Have you ever experienced practicing something over and over and not being able to get it right? I definitely have. I’m currently practicing songs for a new band, and there are certain parts that I just cannot seem to get right no matter how many times I practice them. Most people tend to give up at this point.
Don’t be like most people.
Getting stuck can be incredibly frustrating. There are days where I will be able to play a part perfectly, and then the next day I can’t seem to play it at all. I have legitimately gotten infuriated to the point of tears about things like this. The solution is to practice perseverance and willpower. Know that you just have to ignore at and keep going. This can be incredibly difficult, that’s why it’s something you practice, not something you just do.
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once said “Our actions may be impeded…but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accomodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
We have to reframe these parts that we are stuck on not as things holding us back, but as things propelling us forward. With every pass over that hard part and with every repetition of that hard song, we get a tiny bit better and a tiny bit tighter. After all, “it’s always the hard part that creates value.”-Seth Godin
One thing I like to do is ask myself the question “What would this look like if it were easy?” This simple question forces you to analyze whether or not you are going about whatever it is your doing in the most efficient way. Perhaps there is a better way.
My task to you is to take any parts that you may be stuck on, and reframe them in your mind as things you must practice in order to make yourself better. No matter how long it takes, and no matter how difficult the part is. It’s those parts that mold us into better drummers. We have to do everything we can to overcome these obstacles. Whether that consists of contacting another drummer to get advice, reading up on some new practice techniques, spending more time practicing, or maybe just finding an easier sticking pattern.
Let me know how this works for you in a comment or an email. I hope that this post can act as some form of encouragement during a tough period of growth.
Here are links to the books from which these ideas came from: