At Rudimental Drummers, dedication is one of the most important traits for our work. In addition to our contribution to the drummers community, we have another daytime job. Therefore, it's crucial that we are dedicated to what we do with Rudimental Drummers, in order to find the motivation and inspiration to pass on our passion for drumming to as many people as possible, even after our regular job.
For your passion for drumming, it's even so important to be dedicated. Although sometimes it's easier to binge-watch a Netflix series on your day off, or chill on the couch at night, dedication to your passion for drumming brings so much more joy, stories and adventures.
In this blog, you'll find 5 tips for becoming truly dedicated to practicing. And remember: practicing is the same as a performance, but at home and for yourself.
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1. Schedule time in your calendar
The most common excuse for skipping a day of practice is 'I didn't have time today'. My response then is 'you didn't make time for it'. Each day, take the time to consciously decide what you are going to spend your free time on. This prevents you from ending up on the couch with no inspiration, and you keep control of your day. Do you not really work with a calendar and do you prefer to work with a to-do list? Then put drumming as a task in your to-do list. You're not done for the day if you haven't drummed yet.
"If you've been practicing every day for a whole week, it becomes much harder to suddenly break your visible streak"
Scheduling time in your calendar for your passion or adding drumming to your to-do list has a significant benefit. After a week, you can track all your progress. Now, you can look back in your calendar or to-do list how many times you managed to get started with drumming. If you've been practicing every day for a whole week, it becomes much harder to suddenly break your visible streak the next day: you've acquired a new habit.
2. Make the barrier to drumming as low as possible
If you've just had a busy day, it's incredibly tempting to start a non-intensive task. Netflix is exactly like that: you plop down on the couch, put on the TV and without any effort you watch your favorite series. If you first have to look for a drum or practice pad somewhere in your storage or garage, find a stand and set it up, it sounds like a lot more hassle. If you then choose Netflix, I don't blame you. So make sure you make drumming as easy to access as Netflix. Put a drum or practice pad in your room on a stand, exactly in such a way that you can play it right away. Put the sticks on top and, if possible, put a music stand with your favorite music on it right next to it.
If you have as much passion for drums as we do, then drums or practice instruments are a great addition to your interior. For example, a practice instrument should not only be practical, but we also believe in the aesthetic value of the product. This makes that a practice pad actually invites you to play it. Check out our RD Pads for wonderful practice pads that will make you want to start drumming.
3. Meet weekly to make music together
Pursuing your dreams and passion can sometimes feel a bit like a lonely journey. And if you're doing it all by yourself anyway, what does it matter if you skip a day? Or two? You can avoid this indifference by meeting up regularly with your (music) friends, people who share the same passion. Make your appointment with them a weekly habit, because that way you have an incentive each week and it gives yourself a goal to practice. Moreover, you are also now not solely responsible for your own dedication. You also expect your friend to make progress and meet agreements with you, for example, that he has learned to play that one composition. At the same time, your friend also expects you to have done your homework. In this way, you are no longer just accountable to yourself, but also to the other fellow.
Meeting up with your music friends every week also has another key benefit. There is a quote from Derek Weidl, which says the following: "Great minds don't think alike, for that is why they are great". In other words, when you get together, you can exchange each other's ideas. No one thinks exactly the same, and you can benefit from that. You can get a different perspective on how to interpret a certain rudiment, you can get a different view on a composition, or you can get inspiration on how the others are dedicated to their passion. Different ideas together, take the percussive arts to the next step. 1 + 1 = 3.
"Great minds don't think alike, for that is why they are great"
4. Engange in the community
All the benefits of tip three can be reinforced with this tip: make sure you participate and are actively engaged in the community. Drummers have a vibrant and exciting community online. There are many videos shared on Instagram, countless tutorials and lessons on YouTube, and many groups on Facebook where drummers communicate with each other. This is an important part of how the art form we practice manifests itself. This is where you find the latest trends, discover new ideas and find new music friends. In addition, online you'll always find people who can do something you can't yet and that can give you a lot of motivation to start practicing. You know that primitive feeling of "I want to be able to do that too!", it helps you tremendously to stay committed to your passion.
Did you know that Rudimental Drummers started out this way? We were just two enthusiasts who wanted to make all kinds of contacts through social media and therefore posted some videos ourselves. On our Instagram we still regularly post a video of a chosen drummer. In this way we contribute to passing on many traditions and habits that our art form of drumming has. Are you already following us on Instagram?
5. Take time to dream.
Of all the advices, this is perhaps the most important. Simon Sinek writes in his book, "There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.". And you can guess that manipulation doesn't exactly make you dedicated. You have to inspire yourself to be truly devoted to your passion, because being dedicated requires a change in behavior. So take time to dream. Go for a walk, clear your mind and relax. Then visualize what would happen if you practiced dedicated every day. Imagine where you will get and what you will accomplish. Make this picture colorful and specific. Then capture this vision. Capture it in words, in a drawing, or in any other way that is comfortable for you. Make sure you can easily look back at it every day.
When you can look back to your dream every day, then you can really start living towards it. That's when real dedication starts to happen. You're going to pursue your dream and you're going to have a lot of commitment to that. Now that you have been able to grasp it so clearly, you also cannot easily forget or lose it. This is the source of your motivation and the driving force of your dedication. The only challenge here is that you have to dare to dream. Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now. Will you be writing a composition that goes viral around the world? Do you have thousands of followers on your social media account where you post drum videos? Or will you be on a big stage doing shows for hundreds of people? Whatever your dream is: dream and be dedicated to your passion.
"Visualize what would happen if you practiced dedicated every day. Imagine where you will get and what you will accomplish."
Put practicing on your to-do list. Actually schedule time for it. This is your time, your moment, your passion, so dare to choose for yourself, too.
Make the barrier to practice as low as possible: have your drum or practice pad ready as much as possible and put sticks within reach. You will see that this automatically works inviting.
Meet weekly with a group or a friend, this way you keep a weekly incentive to practice and you are not responsible alone anymore.
Engange in the community. Watch YouTube videos, follow Instagram accounts (tip: follow @rudimentaldrummers). From watching others work hard for their passion, you can become inspired yourself.
Take time to dream. Create a picture of what would happen if you practiced diligently every day. Imagine where you will get to and capture this image in text, a drawing, or some other way. Cast a brief glance each day at this representation of your success and become inspired to be dedicated.