After having mastered these different concepts, take your first lessons in the lesson's chapter.
The beats are the heart of the music, it determines the movement of a
piece of music. It is initially by it that we feel the music, it gets
in our body and our spirit so that make us moving. The first contact
can be done just by listening to music and clapping in the hands. First
we can play all the pulsations, which are the beats, then only
downbeats or upbeats. Now beats beacome time signature. you can play
the first times of each bar. Then you can determine which type of bar
it is, to make feel his "cyclic" side you can play only the first beat
in your hands, then raise the hand a little more at each beat, with
small jolts to mark other beats, and let fall down without reserve for
striking the first beat of the following bar. You create, therefore, a
movement to represent time signature, it is more stable, you associate
to the first beat the concept of gravity.
Now you can draw the pulsations (beats) and bars of a piece of music. Varying the style of music this exercise will quickly make it possible to include/understand and follow all that occurs in a piece of music and to release a coherent structure of it. For the beginners after having clapped the exercise in the hands, you can play the exercise with the drums, on the snare drum right hand then left hand, on a cymbal, with the bass drum, then by mixing various sounds from the instrument.
To approach consistency, the regularity of the strokes, it's good there
too to take concrete examples, we have a lot of choice.
Consistency can be associate with the rhythm. Consistency is
a simple rhythm which never varies in time. For example each day has 24
hours, each hour 60 minutes and each minute 60 seconds. The
"distance" between each hour, minute and second is the same one.
walking in the street of a steady step, without stopping nor running,
enables us to associate consistency to the concept of
movement. A movement if it is carried out regularly without
any variation of some kind, is known as consistent movement. It is
repeated indefinitely, identical to itself.
Here also we can vary our parameters : time, space and energy.
For time that's rather easy :
The voice it is the first instrument we have, it can be regarded as the
fifth part to play drums. One of the basic ideas is that all that we
can sing we can play it. We can include the voice in all the exercises
we practise. Each time we play it's the link between the idea of
arhythm and the execution of this one by the gesture. It is the best
friend of our memory and supports the concentration. Initially it could
be enough to feel and count times of bar. Then we ca sing the various
flows and subdivisions and to even sing a part of the instrument (bass
drum, snare drum, high-hat...). There's many ways to practise, with som
imagination we can quickly change a simple rhythm into a true break-in
To vary a little and leave the ordinary one, and to even bring something exotic, we can use Indian bols. These bols are a succession of onomatopoeias which can be used to count the time of bars, the flows... All that can be count. Here the principal bols which I use.
fundamental element it is the belly there. It's the center. It's at
least what I discover as a practitioner of Aikido. A book written by a
doctor gives him also the name of second brain. The belly is not only
beautiful abdominal muscle. It is the digestive system. The root of
all. All comes in the center and all sets out again from it. It uses
food to build our body. It's necessary to think from its center. It's
the idea of root. In the posture of the drummer the center stays on the
seat (it is necessary to sit down on the edge of the seat to take care
not to cut blood circulation under the thighs, or to use an ergonomical
seat). The belly holds all the building in balance. And if the balance
is respected the gestures and displacements are more natural. We
arrives more easily at item zero. Item zero is a state which
I for a long time had defined but had not named. It's when I listened
to the radio and a wellknown pianist and teacher spoke about it that I
could give it a name. Often we don't realize but for a positive gesture
like to produce a sound, it's necessary to overcome the immobility and
sometimes even a gesture which retains and which I will describe as
negative. This unconscious barrier comes from the tension caused by the
stress of the life and all the negative components of our lives. It is
also the idea of force of entropy. Any constructive action is opposed a
destroying action. Everything is in the ying and the yang, God and
Satan, all exist like its opposite. It is often this duality which
makes hard the only fact of playing of an instrument, especially a
physical and complete instrument as the drums. It is what creates
imbalance. This tension enormously tires because to go at the end of
the positive gesture it's necessary to force the action of the negative
gesture. It's already exhausting to handle the sticks and to play the
pedals that if you add to that a fight against yourself this closed to
the masochism. This tension is also harmful because it does not allow
the vibrations caused by the impact to dissipate itself, to diffuse
itself in the body. In the worst case that creates nodes where these
vibrations accumulate. Energy discharges in these nodes being able to
cause many traumatisms. It's necessary to solidify the belly to make
its members free of any movement. To remain always ready to
act. This harmony it is Aï of Aïkido. When
the center is solid that supports the concentration as well as the
spirit and feelings. The item zero is also the possibility of absorbing
what exists around us like energies and vibrations. All that for better
communicating with the others. Often I think that all is only
vibrations and that it's what in some situations when the vibrations
are granted the exchange with the audience is easy and that in others
that remains very hard. These vibrations are also the vital breath, Ki
of the Aïkido. We have an inside vibration and the music
enables us to diffuse this vibration with the musicians and with the
audience. When the vibrations are unmatched it does not occur anything
but when all vibrates in unison the exchange is complete. Thus each one
must find its way/voice, Do of Aïkido.
