An often used cliché is that “Practice makes a man perfect”. Well, I don’t know about perfection, but, practice can certainly be that path towards achieving a high level of skill on the drums. I’d like to share this limited knowledge of mine with aspiring drummers or beginners especially. Practice wherever you can, whenever you can.
The best part is that the drums can be practiced anywhere and at whatever time you want. It’s in you and it’s on you .But before I talk about anything else, let me talk about one of the most overlooked facts of drumming, injuries. The most severe being TENDONITIS. People often hold their drumsticks in an awkward manner and this can lead to injury. Practicing for hours, holding the sticks in a wrong manner may cause the tendons around the wrist to become irritated and the movement could become painful. So how do you correct it?
First step would be to choose the right pair of sticks judging by its balance. How do you do that? You balance the stick from the side of your index finger and see where the stick is at perfect balance (i.e. fulcrum point) .The sticks are good if fulcrum is at the centre or somewhere very close to it. Now, how to hold the sticks? You should always hold the sticks at a point not too close to the centre or too close to the end. Hold the sticks moderately firmly and leave your wrists open to movement and let them not be stiff. Make sure you form a triangle with your index finger, middle finger and the thumb, as you hold the stick. The rest two fingers in each hand should be left loose to achieve quick movement of the stick, as its used to bounce the sticks off your palms (very useful for drum rolls).
Now that you have an idea about stick techniques, let’s talk about practice. Most of the times, I do it without my drums or even my sticks. So what should you do when you are hungry to get on your kit but you know that you can’t? Simple, take your snare hand and your hi-hat hand (no need to cross your hands) and just practice on your thighs, desks, chest, tables, wherever the hell you want to, tapping your leg on the ground as the kick drum. I do that all the time. It maybe annoying to some, but, who cares!! It’s practice to me. A very important thing to take care of while practicing using this method is that, try using the heel-up technique when you use your kicks.
Using the toe-up technique starts hurting the shin after a certain point .So it isn’t as effective as the heel-up technique. It might be difficult initially but with practice, it will get better and better .So whatever beats you come up with on your body, go try that on the actual drums. Be experimental and keep your techniques in mind.
Let the rhythm flow in you. It’s the most important thing any drummer needs, in order to achieve a certain level of skill on the kit. For me, it’s been 6 years now from when I first sat behind a drum kit and I can feel the beat in me all the time.
Now, it’s even more so because of the hunger to create a new groove each time. So much is the power of the drums! It totally takes control of your mind when you are off of it and you totally feel like taking control of it when you are sitting behind it.
At the end I would just like to leave you all with one last advice that was given to me by Vishal.J.Singh (Amogh Symphony) and I’d like to share it with my fellow drummers: “A beat is everywhere around you, YOU just need to recognize it, use it and improvise on it.“
Band: Dementia (India)
Genre: Progressive Metal0 Like this Post ?