If you have ever watched Dave Weckle perform, chances are you have been amazed at the seemingly impossible performances he gives forth. If you weren’t impressed, however, then you most likely didn’t even pay attention, or you are the next undiscovered master.
A lot of world renowned drummers amaze us simply because they have astonishing limb independence. This isn’t a freak of nature talent that they were born with, either; it took years of hard work and dedication to attain the level of independence their limbs possess.
Now hearing that, you might find yourself a bit discouraged; years of hard work isn’t exactly appealing to many people. But then again, you are a drummer, and dedicating thousands of hours to hitting things with sticks isn’t exactly appealing to many people either, now is it?
You became a drummer because you loved the instrument. Our loves push us to better ourselves. This is the perfect reason for you to work on limb independence; to further your skills in the art you love.
The exercise is observation; observe your technique while you are playing. If you constantly have your hands a great height from the drum heads, your limb independence will suffer.
Simply because you must then focus more energy to your high raised hands, taking away focus on other limbs.
Controlling your power is extremely important in being able to attain limb independence. If you are stroking with too much power, you are wasting energy. Wasted energy tired you out, which in turn will make it hard for you to concentrate. Lack of concentration leads to poor form, and in the end poor form leads to bad limb control.
If you are serious about learning limb independence, an important thing to do is to learn how to read drums sheet music. Being able to sight read while playing your instrument helps your mind be able to separate multiple tasks at once. This helps you maintain each and every task efficiently. For obvious reasons, being able to separate multiple tasks subconsciously is important for limb independence.
Let’s face it; you can’t focus on one limb and have the others magically go about their own tasks. Learning to sight read will help you learn to distribute even attention throughout every aspect of your playing, most of which will take place on a subconscious level.
The last and most obvious, yet most often overlooked lesson is one you know yourself, and if you have a teacher, one she or he probably preaches daily;
Practice is the only way to properly learn any technique, and limb independence is no different. Practice may seem a bit overwhelming at times, but it is the only way to achieve your goals.
Set out a given time every day, whether that be an hour or more, and create a schedule, working on the three areas we discussed today. If you stick to your schedule and keep yourself aware of your habits and form, you will begin to see results very soon afterwards.
Whenever you practice, remember to always use a metronome when practicing drums. Timing is especially crucial when building limb independence, so you want to make sure you are keeping steady rhythms. Having limb independence will do you no good if you can’t time your movements.
Work hard now so that you may have more fun later on.
Would you like to learn drums while having fun with play-along songs at the same time? At Drumeo, you can access a massive library of lessons and get 2 brand new songs to jam along every month. This will help you apply your new found skills in practical scenarios!