Motivation for Life, Music, and Drumming
Learn & Practice MUSIC by the Spirit – YouTube Playlist for Divine Motivation!
Learn & Practice MUSIC by the Spirit – YouTube Playlist for Divine Motivation!
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If you haven’t already determined your goals for all your Life categories/circles and a Mission Statement of your overall integrated Vision, read about how to get a “resounding YES” within you so that you can more easily say “NO” to the myriad of things/people in life that will distract you from your dreams.
Here is a self-dialectic PDF file that is a personal inventory and self-diagnostic evaluation accomplished through a Socrates-like question & answer dialogue with yourself to discover your own personal goals. Each answer will illuminate your path to discovering who you really are, shining light on how to answer the next question, taking you deeper and deeper within yourself. Answer each question very quickly – your first impression is often most revealing. Then put more thought into it and observe if you consistently try to reason away your first answer. Keep track of all of this in a journal so that you can go back and see the patterns.
Here is an excellent PDF file on Stephen Covey’s “The Passion of Vision” and how to overlap your Life Category “circles” of “spirit/mind, body/health, relationships, career/finances, and recreation” to create a “fire within” Mission Statement.
The “diamonds” are often in your own backyard: You don’t have to travel to Africa or dig deep within a mine to find diamonds. Diamonds in the rough are often lying on the ground unrecognizable by most people. The highest-value activities for your life have generally always been around you – you just haven’t recognized them as such. Read Russell Conwell’s classic speeches entitled, “Acres of Diamonds” for stories of people who found treasure so close by.
Focus in on a target: Without a target, you’ll just be shooting arrows aimlessly into the air! Whatever you focus on expands, so stay focused in keeping your “Main Things the Main Things,” like Stephen Covey says! A magnifying glass can not only help you zero in on things by making them appear bigger, but it can take random sunlight and focus it down to a tiny dot of fire. “Focus is fire – Focus is power” is what I tell my students all the time. “Like attracts like” – if you are crystal clear on what you want, like a magnet, you will attract others with the same desire. But if you are vague and wish-washy, that’s what you will attract also. James Allen’s book “As a Man Thinketh” is a classic about this. Whatever you stare at while driving is what you will drive right towards. See Leo Babauta’s “The Magical Power of Focus” and Developing Good Habit’s “10 Mindful Habits to Build the Power of Focus – With Action Items.”
Here is an example: Focus in on the Holy Spirit’s Unconditional-Love when practicing music & drums to be on track: The Apostle Paul declared in Galatians 5:22-23 that “the [singular] fruit/nature of the Spirit is Unconditional-Love.” I knew in Greek that the following 8 words are all adjective nouns acting as descriptive ‘flavors’ of the singular fruit called agape Unconditional-Love: “Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith/faithfulness, gentleness, self-control/mastery. Against such things there is no Law.” No rules are necessary when you have God’s Unconditional-Love – when you have the Spirit! Unconditional-Love is also the singular direct object of the singular verb “ongoingly exists as or is defined as.” Unconditional-Love is the focus of the sentence – the point! Jesus said “a tree is known by its [singular] fruit” and so is the Holy Spirit of Jesus and the Father. The Triune God is simply Unconditional-Love per 1 John 4:8, 16. THAT is a big enough revelation concerning Drums by the Spirit! But then God hit me with how the “flavors” are signposts or proofs that you are genuinely experiencing Unconditional-Love, the Spirit. The ‘flavors’ are not our focus but a witness that we are heading in the right direction as we “walking by-the-means-of the Spirit,” nearing the Lord! Our focus is experiencing the Lord by walking by-the-means-of the Spirit,” who is Unconditional-Love.
