By Brian Macleod:
Preparation for Practice:
There are some well-known “formulas” of how to practice drums, some of which are helpful, whilst, unfortunately, some are not. In preparation for my practice sessions, in my personal experience, I try not to go into anything complex, but do things that get the mind working. Usually I’ll first stretch my arms a bit so I don’t end up hurting myself later on, then I’ll start practicing by working on a pad, doing basic Rudiments such as Singles, Doubles, Flams and Paradiddles, which gets you into a familiar routine. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to these particular rudiments, but know your limits and your capabilities in accordance to your rudimental knowledge. I find that it’s useful to not get into too much depth here, but to do this for roughly 10-15mins. Another useful technique is to look at yourself in the mirror, so you can see how your hand technique is, and, if needed, any adjustments can be made. One rule to be made here is that it’s not a speed contest; I suggest playing slow and fast, loud and quiet, as you’ll be working on your dynamics, feel and technique at the same time. If you have a metronome, it can be useful to use that on occasion too.