The truth about being successful at anything.
The following principles and philosophy are applied to any and all chosen endeavours, be it a sport, language, an academic study, or a musical instrument. Whatever your chosen field of endeavour there is a very simple formula for success:-
Natural ability x Quality Practice x Time = Success
Now let’s analyze each part of that equation in closer detail.
It’s a fact that some people are naturally gifted in certain things, displaying a natural ability beyond the average, but natural ability alone will never lead to success. An acorn has all the potential within it to become a giant oak tree, but will not grow fully without nurturing, nutrition, and time. The same applies to humans. You will achieve nothing without determination, a strong work ethic, practice, guidance, and time.
There is a right and a wrong way to practice.
Or at the very least, the “right” way to practice can be defined as “a more efficient method that will yield greater results in a shorter space of time”… (it’s just easier to say “right way”!)
You can learn to employ various methods of approach to develop a new skill, and some will definitely suit your personality and learning style more than others might.
Experiment, yes, but certainly try the methods outlined in greater detail in the Drum Zone course. If you’re looking to make the greatest possible improvements in the shortest possible time, then these practicing tips are worth their weight in gold!
It takes time to become good at something, so keep going, don’t quit.
The world is full of quitters, full of “could have beens”.
Don’t become yet another one.
If you are enjoying what you are doing and making progress, don’t give up.
Remember…if you cut down the young tree you will never know how tall it could have grown.
Don’t expect to be world class within a year… you won’t be, so you’ll only be disappointed if you think you will, but feel good about improvements no matter how small.
A journey of 1000 miles is completed only one step at a time.
As far as this part of the equation is concerned, the only question you have to ask yourself is, “What does success mean to me?”.
Different people have different interpretations of the term “success”, and most of them completely valid if it truly applies to them. The meaning of success to one person can be really quite different to that of somebody else.
For example, one person may feel that they’ve only truly been successful at something if they end up being world class, or professional, or viewed as an expert or “guru”, whereas someone else may be perfectly happy to have achieved a certain level of ability and no more.
Both are equally as valid to the individual, and both attainments can be viewed as “success”
Two things I would like to add to this.
One, I always think that the healthiest approach to learning any skill is to aim to be the best that you can be. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of certain preconceived “markers”, just be the best version of you.
Two, don’t let anybody tell you that you haven’t been successful if you’re happy with what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved. Sadly, the world is full of “finger-pointers”, people who are all too ready to criticise your actions and achievements. Just remember, if you’re happy with what you’ve done, good. That’s all that counts.
So let your interpretation of success drive you forward, and do this for you, not for somebody else, and not as a comparison to anyone else. Set your own goals, don’t necessarily try to match another’s, because when all is said and done, this is for you and you own this.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
The 4 steps to success
1 Have a dream or idea
2 Make a plan
3 Work on that plan every day, but be open-minded to adapt the plan if necessary
4 When you get knocked down, get back up again
All the above points are important, but number 4 is probably the most important of all because… if you get up one more time than you are knocked down, then you will succeed.
One of my pet hate phrases is “practice makes perfect”.
1. There is no such thing as perfect
2. There are right and wrong ways to practice
3. There is no mention of how much practice
If I had to choose only two words to add to “practice” with regard to progress, they would be quality and daily.
This has been discussed above. To reiterate, make sure that every time you sit at a kit or practice pad you make your practice meaningful, smart, targeted, and progressive. Employ all the methodologies as advised in the Drum Zone course, and you’ll make your best progress in the shortest possible time.
Daily practice will always, always produce the best results. 10 minutes a day, every day, is much more productive than one 1 hour 10 minutes practice session once a week, even though it amounts to the same amount of time spent practicing. That is not just my opinion, but has been proved in various scientific studies from around the world over many years.
This can be explained better by using the language analogy.
A child could be taught Spanish at school receiving the statutory two lessons per week. On average, after two years they will be able to speak a little, write a little, and understand some limited conversation.
If another child of the same age and level of intelligence moved to live in Spain, after only one year they will be fluent in Spanish, able to read and write anything, and fully understand and engage in conversations with native Spaniards.
Why? Because every day they will be hearing, seeing, writing, reading, and speaking the language on a daily (there goes that word again!) basis. They are actively involved in the process of learning the language.
In the same way, every day you should be involved in the process of learning drums.
Try to develop a mindset whereby you look forward to practicing, look forward to progressing. You should develop an attitude of feeling excited when you get behind the drum kit and enjoy improving.
Yes, be determined to get there, but enjoy the journey, enjoy the process of learning and improving, because if you do, you are more likely to make that journey again and again.
Practice even more
Practice even more again
Practice when you’re not in the mood
Practice when you are
Practice in your head
Don’t waste time trying to find another way…there is no other way!
“Practice even when you’re not in the mood”. That one phrase can make all the difference in the world. The difference between success and failure.
Because anyone can practice when they are in the mood for it. That’s easy.
But the mental discipline needed to haul yourself back behind the drum kit when you really don’t want to be there is the stuff of champions
It separates the average from the greats, the frontrunners from the also-rans.
To have the backbone and character to do something that you are not in the mood for doing is priceless.
If you’re in the mood for practicing six days a week, great, no problem.
If you’re in the mood for practicing four days a week, then force yourself to practice the other two (remember that one day off each week!)
It’s a fact that if you do this over a period of time, then practice will become part of your daily routine. It will actually feel uncomfortable not to practice. You might feel a little “on edge” if you haven’t managed to practice, and by then you are in a very powerful position. A position where you crave and desire improvement, an exciting place to be.
You feel an energy and a buzz that you are improving every day…because of your own dedication, effort, and work.