I’ve been lucky enough over the past several weeks to find myself with enough time to devote daily sessions to practising not only my drums, but also rediscovering the xylophone (which I hauled with me to PEI, finally, and set up in my new music cabin here), and attending to the trombone, which I started playing last year, in order to be able to complement Alex (French Horn) and Simon (Trumpet).
As my practising has become more consistent, I have noticed a distinct pattern: Spending sufficient time on warm up exercises each and every time I practise, and playing for at least 20 minutes total, have both led to a noticeable improvement in my playing. I know I’m improving with the trombone, because I am now able to hit notes I could not reach a few weeks ago (this afternoon I finally played high F for the first time!!), and also because my teacher recently told me that my tone was “really coming along”. :-)
When working through Stick Control exercises at the kit, my double sticking feels much smoother than it did a month ago. A benefit derived from drumming regularly (at least three times a week now) and for a minimum duration of 20 minutes each time.
My xylophone skills are slowly but surely returning to the levels I was attaining in Grade 13 (yes I am that old!!) when I played Flight of the Bumble Bee for an exam. I know this because I have been working on Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor (First Movement), and am inching my way closer to my desired speed on the metronome, with considerable accuracy. Both my speed and accuracy are also improving with the Gallop Solo, which I still have memorized from some 30 years ago, and which I have also been practising, for fun!
Working in a focused fashion on “boring” warm up exercises for all three of my instruments, and repeating sections to perfect accuracy, speed or tone, is (re)teaching me valuable skills which I hope to transfer to my professional life once I return to work later this month and leave my music cabin behind for another year.
For more discussion on the benefits of different approaches to practising, check out this article (with link to other articles) I found online.