Time Management Tips For Drummers

Share your love of drums

How Do You Get More From Your Drumming With These Time Management Tips For Drummers

The simple answer to that question is to get the most from your time. But it goes a little deeper than that. To include setting your specific, prioritize, drumming goals, and task lists. As well as a simple system to make the best of these time management tips for drummers and keep you focused on the outcomes you are looking for. You then develop a clear focused system that keeps you locked into exactly where you are going as a drummer. These time management tips for drummers, of course, apply to all drummers, not just the advanced players. And so we need to get the most out of our time to get the most from our drumming.

Let’s take a deeper look at this process to maximize the results we get from our time learning these time management tips for drummers.

The Clock Always Ticks! Give Me More Time!

I am sure you will have been a victim of that phrase at one time or another in your drumming life. Time is the one commodity they’re not making any more of. Or are they?

Of course, they are. Plenty of time is being made but there’s so little to go around. But, who am I referring to when I say they, specifically? well, I am referring to no one, I mean, time is not something anyone can really give you. You have to give it to yourself. I’ll explain as we dig deeper into these time management tips for drummers.

But first, let’s take a look at what time actually is and why we must be masters of time as drummers.

What Is Time?

So, let’s take a deeper look at time. First, imagine a clock, the second-hand ticks every second. The minute hand moves one minute every 60 seconds and the hour hand hardly moves at all.

From what you have imagined, do you think that is time? Well, it isn’t. When the second-hand moves we see an image or movement that describes what we have called time. The second hand, like the minute and hour hands, are units of measure only. They are not time. But they represent what we have come to call time.

Next, imagine a car driving at 60 mph down the highway, the highway is 60 miles long. So how long will it take for the car to get to the other end of the highway? Of course, it’s one hour if the vehicle is moving at 60 mph.

Like the clock hour hand moves around the circumference of a circle in 1 hour. 60 minutes, or, 3,600-second increments. The car travels along the 60-mile long highway at 60 mph in exactly 1 hour.

So What Does This Suggest Regarding What Time Is?

Of course, it suggests that the second hand, the minute hand, the hour hand, and the car are units of measure. But what are they measuring? They are measuring movement. For our convenience, let’s look at time as being “movement”. Only because the universe is expanding do we see the time. But as suggested, we see it as a movement.

Of course, this is oversimplified but it serves our purpose here. As drummers in pursuit of time mastery. It also helps us to see that the clock is an instrument used to measure movements. Small movements from A to B. 1 to 2 and so on, like with the hands of the clock. We have simply divided the clock to track the movements around the sun and other planetary cycles and so on. We call this increment of movement or cycle, time.

The measuring device… In this instance, a clock, car, or planet… is moving in and through space. The space around the planet, the space around the car, and the highway. And the space around the clock, each of these examples is directly related to each other. But it’s easier to think of time as being a unit or measure of movement.

And of course, each movement has a specific allotted time – ie. 1 second, 1 minute, etc.

How Does This Relate To Drumming?

In regards to drumming, you should now begin to see that drumming is the car. The clock fingers, or the planet in our analogy. The drumming, or rather the drummers’ limbs, are the instruments we use. To measure movements. Movements from 1, 2, 3, and 4 in a bar of 4/4 music for instance. Or simply 1 beat per movement, or more appropriately, 60 beats per minute, and so on.

And of course, we create time as we move through a basic rock beat or jazz beat. We create time from the empty space around us. When we do this along with other musicians who are using just another variation of creating time. (but the same point of reference)… we make music.

All instruments or the sounds they make imply movement from one place (note or measure) to another. Usually, we call these notes or measures.


And when all musicians work in an integrated way, together. Each creates their interpretation of the time created from the space around them. Music is created and then heard.

So, as drummers, who are said to be the timekeepers or what I prefer to call time creators. We need to be masters of space and the time we create within that space. We do this through our drumming. To master time is to master space. But really, they are one and the same.

The Theory Is Everything!

Because “the drummers’ limbs, are the instruments we use to measure movements. Movements from 1, 2, 3, and 4 in a bar of 4/4 music for instance.” We can take this a step further and come to understand the movements that create the time or units of time. That we call drum beats. Are an effect and not the cause in and of themselves. The cause of this effect is the drummer. More importantly, the mind of the drummer (or other musicians). The drummer perceives an ideal tempo to create and then proceeds to create that time meter. For other musicians to play along to.

The Big Revelation

Okay, so I am being a little dramatic. But, have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I had more time, then I could do what I want to”. Or, “If only I had gotten up earlier this morning, I would have had more time to practice more”.

