Its the age old thing - you start learning this awesome new skill, all you want to do is focus every ounce of your time and energy on it. You start progressing (woohoo) and then just like that, a new distraction comes along and maybe this new found skill of yours starts to fall to the weigh side. It happens to the best of us, that's life my friends. So, how do we stay motivated? I have been playing the drums for half of my life, that is such a crazy concept if you think about it! So much time has been put into this skill of mine. But in theory, am I always itching at the bit to sit down and practise? Hell no! I'd be a frickin superhuman if I was.
For me, it's finding different ways to cultivate excitement, otherwise we get bored and plateau out. Here's a few of my top tips to keep that motivational fire burning:
1. Watch your favourite musicians on youtube - Visually seeing my favourite drummers and musicians smash out a live performance ALWAYS makes me want to go and practise. They are my idols, my main motivational push and in an ideal world that's where I'd want to see myself one day. All of this helps to steer me in the right direction, even on days where I simply cant be bothered.
2. Listen to your favourite songs/albums on Spotify - Whether this is commuting to and from work/school or simply setting some time out for yourself to sit, listen and soak it all in. I find that discovering new music gives me the urge to transcribe (write out) the amazing drum parts that I'm hearing. Or better yet, going back to the classics that always gear you up! We are so lucky to have so much amazing music at our fingertips.
3. Get down to gigs - My number 1 motivator!!! Being front and centre watching the magic happen. I'm constantly looking for new gigs to go to. My favourite place to be is on the stage, so for me, seeing it all unfold in front of my eyes is sheer bliss! I always leave feeling incredibly inspired.
4. Make sure you have a comfortable space - If your setup doesn't feel right, or you're too cramped to feel like you can move around freely, you will barely ever want to sit down and get things done. I make sure that I have enough room to move around my space and my drumkit, I don't want to feel contained otherwise I won't be productive. And if this is the case, switch things up! Move out to the living room if you have to - maybe your sick beats will get the rest of the family involved and before you know it you'll have a rockin' family band!
5. Go in with a plan - Having an idea of what you want to achieve in your practise time can be crucial and super beneficial! It means you are already going in with the intention of success. This can be a totally rough idea or completely thought out. End of the day, it's better than going in blind and noodling around.
6. Quality practise not Quantity - I tell this to my students all the time!!! What's the point of sitting down for 5 minutes every day and thinking that you are staying on top of things? It takes 5 minutes to sit on the seat and open your book!! Instead, try sitting down for 30 minutes (put a timer on) for 3-4 days a week instead and see how much more you will achieve. In theory, this isn't much time at all to sacrifice and if you feel like its working well with your schedule go from there and start practising for longer periods of time/extra days. After all, there is always time, you just have to make the effort to find it.
7. And last but not least, LEARN THINGS THAT YOU LOVE! - Make sure you learn your favourite songs, this is the best push to get you motivated. If I try and learn something that I'm not too keen on, I always fall short and don't follow through. Make a list of all of your favourite songs and start ticking them off the list with your music teacher in your drum lessons. You will feel so accomplished once you're bashing away to your fav tune, it's the best feeling in the world!