When a drummer first starts playing the notes are very uneven, beats and fills are nearly impossible and the brain and limbs aren’t working together. This is because there is no existing muscle memory or neuro pathways in place. There is only one way to build these vital links and that is through repetition and practice. Any new endeavour can only be mastered through repetition. This explains why the more we practice, the better we become.
Think of neuro pathways as the link between brain and limbs and muscle memory as the hands and feet knowing what to do with the message from the brain. As a drummer becomes more accomplished he or she will think of a beat or fill and the body will automatically perform it. This is because the links have been established through repetition and practice. Even an advanced drummer will have to go through this process when learning a new skill.
Here are some tips to building muscle memory and neuro pathways:
- Set a goal of what you want to accomplish.
- Practice the skill every day for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Record yourself so you can determine what requires more work and also to track your progress.
- Be patient- the more complex the skill, the more practice will be required to master it.
- Once you’ve mastered it, refine it by adding speed, making it more precise, etc.
- As you become better at building these links you will discover techniques which you can apply to all areas of your drumming.
- Once you have built these links, they will be easier to recall even if you take a break from drumming, similar to riding a bike.
Power Drumming Canada coaches beginner, intermediate and advanced drummers to be the best they can be.