Here is another example: Focus is Fire, Focus is Power – like a magnifying glass focuses the rays of sun on this cold day into a small beam that could set fire to anything and that fire, like so many sources of fire, can create power, the focus of our mind’s thoughts will do the same. I show you how I apply focus to drumming, but can’t you do this in singing or on another instrument? I have many videos that speak of this, as you will see. Do you have some ideas? Please add them to the comments below. That’s what koinonia fellowship/partnership is about. I use pieces of tape as targets for what I need to hit to help me with Technique – Stick Control. We need focus to ignore all the distractions in the news! I use mirrors to help me focus on technique. Focus on the weak link or bottleneck and then progressively work into and out of the problem – see below. Focus on the Holy Spirit’s Unconditional-Love for you as you practice to really flow in the Spirit – see above. Even as I learn Drum-Set Grooves of 4 limbs, most often 1-3 limbs are a repeating Ostinato I can practice enough until it becomes ‘auto-pilot’ in the ‘back-stage’ of my mind so that I can focus on 1 limb that is playing something that is less steady, like a ‘melody.’ This is getting the ‘spotlight on the frontline of the stage’ in the front of my brain. I practice every combination of 2 limbs to build this coordination, focusing just on 1 limb. Then I do this for every combo of 3 limbs. Then finally I’m coordinated for 4 limbs! This is explained here in that video. For Ostinato vs Melody video see here in that video. I use counting for the left-brain and singing for the right-brain to focus my thoughts on the ‘melody’ limb, see here in this video. It’s hard by the yard but cinch by the inch, see here for that video. If you run out of ideas, routinely Ask, Seek, and Knock (A.S.K.) for revelation to learn Music by the Spirit!
Here is another example: Focus on the weak link or bottleneck in music to fix the chain and assembly line: If two trucks pull on a chain, where will it break? You know how many blank stares I get when I ask my students that? Of course, it breaks at the weak link! That’s also where the problem will be in your music! If you want to speed up production in a factory making cars, do you spend all your time and money improving the efficiency of each person on the assembly line through training programs, or just focus on the ‘bottlenecks‘ in production, those 1 or 2 people that don’t know how to work at the same time they are talking – or are they texting on their phones?
Specific, Measurable Results (SMRs) – deadlines work on you: If you want to go to New York City, you can’t just head east and take just any road. You have to use Google Maps and wisely plot the best course. It takes specific planning. Most companies know this, breaking their long-term goals into very specific short-term monthly and then daily goals that can be measured to determine progress and make adjustments, and then they set deadlines for these goals to be met. It really works! SMRs and deadlines are like signposts on your journey – if don’t read the signs and you’re sure to get lost! Do they same thing for your drumming! How do can you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Read Tony Mayo’s “Guidelines for Writings Your Goals” with SMRs. Read Mike Delgado’s “Why Deadlines Matter.”
Do you have SMRs, plans, and deadlines for your drumming? Most people don’t plan to fail – they just fail to plan. When you take action on your intention, you move abstract, formless energy into concrete, physical reality! If you don’t take definitive steps to move toward your dreams, by physic’s ‘Law of Entropy,’ the chances of your dreams materializing only decreases over time. Consequently, every day you put off taking the necessary steps, makes your dreams even less likely from manifesting. Unless you move, you will rust as frozen as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz! Life abhors a vacuum! If you don’t intentionally fill it yourself, by default it will be filled for you by someone else, and often with many trivial matters. Without a burning “YES” within you, it’s almost impossible to say “NO” to the barrage of insignificant diversions around us that would steal our dreams from us.
Here’s an example of SMRs from a grade school band drummer who wants to play well in his school band and here are his steps: 1) Learn how to read music – whole, half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes & rests, 2) Learn how to control your sticks at different dynamic (volume) levels and for accents, 3) Learn how to count and play correctly at different tempos (speeds), and 4) Learn the 26 Standard Drum Rudiments, especially Flams, Drags, Paradiddles, and Buzz Rolls.
Here’s another example of SMRs is applying the video on “Hard by the Yard but Cinch by the Inch” and viewing each “inch” as 1 stroke of a Flamacue and making this my “SMR” so I can get immediate gratification for success of each “inch.” I’m practicing each “inch” long enough to create a deep memory of the Right-handed and Left-handed Flamacue. Then I’m progressively adding the “inches” together “Left to Right” until I’ve finally got all 4 “inches” in. I also try different Countings to make it applicable to music. For more on Flamacues see Part 1 and Part 2 videos. Then I do the same thing with breaking down a Drum-Set Groove into every combo of 2 and 3 limbs to work up to all 4-limbs and there is a video on that.
Here are my drumming goals and plan of action from 2013 and My Drum Lessons and Practice Log and my practice regimen I use during sabbaticals. This is the approach a professional takes toward their career, but you certainly can come up with something simpler. Go for it!
PDF Doc: Know WHY you want to drum for sustaining POWER: “This is how you come to me: without why, without power, another link in the chain” is what the Merovingian said to Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity in “The Matrix Reloaded.” If you don’t understand WHY you are doing something, you will likely become just another link in someone else’s chain, and have no inner power to sustain yourself to reach your own personal goals nor the ability to convince others to help you succeed. You will lack the “Fire Within” or passion to go where few men dare tread. You can get so caught up in the hamster wheel of activity that you forget why you started and where you are heading. Instead of getting to your destination, like the hamster, you end up going in circles. Oh, you may be busy, but busy going nowhere fast! I’ve found that you have to remind yourself frequently of “The Main Things” so that you can “Keep the main things the main things.” Otherwise, you can easily fall prey to the “Tyranny of the Urgent” and end up “majoring in the minors.” Here’s my “WHY” PDF Doc – Watch the video. I get into even more details of how I get “across the finish line” in my drumming in this video!
7 Ways to keep the Momentum going to reach your goals and not be benched by Inertia: In this video we talk about ways to keep your goal, your vision, or your dream, ever before you, and how to keep the momentum going so you are not overcome by inertia: 1) Be accountable to someone, not just yourself. Take drum lessons. Get in a band. Teach drum students. You won’t cheat on yourself as much, 2) Find a way to fit it into the 5 min. blocks most people waste. Who has big blocks of time anyway? Use your TV and driving time. I even use my eating & bathroom time around my real priorities, 3) Fill your view with reminders of what you value, 4) Doing something every day, even if it’s just 5 minutes, is more important than only doing something every 2-3 days for longer time. It’s our habits that really change us, 5) Set a Specific Measurable Result (SMR) for yourself and your “resounding Yes” within will PULL you toward your goals, 6) Reward yourself for meeting your little SMR goals, 7) Watch out for big Time-Wasters that will Rob you of your dreams! See below for more ideas:
Hold yourself accountable to someone other than yourself: It’s easy to back out of commitments to yourself, but not so easy if you are accountable to someone else. An instructor will help you keep your goals and the steps to achieving them in front of you, and help you become more accountable to them until they are accomplished. Statistically, 50% of all people fail because they just don’t start, but another 45% fail because they simply stop – and an instructor will keep you from being a statistic in both cases! An instructor will also get you fired up! A powerful rocket will sit on the launch pad forever unless you light a fire under it! Also, it’s a law of nature that you absolutely can’t reap a harvest without first sowing a lot of seed!
Other Motivators and Dream-Robbers:
That’s what taking lessons every week does – it sows the seeds of your dreams, giving you hope that you will see the harvest of one day making beautiful music! An instructor will help you keep moving toward your dreams, helping you create a clear target with a bulls-eye, improving your aim, and hitting it more often! Finally, you can take forever on the long “scenic route” and possibly never accomplish your goals or simply model the excellence of your instructor and get there in a fraction of the time. An instructor will show you the shortest distance between two points, which is a straight line. Click here for 10 Advantages for Music Lessons. Click here for Wikipedia’s value of music lessons. See also Wikipedia’s use of music for therapy – Mike also specializes in Autism Spectrum students.
Get in a band as soon as you can! Being accountable to your band mates is a sure way to stay motivated. Playing in a band can hardly be beat! It’s a 100 times more fun than a video game because it’s not a fantasy but reality! Nothing will motivate you more to get better as a drummer than making awesome music and being ready to play it in front of people. I’ve been in 35 bands and can tell you that the energy on stage is a 100 times greater than even the front row seats! I’ve helped a lot of young bands get going, so I can help you get there too. Bring your music buddies to your lesson and I’ll show you how to play together. Check out Passion Academy’s “Band Benefits” and Music Advisor’s “Top Benefits of Playing In a Band.”
Time-Wasters can rob you of your dreams: We all have 168 hours in a week. Often the difference between those progressing toward their dreams and those that aren’t is in how the former use the time the latter waste. I’ve also found that few people have large blocks of time to accomplish their dreams, so it comes down to how they use the small blocks of time that add up over time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Also remember what Brain Tracy said: “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not to be done at all.” For more about this, read the PDF file – Watch the video.
