There is a distinction between the following terms:
- Exercise: refers to physical exercise, repetition of movements, development of muscles and “muscle memory”. See Exercises page.
- Practice: playing music, the act of playing the instrument. Either in gigs, with others, or alone. Experimenting with ideas, phrases, coordination. Learning and perfecting technique as well as musical expression. See Practice Elements.
- Rehearsal: preparing for the gig. Playing in the environment that matches the presentation environment as much as possible. Usually a band or group rehearsal.
- Performing: playing in front of the live audience or recording.
See Jojo Mayer’s explanation.
“An amateur rehearses until they can do something right. An expert rehearses until they cannot make a mistake.”
- enjoy practice
- practice daily
- have a practice plan
Before any practice perform warm-ups.
Areas to practice are listed on Practice Elements page.
Specific exercises are listed on Exercises page.
Drum practice should be exercised daily. The generally recommended time is at least 1-2 hours.
Two times per week are classes with an instructor. All other days, students do their homework and exercises.
Niels Myrner lists the following timeframes:
- 15 Minutes/Day: Minimum to gain rewards.
- 30 Minutes/Day: Great target for an otherwise busy student.
- 1-2 Hours/Day: Good base level for a serious student.
- 3 Hours/Day: Serious student, considering music school/career.
- 6-12 Hours/Day: Typical professional work day.
Dave Weigert, in Workshop for bass and drums, provides a sample timeframe along the practice areas. The time includes
- 3 times per week * 4 hours, practice
- 1 hour per week, lesson
- 2 times per week * 3 hours, rehearse
- 3-4 hour session in transcribing, listening, reading, as well as visiting record and music stores, and
- weekend nights listening or playing live gigs.
The practice areas depend on your specific needs.
Example lesson plan:
- Warm-ups: rudiments. (5 minutes)
- Theory/Book/Technique: (15 minutes)
- Song/Play/Form: (15 minutes)
Some plan examples below.
4-Stage Practice Method
Mike Johnston uses the 4-stage method:
- non-creative, 10 minutes. Technique.
- creative, . Practice creativity within some limits.
- main focus, 25 min. Whatever needs to be developed.
- musical application. Play along unknown music; Audition.
3 Simple Steps to Build the Perfect Drum Practice Routine
This method (see resources below) also recommends having separate parts of the practice routine: