The Big Picture in Mind

Floor concept

This is a personal tip and it might be completely contrary to the method that you usually use to exercise and accomplish bigger tasks. In my opinion, this “big picture” method can help you to stay focused while enjoying your training success bit by bit.

Try to see your training program as some sort of stairway. Anything you truly want to master will cost you time and effort. To help you to reach your training goals I recommend that you use the ends of the main sections as extended periods of rest. You can consider the Basics, Intermediate, Advanced, and Xtreme course sections as floors, and each chapter within these sections as steps on the stairway.

Every six to nine weeks of training should be considered a floor. Certainly, everybody’s learning curve looks a bit different, but six to nine weeks worked pretty well for me, and I seldom practiced more than five hours per week. If you have lots of time to practice, reduce the exercise time slot by three weeks; if you have just a little bit of time, extend the time slot according to your available time contingent. Under all circumstances, you should do everything you can to establish continuity in your exercising.

Take at least one week of rest after you have reached a floor. Use this week to relax and enjoy your achievements. I mean really REST. Don’t touch the pad controller during this time. This will give you a greater feeling of accomplishment and it will sharpen your senses for that which is to come.

The house of skills

In the course of reaching your personal goals, you will build what I call the “house of fixed concrete.” Imagine that you are building a house of concrete. You cannot build a house with a huge amount of concrete all at once. You need to build it from the ground up to the roof. You need to start with the basement, add walls, the first floor, more walls, the next floor, and so on. Each new floor that you build needs to stand solidly on the several floors below. If all of the lower floors consist of hard concrete, you will have a good base on which to build a new floor. If the concrete on one of the lower floors is not hard and solid, you risk the collapse of your house.

You can apply this metaphor to learning the XpressPads finger drumming technique (and to many more things in life that you would like to achieve in a structured way). The several sub-concepts that I will show you relate to, and build upon, each other. Remember: if you have not mastered one of the sections thoroughly, you will run into trouble at higher levels.

This is why I cannot stress enough that you stay at each skill level until it is rock-solid before moving on to a new skill level. Do not skip chapters. I recommend that you work through the course from the beginning to the end.

Your Goals

The “house of skills” and the “floor concept” are general “big picture” guidelines for how you should practice in your efforts to achieve good and solid results. In order to apply these to the XpressPads finger drumming technique, consider the following capabilities to be your ultimate goals:

  • You will be able to play the beats that are “on your mind”.
  • You will know how to fit your finger drumming into different musical contexts.
  • You will be able to play all sorts of different finger techniques with ease.
  • Your finger drumming will be “musical” drumming.

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