How to practice effectively…for just about anything

As a performing artist, we are always looking for new ways to improve and refine our craft. There are stumbling blocks along the path to mastery and for a lot of people, myself included, it happens in the practice room. A friend of mine from grad school, Annie Bosler, shared this video she created with along Don Greene for TedEd. Check out the video and then follow this link for the full lesson.

Congrats Annie and Don!

Don has also written a couple of great books on performance success and audition success. Be sure to check them out.

2016 CMEA All-State Audition Tutorials

Over the past couple of years, there have been many college percussion instructors who have recorded performances of the all-state repertoire for various states. Some of them include Thomas Burritt, Mark Ford, Matthew Holm and many more. (Search YouTube for “All-State Percussion” to find more). All of these are great resources for the young percussionist and I am happy to see so many great performances of these audition pieces.

Recently, Matt Cook, GRAMMY® Award winning percussionist and member of the LAPQ, has released the 2016 CMEA All-State Audition Tutorials. These tutorials include a performance video, a tutorial video, click tracks and PDF study guides for each piece. Check out the page on Innovative Percussion for all of the resources. Bravo Matt!

Marimba Mallet Wrapping 101

Have you ever needed the perfect mallet for that particular piece? There are so many mallets available from Innovative Percussion, Vic Firth, Mike Balter (and more manufacturers) the you can buy the exact mallet that you need. But what if you are on a budget and wanted to make some mallets? Before all of these great companies, this used to be the norm. I remember many nights in college trying to learn how to wrap mallets. There are many different techniques involved in wrapping mallets. I have compiled some of the best videos on YouTube regarding mallet wrapping. Go out there and wrap some mallets.

How to Make Marimba/Vibe Mallets – Sam Oss

Drummer Talk’s Guide to Wrapping Mallets – Dave Kropf

Mallet Wrapping

Bill Bachman Lesson Series

Bill Bachman Lesson Series: Velocity, body parts & the kitchen spoon

VF Signature Artist Bill Bachman discusses the differing velocity of strokes generated by wrist, fingers, arm & Moeller whip strokes. In this lesson, Bill will demonstrate the different velocities garnered by each (using a kitchen spoon!?) and discuss how to play with more power and the pitfalls to avoid. Awareness of the differing approaches will also help you in evening out your hands.

For more insights, head over to and check out the “Extreme Hands Makeover” for in-depth lessons on these techniques and workouts where you drum along with Bill and a whole lot more!

Metronome Sound Delay 2.0 – Watching vs Listening

Earlier this week, I posted a video called Metronome Sound Delay Explained by Andrew Rogers. In the video, he charted how the metronome is heard on the football field. This is always an issue for marching bands and his video was a great illustration of how to improve the use of the metronome on the field.

The video instantly became viral and was shared and viewed over 15,000 time since it was posted. Today’s video is an update to the original video. Brad Sparks, former Madison Scouts & Colts member, as well as Brass Staff for the Madison Scouts took the general principal and created an updated document that he is making available on Andrew’s site. You can download a copy here.

Thanks again Andrew and Brad for this amazing resource!

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