Just some handy tips that have helped me over the years that I always still apply in my teaching since they're so valuable
1. Take Your Time
When you start to learn something new, always start slow. Even if you think that you know the beat already, play it slow just to make sure that you are doing it right. Once you know that you are doing it right, then you can start to speed it up. Trying to play too fast at first will ultimately slow down your progress. It is important to learn to play things at a range of tempos anyway, so you might as well progress from slower to faster tempos than that other way around.
2. Count Out Loud
I remember when I first started playing drums, my teacher always told me to count out loud - even when I didn't feel it was necessary. Only later in my drumming career did I realize its importance when I was trying to learn more difficult beats and rhythms. Counting out loud is a great way to check and see if you are playing things right. If you are counting and your playing doesn't line up - you will know immediately that something is wrong.
3. Don’t Play when You Practice, Don't Practice When you Play
Dedicated "practice" time should be focused. You should never jam or play things you have already mastered during this time. Likewise, you should never be practicing things when you are playing with a live band or in another setting that is focused around "playing" music.
This is a mistake that we all have made. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. It is extremely important to stay on task during any formal practice time. I have some students who don’t follow this simple principle and as a result have been working on certain beats for months. They come into lessons week after week without making any real progress.
I take a full lesson to have them work through a few beats properly, and they immediately start making progress. It isn't because I am there guiding them, but rather because they are actually focusing on getting better. Had they done this themselves, they would’ve saved a lot of time and money. Ninety-nine percent of the time their slowed progress is entirely due to unfocused practice.
4. Sit up Straight - Be Ready to Play
I don’t want to sound like your school teacher, but it is extremely important that you sit up straight during a practice or performance. Not only is this better for your body, but it also helps you stay more focused on what you are doing. You'd be surprised how much easier everything seems when you are in the "ready position" with your back straight and your arms loose and ready.
If you're looking for a local drum teacher in the Kent area close to Sidcup/ Bexley do not be afraid to hit me up on the contact page to get you started on some beginner through to advanced drum lessons that are fun, creative and affordable! Really look forward to hearing from you to start a new adventure in the world of music and rhythm!