The Four Ps of Practice: Process - Practise - Patience - Play
When you're working through new beats and rudiments and you muck up, feelings of frustration can be difficult to overcome. Some of my students get really upset with themselves when they can’t get their head around a new beat or exercise the first time. They feel they should be better at this. They get upset and angry with themselves for not nailing something straight away.
Some of you even tell yourselves that you ‘knew’ you had no talent for the drums when you started learning, and now you’ve just proved it. Don’t ever think that ! That’s wasted, negative energy. It’s not about that. It’s not that you’re not capable or have no talent. Just give yourself the permission to muck up, and all will be well.
Mucking up is just part of learning. Our brain has to process the action, then instruct our limbs to perform the action. It’s funny, isn’t it, how usually, when you try something new, you get it right twice through, or maybe three times at most, then after that it falls apart. That’s so totally normal. It's ‘I’ve got it, I’ve got it !' …. then …'Ah, no I haven’t !' ... It all breaks down.
In reality, when you’re in this situation, you’re really only a few minutes away from nailing it, so don’t give up. Dig it in and you’ll get there. And remember, you’re not alone. It happens to most of us this way. Once you’ve played it a few times in a row, you can hear and ‘feel’ how the pattern should go, and then it becomes easier to play for longer. Soon you’ll be playing it consistently and you’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about. It’ll seem quite easy.
I call it the four Ps. They are: Process the action - Practise it over and over with Patience and then - Play it - correctly. It usually happens in that order. Take your time, don’t be hard on yourself, have patience, give yourself permission to muck up and press on. It’s a great feeling when you get there, isn't it ? A small victory on the way to your drumming success. Now on to the next challenge. Good luck !