Moving on too quickly from one thing to another in your practicing will make your practice time worthless.

Practice Until You Can't Get It Wrong

Table of Contents

practice until you can't get it wrong meme

A Common But Crucial Mistake

There is a common mistake that beginners make when practicing. It’s very easy to overlook it when you’re a novice, but it really is a devastating error. People often jump from one thing that they’re practicing to another much too quickly.

It makes sense that you might do this because there is a psychology of pressure that is created when your drum teacher hands you a worksheet with 25 exercises on it. You see all that ink and you go to practice and you feel like you have to get to the end of the page in order to have achieved something. 

While you’re in the practice room, just the simple fact that there are 25 exercises on that worksheet creates an unconscious desire to finish the whole page. It’s human nature to want to get to the end of something you’re working on. If you can just get to the end, you’ll have accomplished your goal (so you might think).

But, when it comes to practicing the drums or any other instrument, getting through a whole lot of exercises quickly should not be your goal.  Your real goal should be mastery.

Little Chunks of Mastery

Think about it this way. Maybe you can play those 25 exercises while you’re in the practice room. But what happens after that? Can you sit down at the drums and improvise the kind of stuff on that exercise sheet and make it sound amazing? If not, you should slow down. Take your time and master small chunks of the drumming stuff you’re working on. 

An example might be helpful. Last night I grabbed a transcription of a drum solo by a drummer I really like, but whose style seems a little bit foreign to me. But I really like the way he plays and I want to be able to play somewhat authentically in his style. What did I do?  I grabbed one single measure of that solo that I really liked and worked on it for over an hour. 

That’s it. I worked on one single chunk! And that little chunk of an idea should be “in” me now. I’ll go to the drums and test it out later today, but I’m pretty sure that I’m close to being able to use this one idea if I want. That’s what I mean by “Mastery of Little Chunks.” Try it. Work on something until you can use it thoughtlessly in your playing. It will help you more than speeding through a page of exercises.

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