Tag Archives: perception

Thursday: Change Your Perception

Today, yet another innovative approach to teaching yourself how to play music with sticks: change your perception. Here’s what I mean.

Step 1: Pick a pattern, grid, exercise, or musical excerpt to play. Something you are somewhat familiar with and can play fairly well already.

Step 2: Play the part with your eyes closed. Listen to the sound you are producing. Is it in time? Are the rhythms consistent? Is your sound quality appropriate? Also take a moment to notice how you feel. Where are your hands, forearms, shoulders, etc.? How relaxed is your face? All while eyes are closed.

Step 3: With eyes open, set up a camera to record yourself playing the part. Once you get a good recording, go back and watch it on mute. How do you look? Confident, aggressive, joyous? Surviving or thriving? Notice any and all movements you do. Is it necessary to move your left elbow when your left hand plays accents? Is your right shoulder higher than your left? Are you standing upright?

Step 4: Now go back and listen to the recording of yourself playing the part but without looking at the screen. How do you sound? Is every single note in time? Without knowing the sticking, could you tell a difference in sound hand-to-hand? Is your range of dynamic expression appropriate? Be your own worst critic.

Step 5: Put it all back together. Record yourself playing the part once more, but this time take into account all that you have noted throughout this process. Once you get a good take, go back and watch the finished product, both with audio and video together. How does it look and sound?

Thanks for reading today. If you’ve gotten this far, post a link to your video in the comments.