The basics are sometimes the most overlooked part of any craft. I use the word ‘mundanity’ because this the effort, focus, and patience we need to get the 10,000 reps to program our muscle memory. The rewards of this are great: access to THE ZONE, or flow states when we drum. This means you turn into pure instinct, reacting only in the NOW without thinking, almost as if you’re watching yourself do it. This is when you have a chance to channel something greater than yourself through your drums. The only person you should compete against is your former self, and perfecting the basics is chipping away at anything that gets in the way of your self mastery.
When practicing the basics your mind will give you resistance, but what’s on the other side will astound you with abilities you didn’t know you had. I can remember my training with teacher Jim Blackley where he would make you play slow quarter notes on the ride cymbal at 40bpm, singing them out loud, for 10 minutes straight every day. At first my mind gave me heavy resistance; it was torture! ‘Why am I doing this, this is a waste of time’ etc etc. But I stuck with it, and after my mind started to settle I started to see and hear things I didn’t notice before as my awareness deepened.
The long roll is a great tool for your drumming, as it’s connected to so many aspects of our drumming expression: phrasing, timing, finger control, rebound, and this will open the door to mastering many other rudiments. Perfect your basics using simplicity as a tool, and see where this will lead you!
More Drumset | Mindset tools at chrislesso.com
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