Does this sound like you?

I am always astounded that we all have the same 24 hours in a day (the space). But some people get so much more accomplished than others.

I’ve fallen victim to the pressures of time myself. And am disappointed when I realize I wasted time that I can never have back again. Time is the one thing that is not measured by how much you earn, how hard you work or how nice a person you are. It’s more or less equal for everyone and we are all given the same gift of 24 hours of space within a day.

And so, as we now understand, we have a 24-hour period or vacuum of space to Create Our Own Time. We create the time to practice a given technique, or not. The choice is ours to make. Or not?

Of course, this means we need to take more responsibility for the space we have to work with. In short, it is what we do with that space that makes all the difference to the results we get. But, if we create our time out of the space within our day. Then we have the ability to create the results we attain also.

And of course, we do. It all starts with knowing what you want. And having the foresight to plan our space so that it conforms with our desires. We call this level of control Setting Drumming Goals. We plan out those goals and then we use the space around us (out days, weeks, and months). To move into those more desirable positions within the space we have available. A new reality if you will.

But let’s not get any deeper into this. It’s all just an analogy that helps us to understand the real power we have at our fingertips. The power to move into a more desirable reality.

Now we understand the tools available to us. Let’s move into controlling… sorry, creating more with the time we create.

How Are You Spending Your Current Space?

Ask yourself, “how am I spending my gift of 1,440 minutes each day? What am I creating out of that allocated amount of space?”

When you start to think of each minute and how valuable they are in relation to the space you have available. And what you can do with that space instead of clock-watching. You will, or should be, inspired to get much more productive. And thus, achieve much more in your life and drumming career.

So, if you’re looking to get more from your drumming. And want to accomplish more, and achieve the drumming goals you want to set for yourself. After understanding the power of space and time at your disposal.


One of the key things you need to do first is to understand how you are really spending your space right now. What are you doing? Are you following someone else’s clock or creating your own time with the space you have available to you?

Measure Your Current Activities

Here’s a simple exercise to try over the next three days, and you need to be brutally honest with this exercise. For the next three days write down when you start and stop every task. The breaks in between; such as meetings, and lunches. If you stop for errands, drift into space, check emails, or talk on the phone. And so on, record it all. And really take a hard look at when you are actually “working” on your drumming goals.

If you are self-employed or working for someone else the ability to manage your time is essential. It’s essential for you to become the best you can be and to have a fulfilled drumming life also. Of course, I can’t know your circumstances so be disciplined and honest with yourself. Plot out what you are currently doing with your days/space. Do this recording for 3 days.

What Habit Patterns Do You See Throughout Your Day

When you’re done, take a look at your three-day results. If you are like most people you will see there is a pattern to how you manage your time. Maybe you are a morning person and are up early. But in the afternoon you seem to drag and your mind “needs a break” which you take daily.

Recognizing your pattern of how you spend your time will allow you to make the necessary changes. To accomplish more and become the person you want to become. You simply plan your day to work around your highs and lows throughout the day.

Remember, it’s not so much how great we are at drumming, but rather who we need to become to be a great drummer. That usually begins with good time management techniques. And of course, regular and planned practice sessions.

It can seem easy to see how someone else wastes their time. But we often do not realize our own shortcomings in time management. Without first tracking how we spend our space! This is why most organizations track the minutes”.

Yet, even when everything is tracked meticulously. It doesn’t guarantee that these companies or individuals produce the results wanted. But it does open a window to be able to see what’s working, how much it’s working, and when. Just like doing the three-day exercise previously mentioned. During that time you create a picture of what you are doing with the space available to you. So make sure that you’re creating the time you need to get where you want to be as a drummer.

Master Your Time To Master Your Drumming

Great drumming is an effect of great time management. The good news is that time management is a learned skill. You can make a decision right now to become an excellent time manager. Like an Olympic athlete, envision yourself as being excellent at time management. Keep telling yourself that you are proficient in this area.

Like everything, you have to be diligent and willing to change one thing at a time. Which will improve the way you spend your 1,440 minutes of space each day!

Here are seven tried and true time management skills. Used by the most successful people. These will get you started but it’s up to you to create new habits. And of course, you should read the drumming goal-setting article I linked to earlier in this post. and integrate it to create a clear plan of where you want to be.

7 Tried and Tested Time Management Tips and Techniques For Drummers

1. Write down the most important goal tasks you want to achieve the evening before the start of each day. You can take the tasks from your predetermined task and goals list. The one you should have created as described in the article previously eluded to.