Video games are one of the biggest dream-robbers: I’ve been teaching drums full-time since 1998 and have seen the detrimental effects of increased video-gaming first hand. As the new and better gaming systems came out, I started to see a rise in attention problems associated with ADHD, ADD, and ASD that have made it very difficult for many of my students to succeed not only in drumming but in any of their school subjects. I’ve had to design many more specialized methods to combat the decline in learning ability. I’ve collected the following research studies to help parents understand what educators and childhood development specialists have known all along – that excessive TV and video-game playing can have far-reaching and often irreversible consequences. The consensus is to allow no more than 2 hours a day of any fast-moving media source, i.e., phone, I-pad, car display, TV, or computer! See other recommendations at the bottom of this compilation. There are literally hundreds of research studies on this, but there’s enough here to take this seriously. For more about this, read the PDF file – Watch the video.
Reward yourself for reaching your goals: If you plan ahead of time what you will do for yourself as a reward for achievement of key steps towards your dreams, you will be more motivated to reach them. It really works! Here is one of the ways I reward my students –a certificate of achievement.
Keep regularly feeding your dreams: If you stop watering a plant, it will die. If you stop putting wood on a fire, it will die. It amazes me how many parents and students have thought that taking a week or two off from lessons actually would have no effect! Or that skipping a few days won’t affect your motivation or ability! Life abhors a vacuum, so a lot of nonsense comes in to fill the void, and now you have to overcome inertia to get “back in the saddle and start riding again.” Keep stoking the coals to keep your fire hot! What you regularly feed your eyes and ears with feeds your heart. Out of sight, out of mind! Keep music playing everywhere you go, but don’t just listen to it – interact with it by singing the grooves or drum beats and at least air-drumming. Keep drum magazines laying around on coffee tables, the car, your backpack, and in the bathroom – and keep a pair of sticks there, too. Every time you watch TV, be taping on your legs, a practice pad, air-drum, or at least do your finger stick-waiving exercises. Create Youtube.com playlists for your phone or use my extensive Genre Info & Playlists to watch killer bands play killer songs, and there are many excellent teaching videos in addition to the teaching videos I have for this website. There is so much live music being played everywhere in Tucson, especially at The House of Bards, so get inspired!
Habits and Attitude Make You or Break You:
Make practice a daily habit: Because drumming is a physical skill it requires nearly daily exercise to develop muscle memory. As with many athletic skills if you skip a day or two, no matter how much you practice you can’t make up for what you’ve lost. There are no shortcuts to drumming success – you can’t “cram” for a concert like you can a test in school! Remember that success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Desire gets you to the starting line, but good practice habits get you to the finish line. Everybody has to pay the same dues because there are no shortcuts to success, so practice until you fall in love with music! It only takes 21 days in a row to create a habit – a habit that can make your dream come true! If you skip a day or two, no matter how much you practice you can’t make up for what you lost. Also if you practice too long, you may just injure yourself! Create a set time in your schedule to practice, turn the phone off, close the door, and keep your appointment with yourself and your dreams. Click here to use an Assignment & Practice Log as added motivation.
What will motivate you to practice drums at least 15 minutes every day? How will you overcome inertia and get off your duff? If you take a day off, your “body at rest will tend to stay at rest” – sitting on the couch watching TV! What will you say to yourself to help take advantage of momentum? Remember, a “body in motion” tends to stay in motion!” These are the rules of physics! What will motivate you to “keep on keep’n on?” What in the short run (this next week) will keep you going? What in the long run (this year) will make your short-term goal-setting successful? For more ways to stay motivated and practice tips, read this PDF file – Watch the video.
Keep your practice FUN to stay motivated – enjoy the journey: Here’s some ways I keep from getting stressed out during practice and making it so much more fun so I end up putting more time in. Click here to read the PDF file – Watch the video.
Motivational thoughts to keep you going: Over the years of teaching I’ve collected many sayings that I regularly incorporate into my teaching. Read through these and highlight the ones that really speak to you. Commit them to memory. Share them with others. Most importantly, use them to get “in gear” and stay moving towards your dreams! Click here to read the PDF file. Here are 5 Motivation Tips and 6 Practice Tips – Watch the video.
If you are a drummer, see also “Keys to Success: You can take the Long, scenic route or take the Shortcuts from a Pro” section of the Drum Lessons page.
Thank YOU for visiting: Motivation for Life, Music, and Drumming