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The body language of confidence is in open handed drumming, NOT cross handed drumming. In today’s musical landscape anything is possible, and this will only grow in the future. Open handed drumming brings out the art of possibility and freedom into our drumming, and through this will bring out more of YOU.

One part of the goal in daily practice is to TRAIN the body language of confidence into your body and muscles so you can go into it instantly without thinking. Body language can change your STATE faster than conscious thought. When an idea is EMBODIED (‘to be in the body’) you’ve actually experienced it feeling it many many times over, compared to an intellectual idea which is only fleetingly alive in your short term memory. When the stress comes at you, which it WILL, the training of your PSS (pre set standards) technique habits of MOVEMENT, and your SOPs (standard operating procedures) you have rehearsed thousands of times will save you in the heat of the moment. The Spartan Warriors have a saying: ‘sweat more in practice, and bleed less in war.’ Your training will save you every time. TRUST YOUR TECHNIQUE. Always go back to the fundamentals, the basics. This is your solid core that you can always return to, and is yours for life.

Become aware of what your body WANTS to do when it is triggered into fight or flight, and practice the opposite. Knowing how to counteract and bypass our survival responses to stress is essential to performance. The two extremes that can be triggered when stress hits you are fight and flight (clenching up, shrinking and minimizing), or being TOO aggressive and over compensating. The middle way is a state of relaxed confidence. Become aware of your BREATHING, and notice the connection to your body language. If you have body language that tells your brain it is safe, your breathing will change accordingly. Concentrate on the body first, and the breathing will take care of itself. Navy SEALS train in controlled breathing techniques to counteract the shallow breathing response they know will come with the extreme stress they are going to face. A way I use to trigger my body throughout the day is to think ‘sternum out’! Even if your sternum (the joint in the middle of rib cage) is out forward by only 2mm, it will make a difference to your physiology, and directly influence how you FEEL. The body can affect the mind faster than the mind can affect the body.

All of these movements that empower us to be our best most confident selves come out strongest when we’re drumming OPEN HANDED. Make AT LEAST some percentage of your drumming OPEN HANDED so you can tap into the body language of confidence, and see how it enhances your drumming expression and adds more confidence to your drumming!

Watch the entire podcast with Mark Bowden HERE:

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