Drum Set (Drums) – Repetition with Kindness (Musicians)(Psychology)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Posture)(Alexander Technique)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on April 23, 2013

This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Drum Set (Drums) Technique, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the accurate drums technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

When I was practicing to play a classical guitar concert, I always memorized all of the pieces in the concert. What I found incredibly stressful was the pressure I put myself under to learn the pieces as quickly as possible. So, I would play the piece a few times, and then see if I had memorized it yet. This was not a kind thing to do to myself, given that I had an average ability to memorize.

What was the KIND solution? IT WAS TO GO THROUGH THE PIECE AND WORK OUT THE FINGERING AND AN INTERPRETATION VERY QUICKLY. AND TO PLAY THE PIECE SLOWLY ENOUGH, SO THAT I COULD PLAY ALL THE WAY THROUGH TRUSTING MY HANDS TO PLAY ALL OF THE NOTES IN THE PIECE WITH EASE. IF THERE WAS A PLACE IN THE PIECE THAT WAS ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT, THEN TO PLAY SLOWLY ENOUGH TO GET THAT SECTION OR SECTIONS UP TO THE STILL BELOW TEMPO I WAS REPEATING THE PIECE AT. Then I did the following.

After years of pressuring myself to memorize as quickly as possible, I made a decision one day that I would repeat the piece 30 or 40 times a day for week, and NOT TEST WHETHER I HAD MEMORIZED THE PIECE, AND TO NOT CONCERN MYSELF WITH WHETHER I WAS MEMORIZING IT OR NOT.

It is the latter of the above paragraph that was so crucial to two things happening. The first, is to not concern myself with whether I was memorizing or not, allowed me to play fully taking care of my body and my technique. I only focused on playing and trusting my hands not to miss, and to play the whole piece with ease. The second thing was that I got to listen to the piece. As I played and truly listened to the music over and over, I did not focus at all on getting it memorized.

What happened at the end of a week, is that when I played without the music, I discovered there were huge chunks of the piece that were memorized or nearly memorized, so I was able to now comfortably complete the memorization, after having given myself the luxury of goalless repetition. What I mean by goalless, is there was no pressure to get the piece in my hands or memorized. I was playing with great trust that everything would work in the end.

How does the above apply to learning a new technique on a musical instrument? As a drum set player, let’s say that you want change the relationship of the drum sticks to the drum heads, to keep them very close to the drum heads almost always.

Simply choose simple rhythmic patterns, and practice hours each day doing these very easy patterns over and over. Only focus on the hands’ and fingers’ relationship to the stick and the sticks relationship to the drum heads and play without tension in the hand, arm, shoulder, and fingers.

Do this for a week for hours each day. Don’t test what you are transforming in your technique in a piece of music.

At the end of a week begin playing at a stepped up tempo that doesn’t create flying sticks. Also, begin integrating this new technique into easy pieces at tempos, again, slowly enough that they don’t compromise your posture or the new technique changes.

The above descriptions of memorizing or changing technique with kindness and goalless practice really prepares you for finding memorizing or changing a part of your drum set technique as something you need not avoid. In other words, if you know that you can set up a way of memorizing or changing technique that helps you turn off the critic, then you will probably memorize more repertoire or refine your drums technique quickly, since it is now a loving nonthreatening thing to do so.

So, by definition, REPETITION WITH KINDNESS is letting the obvious goal of getting a piece ready for performance or integrating a drum set technique change, NOT be in the forefront of your mind.

It’s like you’re doing what is typical brain-dead mind-wandering repetition, but with all of your awareness on how easy you can make the repetition of the music in the moment.

LET THAT FIRST WEEK OF MEMORIZING OR MAKING A DRUM SET TECHNIQUE CHANGE BE A TIME OF HANGING OUT IN KIND REPETITION, AND HAVE THE FAITH THAT YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS BEING TAKEN CARE OF FOR YOU.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2011 All Rights Reserved