A Practice By Any Other Name
So, what are the best practices for practice?
This is a very, very interesting question.
I think the best thing to do is to define what exactly we are talking about.
As a noun:
1) The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such an application or usage. “The principles and practice of teaching.”
Synonyms: Application, Exercise, Use, Operation, Implementation.
2) Repeated exercise in, or performance of, an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it. “It must have taken a lot of practice to become so fluent.”
Synonyms: Training, Rehearsal, Repetition, Preparation.
As a verb:
1) To perform an activity, or exercise a skill, repeatedly and/or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. “I need to practice my French.”
Synonyms: Drill, Rehearse, Work.
2) To carry out or perform a particular activity, method, or custom habitually and/or regularly. “We still practice some of these rituals today.”
Synonyms: Perform, Observe, Function.
Uh oh. This might be more difficult than we thought.
So, it is possible to practice our practices, so that we can practice practicing.
I am going to share how I think of my “practice”, and what has worked for me.
When I practice, I break my goals down into bite sized pieces.
If my practice is intended to strengthen my ability to perform techniques, I call that Drills.
If my practice is intended to build physical stamina, or mental confidence, I call that an Exercise.
If my practice is intended to further my knowledge of rhythm or theory, I call that Study.
If my practice is intended to learn a piece of music, I call that Work.
If my practice includes other musicians, I call that Rehearsal.
If my practice includes an auidence, I call that Performance.
And, if my practice is not geared towards ANY of those things, I call that Play.
For the next series of posts here, I will be detailing my various practices, and hopefully helping out any new drummers, or any active drummers that might have found themselves at a plateau in their current playing level.