Way too many drummers (and bagpipers) complain about having to perform a tune without the sheet music – they moan about how difficult it is to commit the tune to memory. But honestly, it’s not difficult at all – it’s all about discipline and repetition.
Whether it’s your first 4/4 march or perhaps your newest medley selection, the method remains the same. It’s not rocket science (like my previous post about what us pipers and drummers can learn from an Astronaut) – it’s just a matter of hard work and perseverance.
In a nutshell here’s what you gotta do :
1) Learn one phrase (that’s two bars of music) and then play it by memory – just turn the page over and test yourself. Join all the phrases together until you have one part – that’s actually only 4 bite-sized chunks and shouldn’t take you very long at all. Turn the page over and play the whole first part – flip the page and check that you got it. Do this 10 times.
2) Put your sticks (or chanter) away and go do something else for 10 minutes – make a coffee, grab a snack, watch Keeping up with the Kardashians (or maybe not!) then return to your instrument and see if you can still remember the part. If you can, great. If not, then repeat step one.
3)Come back first thing the next day and make sure you can still play it by memory. If you can, joy! If you can’t, repeat steps one and two. Do this every morning for 5 days and you will have the tune going no problem at all.
You can top-up your memorising speed by playing through the score in your head (visualisation) – or tapping the tune out with your fingers. I think young students often do this in Mathematics class!
Bottom line is, there’s no shortcut. But it’s worth it in the end. Once you have committed the tune to memory, you can really start having fun with it and moulding it with musicality and feel.
If you have any memorising tips, please share them!
It has never been easier to learn the art of Scottish drumming. You can now get your hands on the “How-To” Guide to Scottish Drumming, available for instant download in e-book format.
That’s right, you can pick up all of the essential drumming skills you will need to master the basics of Scottish drumming. Come2Drum is the Worlds leading online educator for Scottish drumming. Check out the E-Books, Video Lessons, Skype lessons & more at Come2Drum.com
Go to COME2DRUM and check out :
Step-by-Step Guides to Pipe Band Drumming
Structured Video Lesson Series’
Skype Lessons for Scottish Drumming
Good luck on your journey of musical fulfilment!
Make sure and “tap” into your potential.
I thought I might give you guys a wee insight to the past few months, and some of the exciting things that have been going on!
August – I went to Scotland for the World Pipe Band Championships and also attended a few other highland games whilst I was there. Canterbury Caledonian Pipe Band, the band I am part of, ventured on the long journey to Scotland for a second year running.
September – Drumming Workshops in Noosa and Canberra were on the cards in September, alongside Jim Kilpatrick, Tyler Fry, Jori Chisholm and many others!
October – I am the luckiest man on earth, as I married Lisa Campbell.
Currently I am in Scotland, rehearsing for the World Solo drumming championships this Saturday. It will be great to play a tune or two and also catch up with all of my pipe band drumming buddies….
Check out the pipe band drumming Book series!!!!
That’s right – You can now challenge yourself with the more advanced Volume 2 book of Pipe Band Drumming. James Laughlin has just released the second volume, following on from the Guide to Pipe Band Drumming Volume 1 (for learners).
The core of the book is based on structured step-by-step development of the three key skills required to improve your drumming. RHYTHM, PHRASING and TECHNIQUE. In addition to the book, you can use the accompanying audio tracks to enhance your learning experience.
What have drummers been saying about the Guide to Pipe Band Drumming Volume 2?
“Hey James, I just wanted to let you know I got your new book and am loving it.” – Andrew Hoinacki, Top Grade 1 Scottish Drummer.
“Check out James Laughlin’s new book!! I was lucky to see it it before release which means I’ve got a jump on all of you! haha Great mental work out for advanced drummers and has really lit a fire under my score writing. What a great tool! Thanks, James! ” – Glenn Kvidahl, Leading Drummer with the LA Scots Pipe Band.
Check out more information about the book, and the AUDIO TRACKS!
You can get your copy here!
Well, it happened again….only it was even bigger and better than ever.
The Canberra College of Piping and Drumming hosted their annual Workshop for bagpipers and drummers. This special event brought in players from all over Australia, U.K and New Zealand. The Worlds top piping and drumming experts offered their advice, skills and knowledge.
The teaching line-up included Jim Kilpatrick, Tyler Fry, Jori Chisholm, Greg Wilson, Stuart Liddell, James Laughlin, Brenton Earl, Richard Hawke, Grant Cassidy and Ken Maltman.
Pipe Band drumming lessons were offered to students of all levels. People arrived, wanting to know how to play the Scottish drums, and they left with all the skills and ability to play the pipe band drum!
What topics were covered at the pipe band drumming workshop ?
Playing drum scores
And way more!
James Laughlin released his new book, Learn Pipe Band Drumming Volume 2, at the Canberra piping and drumming workshop. You can get your hands on a copy here. If you are just starting to learn pipe band drumming, then James Laughlins Guide to Pipe Band Drumming Volume 1 would be the best option for you!
Don’t forget to check out the C2D Studio – the worlds first and only digital scottish drumming studio.
You can now learn how to play the pipe band snare drum, at home on your computer or on the run with your Iphone or mobile device. James Laughlin has created informative and professional pipe band drumming video lessons, for drummers of all levels.
What benefits do you get from a Scottish drumming video lesson?
– You get an educational and informative lesson
– Correct your bad habits
– Develop good technique
– Enjoy an interactive lesson at your leisure
– Become a better drummer
Check the lessons out at :
All the best.
Drumming Tip - Practice Smart - not long! Focus on your weaknesses for 20 mins each day.
Have a little practice diary and note down what your weak points are and spend time focussing on them.
Otherwise, practicing can be pointless and lacking direction.