What’s up, MD readers? This is Fede from the band Destrage. I won’t bore you with the story of my life. For those who’d like to know some more about me, I’ll leave a link to my website at the bottom.
I’m the kind of person that feels really guilty missing even just one day of practice. For a long time, like any practicing drummer, I’ve been struggling on how to practice, while also completely forgetting how not to. What I mean is, the main issue for almost everybody is time management. Very often we don’t consider the time we should spend refreshing our mind and feeding it with something different than drumming, especially when our brain refuses to focus on what we’re trying to do, like practicing.
I don’t think there’s one practice method that works for everyone. There are several good approaches, but none of them really work if you don’t feel like practicing. From my personal experience, I learned that it’s better to go for a ride with your bike, visit a museum, read a book, or just have some rest. For the same reason you can’t do weight lifting if you are too tired, you can’t overload your brain.
I think we should just listen to our body. For example, if I don’t feel like practicing and I go for a bike ride, I feel great. Same as when I feel like practicing but I can’t, because I’m limited in time or busy with other work activities, I feel unhappy and unsatisfied.
I get really fascinated by how the brain works in this kind of process. In my daily practice, sometimes I don’t sound as good as I did the day before. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Well, that’s probably a scenario where I should stop and start doing something else instead of forcing myself through it. When I started doing so, I got really surprised about how good I sounded after skipping one or two days of practice.
There’s also another thing that’s even more fascinating—the power of imagination in its active and passive form. I first experienced active imagination practice a few years back while on vacation. I couldn’t play for days, so I started listening to music very carefully, putting myself in the shoes of various drummers. I mentally played every part, paying attention to the technique that I was supposed to be using or just getting the idea of the phrases for those parts that were too complex to figure out. The result when I got back to my kit was unbelievable.
Even more incredible is what happened just a few months ago. Last November I organized a clinic tour for my friend Dave Elitch involving twelve clinics in fifteen days. I didn’t practice or play for fifteen days straight, so I expected to sound terribly bad when I got back. I couldn’t be more wrong. Dave is an incredible player, so just by sitting beside him during the performances everyday, my passive imagination was working hard. I wasn’t particularly focused on what he was doing. I was just enjoying the show, and that’s why I say “passive” imagination. Then when I got back to my drums I sounded better than ever.
Keep on practicing but don’t forget to go to clinics or listen to music. You can start with this for example:
For more on Fede, visit federicopaulovich.com.