I have sent over a hundred thousand personal email replies to my online students over the past 15 years. The one common denominator that I hear from so many students is that “they want to get better at drums so badly, but they just can’t seem to get motivated to practice.”
Many students think they’re alone in this. They see videos of successful drummers online and think all drummers are just be doing really well. The reality is, all drummers are not doing well. Most people who choose to play drums really struggle to get better. Students have trouble finding the motivation to practice and prioritizing the time to do it.
But I hear the trolls trotting out and they’re about to say, “well if a student doesn’t love it then I guess they’re just not meant to be a drummer.” I disagree, I think there are life hacks you can implement in order to achieve your goals at the drum set.
When someone chooses to start playing drums or restart playing drums (as many students come back to it after a long break), they are making a lifestyle-changing decision. I’m sure that before a student decided to learn this instrument they had a busy life with work, family, and other hobbies. The decision to start playing an instrument is actually a disruption to their normal habitual routine.
Think about the times you’ve decided to start exercising, eating healthy, spend more quality time with family, drink less alcohol, get to bed on time, the list goes on and on.. These were all good decisions, but the execution of those decisions is the hard part. And this is where the main ‘lesson’ comes into play. Are you ready for it? Here it is…
Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean you’ll actually do it. Personally, I want to get in better shape, I want to drink less alcohol, and I want to spend more quality time with my family. But my lifestyle (aka habits) steers me in a different direction at times. Enough about the problems though! This is too negative. Let’s talk about ways that you can change your habits and get motivated.
I’ve written about this in other posts as well, but I’ll list a few life hacks that may help you:
1. Commit to a weekly jam session or gig! This can be in your local church, at a bar, or in your garage with your friends.
2. Get a private teacher that will push you! A good private teacher can make all the difference in your motivation to practice.
3. Join an online community like Drumeo! Sales pitch incoming… haha! But seriously, we do so many things that keep our students motivated such as community video collaborations, challenges, contests, live streams, and much more.
Those are just three tips, but I’m sure you can think of more on your own. When I was discussing parenting with my brother-in-law, he once said to me, “every kid has their currency” (Thanks Brian!). There are ways to get your kid to do what you want because you know what they want.
So figure out what you want. What makes you get up off of your ass and take action? Figure it out and DO THAT!
Once again, thanks for reading. I really appreciate you taking the time. If you want to chat more, leave a comment below or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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