When it comes to playing drums there are many bad habits that can be easily form if left unchecked. Those who are the most susceptible to picking up these bad habits are the beginners and the self-taught drummers…
Playing the drums takes commitment and time to learn. In another words, the actual physical act of playing doesn’t come intuitively to the average person. If you're an experienced drummer reading this, you may find it difficult to imagine not being able to hold the sticks correctly or not being able to play a clean double stroke roll because you’ve been doing it so long. It’s become a standard in your skill set. To become an effective teacher though, you have to put yourselves in the shoes of the learner and remember how unnatural it felt when you were learning.
If bad habits go unchecked for too long they become engrained as a standard of the learners skill set and it will inevitably hold that aspiring drummer back. At this point, not only do they have to spend the time and effort to break themselves of the bad habit, but now they also have to relearn how to do it the right way. Learning the drums take enough time already, no one has time to deal with the delay that bad habits can cause. This is why I always encourage clear instruction to everyone who plans on learning to play. Teachers are the agents of arresting bad habits.
I believe many bad habits are formed due to a lack of patience. Have you ever sat down to learn something new and you play it over and over and then only to forget how to play it the next day? I think we’ve all been there, but this can often be a result of poor practice habits. We often try to learn new things the quick and easy way when we actually retain more when we learn things slowly and intentionally.
When I am working with my students I often need to stop them for moving forward in a piece of music because they don’t yet have a solid grasp on the line that came before it. One of the worst and most common mistakes is to stop playing after making a mistake and going back to the beginning. Please don’t do this. You are training your brain to mess up in the same spot every time you do this. Push through the mistakes and keep moving forward and find a good intentional stopping point. If you want to address the mistake isolate the problem and then work outwards.
If you need help solidifying good practice habits and need to kick out your bad habits for good don’t hesitate to watch this video lesson I have made just for you.
Your Brother in Christ,