Ted's Practice Tips
It’s time once again to address every musicians favorite topic – practicing!
Many students are not practicing on a consistent basis. Believe me, I understand busy schedules – mine is
usually spiraling out of control. However, it’s very important for any growing musician to make time to
practice. Those that do practice on a consistent basis will find themselves making great progress. Those
that don’t will find themselves spinning their wheels, and the lessons are a lot less productive than they
Beginning to intermediate students should practice 20‐30 minutes each day. More advanced students
should practice an hour a day or more. Consistency is key. It's better to practice 20 minutes a day for five
days than cramming in two hours the night before your lesson.
PARENTS: It helps if you check up on your child to make sure that they’re practicing. Ask your child,
“What are you working on?” Take a few minutes to sit down and listen to your child without judging
what they are doing. Showing an interest in what they are learning will help keep them interested.
Try to avoid turning practicing into another chore like cleaning their room or taking out the garbage.
It’s tricky, but it can be done.
Schedule your practice time. We are all very busy people, and often times if we don't schedule specific time to practice it gets lost in the shuffle. Try to practice about 30 minutes each day. The keys to success are consistency and determination.
Slow it down! This is probably the advice I give most to my students. If you're having problems playing something at a particular tempo, the first thing you should do is slow down the tempo! After you've become comfortable with the exercise at a slower tempo, then gradually start to increase the tempo again.
Break it down! If you're having problems with a particular exercise or piece of music, break it down into smaller chunks and practice it one piece at a time. Then put the pieces back together and try the whole section of music again. It's like eating a submarine sandwich - you can't shove the whole thing in your mouth in one bite!
Divide your time between work and play. Make sure to spend sufficient time to practice and master your lesson assignment, but try to make enough time to have fun and experiment on the drums. Play along with your favorite CD's or songs. Make up your own song or beats on the drums. Be creative!