By seeking a beginning for the lessons, and before filling them with a
lot of musics, texts and exercises, I ask myself what I musn't
forget before all that, more essential condition. Then I thought that
the first thing to do it was to give you a scheme of work. To go fast I
will say that only a regular work can give truths results. And as often
this work is a work of repetition, it should be organized if you want
to make it really effective. Now there are various situations.
First if you work with a teacher that makes the things easier. Because it is him which will organize the progression of your work, according to what as a pupil you propose like aptitudes and possibility of progression. If you work alone it's more difficult because you are a judge and part. Now I'll give some ways to be explored.
It's essential to have a diary. You will register inside all your work : in first the date then the type of exercise, the name, the tempo... and without forgetting the impressions of the work you do. This diary will enable you to not lose the wire of your work and to keep the same logic of progression, which will highlight your progress and time you need to master an exercice. This will enable you to adjust your working method and to redefine the priorities.
What is a working method? It's to give aims and to organize the tools that you have to achieve these goals. I always distinguish two types of goals: those in the short run and those in the long run. A short-term goal will give fast results and will be directly use in all kind of musical situations. For example a very simple binary rhythm which will be useful to you for the next repetition with your band. A long-term goal is rather a thread which allows an in-depth work of all the exercises that you will have chosen for your current work. It can be a very simple thing like to use the metronome, so that the long-term goal is to obtain the most consistent tempo in all the exercises. Other examples: to sing while playing, to reverse all the sticking, etc... It's necessary to let the things evolve freely and not hesitate for example to change its short-term goals for better serving the long-term goals and vice versa ; just a question of priorities.
The time you spend to wark is a completely abstracted concept and which changes according to your own progress and your own requirements. I always say to my pupils that the key is to work regularly. For example I always say to my beginner : work twenty minutes a day rather than to wait the weekend and to work two for hours, because there this will discouraged yourself. Now if as a beginner you can be satisfied with twenty minutes of daily work, more your level will evolve more it will take you time to carry out your goals. It is necessary to also know to be patient, the feeling which one has of his own progress is not always linear. It's not everyday that you feel the results of your work. Sometimes it happens that you feel to stagnate, the clouds are there and, suddenly, the horizon is cleared up, you succeed. However at the beginning of your musician life there is a linear feeling of your own progress, your are more sensitive to the short-term goals ; but when the sum of knowledge is more significant, progress is done by stages with sometimes long times of stagnation. We also became more demanding. At this time of your musical education when the long-term goals are reached, that give you a real feeling of satisfaction. Well done.
Somethingmore subtle : it's always necessary to leave time to do a good job and to master a exercise. We shouldn't force the destiny, it is necessary to be patient. And if we remain honest with ourself we always know when we succeed in achieving our goal. Another common thing : is that the more you give yoursel time to achieve a goal, the more you will spend time to reach it. Thus it's necessary while being reasonable to set a limit of time. The same sometimes it's necessary to give up and to return there later if this limit of time is exceeded and if a lassitude starts to be felt when an exercise is worked and when we don't find the solution for the problem. We shouldn't thought that we are stupid and we will never progress again, we should just become aware that we made a bad choice of goal. It was perhaps not the moment to begin this kind of exercise, it was perhaps too early in our drummer's life. When you work alone this kind of bad thing can come, and it is the interest there to find a good teacher, its experience and its advicesls will avoid you falling into such problems.
My last advice it is that the best thing for you to remember an exercise hard worked is to forget it.
Here are some ideas which will help you to organize your work and will facilitate the achievemnt of your knowledge, and especially you will carry on to learn, and keep the taste to learn.You will learn with pleasure.