If you want to master the drums, there’s a mindset that you absolutely must have in order to ever see success. This has nothing to do with any particular techniques, drumming skills, or hacks. Instead, it’s an across-the-board mindset that applies itself to everything you ever do.
I’ll share with you this mindset, which will help you out big time if you’ve ever felt like you lack talent. Then we’ll wrap up with 3 super key things you can practice right now to get the fastest possible results on the drums.
Here’s what the big mindset is:
You have to be patient.
Without patience, you’ll never reach the potential that you’re capable of. But I get it! Patience is hard when progress is slow and you begin wondering if you lack talent.
Maybe you’ve started late in the game, and you’re afraid you’re simply too old to learn the drums. (Believe me, you’re NOT. I have students in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who are just getting started! You’re never too old to learn a new skill.)
Or maybe you’ve just been practicing and practicing, and you’ve struggled to gain any momentum and feel like you’re actually growing. You start to wonder if the drums are really for you, and you doubt whether you have any “natural ability” on your side like all the flashy drum cover guys on YouTube.
Here’s my belief:
Work ethic trumps talent any day.
Now I do believe that we’re all created with God-given gifts, interests, and passions. But we’re also called to work those gifts and passions by using them to their fullest potential, and that’s where the work ethic comes in. I believe it’s our passions and interests that drive what a lot of people would call “talent.” We’re given the passion, and we have to do something with it.
Sure, there’s the occasional one-in-a-million child prodigy on YouTube, and everything just seems to have come easy for them. But for 99.99% of us, work ethic and discipline are where it’s at. We can’t become drumming masters without patient, methodical discipline.
Wherever you’re at in your drumming journey, know that mastering an instrument takes years. I’ve been playing with bands regularly for over 12 years now, and I’m still growing and still have lots to learn. But it’s safe to say it’s taken years to really develop the skills that I always saw in my favorite pro drummers.
I don’t want to sugar coat things. I want you to know that reaching your ultimate goals and dreams will take a few years. You have to think long term here. You may reach those big goals in 1-3 years, or it may take 5-8 years. We’re all different, and that’s ok. But creating a long term practice plan doesn’t have to be daunting, confusing, or just plain overwhelming. I have a totally free e-guide that will help you out here.
But before I tell you more about the PDF guide, here are the 3 most important things you can be practicing right now on the drums if you want to see significant growth over the coming weeks and months. Yes, complete mastery takes years. But reaching small goals with technique and coordination can happen in as little as a week sometimes. Let’s start small and gain some momentum!
#1: Work on solidifying your “fulcrum.” This means nailing down exactly where and how you’re gripping your sticks. The fulcrum is the “hinge point” from which the stick pivots, which allows it to move and rebound freely with very little effort on your part. Accomplish this, and EVERYTHING you ever play on the drums will get easier.
Check out this lesson video for all the details on grip & pad practice:
#2: Be working your coordination, whether you’re going through a method book, one of my PDF guides, or you’re just learning your favorite songs. Building coordination is more than just practicing exercises, because it happens naturally as you log more and more hours on the kit. Gaining comfort behind the kit IS gaining coordination, so simply spending time playing anything is key here.
If you’d like some specifics to practice, though, check out my 3-Part Daily Practice Routine free guide if you haven’t already. You’ll be set for the coming weeks and months if you grab this. :)
#3: If you’re fortunate enough to have a band to play with or some buddies to jam with, DO IT! This is the absolute best way to grow fast. When you’re playing with others regularly, you’re naturally building comfort behind the kit and training your ear to listen better.
There’s no substitute for real world experience, and jamming in your basement with a friend does count! Jam with buddies, play at your church, or play cover gigs. This kind of stuff helped me grow so much faster when I was in high school, plus it provided so much motivation to work at my craft. Everything else we practice is a means to an end. This is the end goal - playing songs musically and with creativity.
Alright, here’s that guide I mentioned earlier. I know I’m throwing a lot at you today, but if you have to choose just one resource, start with this one.
This simplifies your entire growth journey into simple steps you can follow. This guide makes it so much easier to create long term, mid-term, and short term goals. That way your practicing is productive, successful, and fulfilling, and you’re gradually chipping away at the ultimate dreams.
It doesn’t matter where you are right now. Grab the Progress Blueprint, pinpoint which stage you’re in right now, and begin progressing through the 6 stages to complete drumming mastery.
That’s all for today. Be patient with yourself, use the guide to form a methodical, doable plan, and get in the practice room! You CAN reach your goals no matter who you are, when you’ve started, or where you’re at. You can do this. Keep me posted on your progress.
Stay non glamorous, and Merry Christmas! I hope you have a great weekend and get to enjoy some time off with family next week.