The Importance of Tracking Practice-Visualize Your Improvement

“What gets measured gets managed”-Peter Drucker

I first stumbled across this quote in one of Drucker’s books. I’ve also heard it discussed in numerous blog posts from other people I follow, mainly business blogs. Here‘s a great example of one such blog post.

I believe not enough drummers apply this principle to their own practice. Here is an example of my last few days of practice from my practice notebook. I don’t put down every little thing I practice; for example, I don’t put down the songs I may be practicing, my warm ups, or things I may just jam along to. What I do put down are the different rudiments I’m practicing and the speeds I’m playing them at. (Most of the speeds below are being played as 16th notes)


As you can see, it’s not super complicated. I think this is so helpful, as “What gets measured gets managed.”

I set a goal for every day. If I achieve this goal, I write in all capital letters next to the entry “GOAL.” If I do not achieve this goal, I write “Did not complete,” which just means that I was unable to play that speed solidly and consistently. Instead of practicing it poorly, I slow it down to where I can practice it in the correct manner. It’s about internalizing the correct body mechanics, not internalizing sloppiness (see Josh Waitzkin’s The Art of Learning).

The incompletes do not discourage me, they simply serve as a reminder that I need to work on that rudiment more. There are even days where I will nail a speed, but the next day I will not be able to complete the very same speed. It just shows me that I need to practice that speed more to increase consistency.

Try using a practice notebook. Send me an email on whether or not you like it and why (

Here are links to the books that I obtained this knowledge and these ideas from.

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