Thursday, September 3, 2009

Playing Soft

Your mom was play to loud. I know, hard to admit your parents might be onto something. Seriously though, you play too loud, you play too hard...

A real simple way to change things up when practicing is to play soft. You may not even know you're playing loud...and maybe you aren't. Not the point. The point is that whatever volume you're comfortably playing the drums at right now is too loud and you should practice playing softer. You can always play softer.

We're creatures of habit, we get it naturally, that's the way we were created. It's our job to consistently break those habits, even if they're not bad habits, for the sheer sake of growth.

Try this...sit down at the drums and start playing. Whatever volume you started at is your new definition of loud. Spend a whole practice session concentrating on playing at about half that volume. "But I play a dinner gig every week and I'm already playing at my softest." No you're not...I promise, you can play just don't want to put the effort into it. It's not easy.

I play a ton of rock, pop, and country at his point in my career....alot of outdoor venues, big venues, loud venues...and I have to beat the tar out of the drums. I stopped paying attention to practicing at a softer volume because all of my gigs required me to play at Mach 9. I slowly started to notice some of my finesse slipping away. Keeping yourself accustomed to playing at low volumes translates into loud situations. It gives your grooves depth, feeling...they're 3D instead of flat. It's the difference between looking at the Tennessee mountains and looking out over the Arizona don't wanna be a desert.

For a week or so, bring the volume down. It's feel like you're having to re-learn old material, but in the end your groove deepens and you have the confidence of being able to go into any situation and play at any volume needed.

So take a detour and go to the mountains...


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