Two Lessons From the Fundamentals that are Very Fundamental

Today is day 150 of 365 consecutive days of focused practice to improve my drumming: one hour of mastering the sticks (hands), and one hour of mastering the pedals (feet). 


The Abacus Rhythm Training System is the main system used to focus my attention for two reasons… maximum flexibility and minimal thinking.  More on this system later. For now, it is enough to say that these Abacus cards force me to stay focused on the foundation of all drumming:  RHYTHM!!! 

The following are two lessons I’ve come to grips with over these first 150 days 


Spend enough time focusing on the fundamentals and you will discover your limitations and figure out how to overcome them. 

These cards represent the rhythms and sticking patterns drummers play every day. 

The rhythms have been around for centuries. The sticking patterns first gained recognition in the book Stick Control, by George Lawrence Stone… copyrighted in 1936!!!  Serious old school, but the rhythms and viable sticking pattern have not and will not change. 

Work with them long enough and you will reach the limits of your natural ability. Then... it is time to dig in and start learning more about the most efficient ways to play drumsticks and pedals.  There are 215 days of working on the fundamentals which means there is a lot more I will need to learn and master… and this is just the fundamentals; the foundation!!! AMAZING to me it is!!! 

You are more than welcome to download (no-cost download) the templates from the store for free and make the cards


Setting a daily goal like, "I will play for 60 minutes a day for 365 days" lowers frustration. Work it every day, and the results will naturally come around cuz the work ALWAYS comes before the results. You may not see the results immediately after a training session, but the results always come out in your playing. Things you struggled with before are now easier to play and sound much more natural, authentic and genuine. 

Such a goal needs to be something you can achieve every day wherever you are at!  I got my hours in a few times in a truck while in route to or from a gig (I wasn’t the driver).  Remember, this is about hands and feet, not drums and cymbals. Set a goal you can and WILL execute on EVERY day.  For me, it is practical to focus on hands and feet (instead of “playing the drum set for one hour…”) so my goal is not dependent on access to a drum set.  It is solely dependent on my willingness to do invest one hour in my feet and an hour in my hands every single day. 


Focus ONLY on the work, and the results will reveal themselves in good time.  It is the order of life. Farmers sow (work) in February and harvest (results) in October.  Athletes work out in the off-season to see results on the field six months later. 

Simple yet profound lessons that affect me as a person perhaps more than as a musician. 

Love to hear your thoughts… hit me up… this is the stuff that fascinates me.  I like talking about this stuff

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