestones on the way to your main goal. Reward yourself with something that makes you happy – but don’t use food as a reward! You could even show your support for this website by making a purchase in The Drum Coach store. But of course, there are thousands of other gift ideas you could give yourself as a reward for your hard work.
- Practice Visualization: Visualize yourself achieving your goal. And imagine how good it will feel when you finally reach it.
Now let’s take a look at some ways you can maintain your motivation.
3 Ways to Stay Motivated as a Drummer
When you’re first starting out as a drummer, motivation comes easy. Or at least easier. You’re just happy to be doing what you love and the enthusiasm is high. But as the years go by and the honeymoon phase starts to wear off. It can be difficult to maintain that same level of excitement. So, here are three ways to stay motivated and keep your love of drumming alive.
Join or start a band.
One of the best ways to stay motivated as a drummer is to play with other musicians. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being in a band. And working together to create something great. If you don’t have a band, see if you can join one. If there aren’t any bands looking for new members, start your own! Surrounding yourself with other creative people will help keep you inspired and motivated.
It’s easy to get into a rut when you’re playing the drums by yourself all the time.
Taking lessons can help break you out of that rut and give you some new challenges to work on. Your drum teacher will be able to show you new techniques and help you improve your skills.
Your drum instructor may lead you down paths you never thought of. And you might even find that taking lessons makes you enjoy playing the drums even more than you did before!
Listen to music that inspires you.
One of the best things about being a drummer is that there’s always something new to learn. Most especially from other musicians. When you hear a drummer whose playing you admire, take some time to really listen to what they’re doing. And try to figure out what it is that you like so much about their playing.
Then, See if you can incorporate some of their styles into your own playing. Listening to music that inspires you is a great way to stay motivated and keep your love of drumming alive. And of course, learn to play along to music.
Some Closing Notes Shopping Items
As I said earlier I have written quite a few books in my time since I stopped playing drums so often. Including :
Raise Your Motivational Power: Harness Your Powers of Limitless Motivation and Turn Your Dreams Into Burning Desires.
Upgrade Your Happiness: Six steps to greater joy, success, and a truly fulfilling life
Mind Your Habits: The Quick and Easy Way To Remove Bad Habits And Addictions, Procrastination and Negative Behavior
Success Redefined: What Success Really Is and How To Get More Of It
Motivation can be hard to come by sometimes, especially if you’ve been playing the drums for a while. But there are plenty of ways to stay motivated and keep your love of drumming alive and well.
From joining or starting a band to taking lessons, or listening to music that inspires you. There’s no shortage of options!
So get out there and start That process today! Who knows where it might lead you!
And don’t forget to follow these simple tips to keep you motivated. And then build your self-discipline. Keep in mind that enhancing your skills requires dedication and effort, but the rewards will be well worth the journey! And let’s face it when you’re motivated and love what you do. Hard work is… well, EASY! Let us know in the comments what your thoughts are. And what tricks do you use to keep yourself motivated and self-disciplined?
The Drum Coach