The Best Shoes For Drumming (and everything else)

Years ago I read a Tim Ferris article that turned me onto Vivo Barefoot shoes and I haven't looked back. Finding comfortable shoes that allow your feet to do what they need to do isn't as easy as you'd think. It was an image like the one below that surprised me. It shows how wearing regular western shoes physically changes the shape of your feet. This can result in all kinds of problems, but the main one is that it stops your feet from working in the way they're supposed to work. Proprioception Proprioception Read more [...]

Learn Any Skill In 20 Hours

I recently watched a TED talk by Josh Kaufman that said you can learn anything in 20 hours. He made the very valid point that most people give up on things too soon because the early stages of learning a new skill make them feel stupid (and nobody likes to feel stupid.) 20 hours!? So I can learn something in a day? Probably not. I've seen this trick used in book titles "Learn to write an iPhone app in 24 hours." When you open it you see there are 24 chapters each of which takes about an hour Read more [...]

First Impressions Count (but not that much)

I'm very comfortable sitting at home on my own with my laptop working on a project. I don't have to deal with other people and everything is under my control. That's how it's been since August writing the code for PolyNome. The same can apply to practicing drums in your garage. You have all the time in the world to work on whatever you want to work on. There's no pressure and you can enjoy the process of getting as good as you dream of. PolyNome is finally ready to release and I find myself Read more [...]

Why You Need A Website (and how to have your own in under 5 minutes)

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Do you already have a website? If not, is it because it seems like it would be too stressful/time consuming/expensive? It really isn't - I'll show you. In case you need convincing about taking the leap...   Here's why I think having a website is such a great thing NOTE: if you don't want to read all this, just check out the video at the bottom of the post. 1. You get your own email address Yes, I know it's all about social networking these days, but people still email. Read more [...]

10 Of My Favourite Things (in no particular order)

It's been way too long since I last posted on here.  I've been really busy recording new VIP lessons and more recently I've been spending every waking hour adding features to PolyNome I'm currently at the end of a month long US tour and I wanted to share with you the things that have made my life easier when setting up and playing.  It's little things like these that make touring more pleasurable.  Something as simple as a quick-lock hi-hat clutch saves a couple of minutes a day with packing Read more [...]

Talk for 2 minutes about sheep farming… GO!

BEFORE YOU READ THIS ARTICLE… If you want to get the most out of this article, and you’re alone, then actually time yourself and try to talk about sheep farming for 2 minutes as if an audience of people were in front of you.  Your aim is to keep them entertained and keep going without stumbling too much, getting stuck or giving up.  It doesn’t have to be accurate, just give it your best shot… ready - GO! That’s what it’s like being in the middle of a song when the band leader Read more [...]

In-Ear Monitoring and the Holy Grail!

When I was 12, I watched Gregg Bissonnette's Private Lesson video.  He made a big deal (and rightly so) about always wearing earplugs.  You only get one pair of ears and when you lose parts of your hearing they’re gone forever. I know so many musicians with tinnitus or other permanent hearing damage and it's not something I want to acquire. Since that time, I can only recall two occasions where I've played the drums without some kind of hearing protection. The first was a function gig Read more [...]

Music and Comedy

This is pretty interesting.

Early on, when asked about when material is ‘ready’, Louie CK says he feels it’s like a fruit.  It ripens, then starts to go off.

That’s a bit like how I’ve felt about my drum solo.  I’ll get a new idea on one night, then it might develop over the next few nights, then it starts to become stale.

There are a lot of parallels between music and comedy.  You can draw your own conclusions…

Practice and Play

My most recent blogs have focussed on the mental side of drumming - what's going on in our heads when we play.  My solos from the road videos have had comments from people who like to see what I was thinking, and others from people who think I shouldn't be thinking at all. I received an email recommending the book Zen Golf (see it on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com).  I don't play golf, but I was assured that I'd find much value in it.  I read it on a week's break from touring skiing in the Alps. Read more [...]