Practice Anywhere, Even at Work
This post is geared to help drummers/musicians everywhere to think more creatively and see other possibilities to hone your skills as a musician outside of the practice room, and believe it or not, without your instrument. For 6, maybe 8 hours a day I am almost always honing a very valuable skill at my place of employment. How do I do this you ask? Well lets get started.
Most would see this as a wall of coffee/latte syrups or whatever. I see it as a perfect opportunity to work on finger strength!
Below is a video that will go along with all the “examples” that I will be explaining.
EXAMPLE 1 @ 0:04
This shows how most of my fellow baristas would approach a syrup pump. (Keep in mind, I’m not saying this is wrong barista technique or whatever. I’m just trying to show differences in motion for different situations.)
In example one your wrist, or for some, arm is doing all of the work. Why don’t we examine “the tools/obstacles” we have at hand and ask ourselves how we can use this to work on technique?
EXAMPLE 2 @ 0:11
Lets use our fingers to pump the syrup instead of our wrist/arm!
How can we further extend this exercise when this motion is learned?
EXAMPLE 3 @ 0:21
Example three shows us forcing each finger pumping syrup with no help from other fingers. Holy crap! Is this not the same exact exercise Jojo Mayer displays in his Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer DVD or any other basic learning exercise from most instructors? (When I first started doing this, it was quite a challenge! As you can see now, I have little to no struggle except for some with my pinky.)
EXAMPLE 4 @ 0:39
So why are we doing all of this? To work on finger technique! Example four shows all the same motions we just went through “at work” on the syrup station with your drumstick instead. Nifty eh?
Guess what? This has given my left hand fingers a crazy amount of control that I used to not have. Also, this translates to guitarists, bassists, tumpets, clarinets, cornets, saxophones, pianists………… you get the point. Everyone can find exercises in every day things that can help certain techniques in your playing as a musician. This is just one example of the many things I have found to boost my techniques “outside the practice room.”
Keep this in mind the next time you are “bored at work” and looking for some entertainment.