There’s no doubt that learning how to play the drums is a challenge, but it’s also extremely satisfying.
In addition to this, there are studies that indicate that drumming can even have positive effects on your health, with some doctors even endorsing this instrument.
One of the most popular techniques you can use to hone your drumming skills is internal clock training. This technique allows you to become a better player and teaches you skills you can develop as you practice over time.
In this article, we’ll go over the basic definition of internal clock training, tell you the impact it has on all musicians, and give you a few tips on how you can keep training your body and developing your music skills effectively.
Defining Internal Clock Training
Regardless of your level of expertise, you probably know that developing great timekeeping abilities is key to becoming a good drummer. Having great time keeping skills gives you the ability to play music at the required tempo (or speed) as well as maintain a steady beat.
As you may have already guessed, training your internal clock refers to the process of teaching your body time keeping skills. While this may come naturally to some, most musicians have to practice endlessly in order to develop it consistently.
How The Internal Clock Affects Musicians
As we mentioned before, your internal clock will help you play the right beat at the right tempo. If you don’t develop your internal clock, you run the risk of speeding up or slowing down during a song, which can have detrimental effects on your music.
On the other hand, working on your timing skills means your songs will sound good. And, once you have developed your time keeping skills enough, you’ll be able to play in unison with a group of musicians and keep up with any spontaneous changes in rhythm.
What Are Tempo And BPMs?
Tempo is the pace or speed at which a particular song is played. Moreover, there are many different ways to choose a song’s tempo as it may be defined by individuals in the band, people in charge of a performance, or musicians choosing to play solo.
Tempo is often measured in beats per minute or BPM. This measurement can be used pretty much across all musical genres, but it may be substituted with a metronome mark in modern classical compositions.
How To Train Your Internal Clock
Training your internal clock may take a lot of time, but the truth is that there is no shortcut to it. In addition to this, there are dedicated exercises and tools you can use to help develop your internal clock.
Some of these may also help you develop other skills required for drumming at the same time. Keep in mind that the more you know about drumming the easier it will be, so take some time to learn the basics about drums, their different parts, and the accessories you have available.
You should also aim to develop skills you will need to accomplish your music goals. People who play drums strictly as a hobby have different needs to those aspiring to become professional musicians.
Lastly, there are studies that suggest that drummers have unique brain structures and there are some who believe that developing your internal clock helps create these unique pathways.
The most basic function of a metronome is to produce an audible click or a similar sound at regular intervals. Most metronomes allow users to set these intervals as BPM, which musicians use to practice and develop their internal clock.
Metronomes are among the most basic music tools, and while some choose to rebuff them, most music teachers encourage their pupils to use one in order to develop their time keeping skills. This, in turn, gives them the ability to keep up or change tempos easily.
If you don’t want to become metronome-dependent, you can always start using one to help improve your skills and gradually eliminate it. Other musicians prefer to avoid it as a whole and use techniques like counting out loud, although these may be tedious and limiting.
One of the best ways to improve your time keeping skills and train your internal clock is to record yourself. You can use a simple recording device such as a smartphone or a dedicated piece of equipment to playback and analyze your music.
Besides actually allowing you to listen to yourself play, recording yourself will help you identify areas for improvement. You can also track your musical progress and give yourself motivation for the musician you want to become.
Learn How To Read Sheet Music
Knowing how to read sheet music is a dying art form, but as any purist will tell you, it’s a great way to become a diverse musician. Sheet music simply refers to reading music printed on a page by using modern music notations.
Sheet music indicates musicians and provides instructions for pitches, chords, and/or rhythms of a song or instrumental composition.
Although many iconic musicians went their whole career without learning how to read sheet music, this skill can help you develop into a professional with a hefty set of skills.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
The best thing you can do to develop your internal clock and your overall drumming skills is to practice. Allocating time to practice on a regular basis will give you some structure and speed up your learning process.
But, there are also some limitations you may want to take into consideration. The most common one is time restrictions due to volume. Carrying out silent drumming practices can help you get over this obstacle without becoming a nuisance to others around you.
Also note that there are millions of fellow drummers, and you can always join popular forums to receive tips from seasoned experts.
Improving Your Drumming Skills
Developing your drumming skills requires a lot of effort. But, by putting in the work and practicing on a regular basis, you’ll master the art of drumming and develop your internal clock efficiently.