This goal habit alone will make a significant difference when you commit to it each day. You can even do this first thing in the morning just so long as you get the list of tasks to complete that day.

Rank the goals in a distinct order of importance. A, B, C, and D. Again, the drumming goals article mentioned earlier should have you covered with this. But to reiterate:

  • A Goals are the most important and must be completed today.
  • B Goals are important but not essential to negatively impact your main goal. If they’re not completed today. Goals marked with A‘s must be completed prior to starting any B goals.
  • C Goals would be nice to complete and feel you finished “all” your to-do’s. But they do not add to the bottom line. Personal development, or improvement and such. It’s estimated that people spend 50% of their time on C items which have little benefit to the end goal. An example would be, spending too much time playing the drums. Rather than practicing a specific technique on the drums.
  • D Goals are tasks to be delegated. Even if you love doing this task. If it can be delegated so your productivity is utilized for more important tasks. Then delegate it. I have lost count of the times I had to drive almost 200 miles. Set my own kit up, do a rehearsal, and then do two shows in one day/evening. If you can, get a drum tech guy to do the driving and setting up then do it and save your energy for the gig. Of course, you may not be able to afford this luxury, at one point I could have applied this but never took advantage of it. I regret that decision as my playing would have been so much better. And of course, this could have resulted in more and better work. Who knows?

2. Be committed to becoming solution oriented regarding your drumming and other areas. Those areas that may affect your drumming. The amount of time spent complaining and blaming is never useful. Become part of the solution. And pride yourself on living life with a positive approach to problem-solving. One thing you can always count on is that problems will never be entirely eliminated. If they were; your job would most likely be eliminated too!

So, after your initial list of drumming goals. Be sure to revisit the list at least every 3 months or so. And refine your goal-setting and time-management procedures. Add to and take from your list as you develop new ideas and objectives and so on.

3.  When starting a project; complete it in its entirety. Stopping and starting projects requires you to refocus. And then re-understand what you have accomplished so far to be able to proceed again. When you break down a project into its required action steps, by committing to complete each step. In its entirety. The project will go smoother and you can stay focused on the end result as well.

4.  Control your thoughts and think positively about your goals. Procrastination, which robs you of your time. And takes over when you fill your mind with fear, doubt, and confusion. The mind can only hold one thought at a time and so be as positive as you can about what you want to accomplish. Is the best way to keep moving in the right direction. Over time, focusing and refocusing on your end goals will become a compelling vision. One that you can’t help but pursue. This is the primary goal of setting goals in the first place. To create and develop a vision of who and what you want to be and achieve in the drumming world.

5.  Set a specific time and date for the completion of each task. If the task will take more than you can complete in one sitting. Then block a specific amount of time off for each portion of the goal. Be specific as to what you will achieve in the time blocks each time along with the completion date. again, this was covered in the drummers’ goal-setting post.

6. Visualize the project or goal as already completed and how you will feel. What will your life or business look like at that time? The more clearly you can visualize and act in a way that mirrors the way you want your life to look. Upon completion of the goal. The more you will take timely action steps to reach your vision.

So be sure to:

  1. Create an initial project, goals, and task list and develop it over time.
  2. Keep refining the goals list as you progress.

… and eventually, a vision, as well as your more specific visualizations. Will develop and improve over time. You’ll get clearer and more confident as you grow in this way.

7. Minute by minute; ask yourself “What is the most valuable use of my space at this moment.” Throughout the course of the day, one of the 1,440 minutes will be the one that makes the difference. The difference between you reaching your goals and becoming all you can be. When you realize you make the difference; each minute counts in time management!

By being committed and continually cycling through these seven steps. You will increase your productivity and success! And remember, as you move forward:

What You Focus On Grows!


The previous statement “What You Focus On Grows” has proven itself to myself and most other people I know. The problem is, that most people focus on their problems. And on the issues in their life. This is good when making a fresh start. In order to see what may be blocking your success and such. But after that, It’s not such a good thing. Faith in oneself becomes paramount. As you pursue your life and drumming goals using the time management tips for drummers’ ideas and tips here.

And sadly, very few people give time management the attention it deserves. This is especially true for drummers. Because their career is all about creating time. So ask yourself. Are you making the most of your time? and do you intend to change that beginning… err, let’s say now?

Let us know in the comments. Show your enthusiasm toward your greater success by proclaiming it right here. Right now. Write “From this moment on I am going to value my time and (fill in the blank – eg. create my dream drumming career).

Thanks for listening.

The Drum Coach

Share your love of drums

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *