Canadian Musician - January/February 2023 - Page 58



How to Practice When You Have No Time : The 3 Minute Rule

By Chris Lesso

’ t break the chain . Your only job is to not to break the chain !” These are not the words of a drummer , but of comedian Jerry Seinfeld . Asked how he works on his craft , he says he writes at least one joke a day , every day . Even if he doesn ’ t feel like it , even if he feels extremely unfunny . Never missing a day creates a streak of momentum , like building links to a chain . The job is not to come up with brilliance every day , or to carve out a huge amount of practice time , or to be perfect ; the job is just to be consistent , to not break the chain .
There is great power in consistency and habit . This is the big secret to greatness and genius , not the myth of talent . Work on your craft every day . The name “ 3 Minute Rule ” comes from what I tell myself when I don ’ t feel like practicing : “ I will at least play for three minutes . I can do that .” The goal is to not miss an opportunity to connect with your instrument , tapping into the mighty “ why ” of what drives you to hit things in the first place and to let that guide you , however briefly .
Perhaps you ’ ve been to the Grand Canyon . The awesome shaping and sculpting of the massive rocks and canyons were done by a substance seemingly as weak as water . But done consistently , one drop at a time over millions of years , the result takes your breath away ! And the same will happen with you . Your individual expression you must take shape one day at a time . Not “ every now and then ,” and not “ when I feel like it .”
What if you were able to reach one straight year of playing every day , but at the very least for three minutes ? Here lies the force of momentum , which comes from hardwiring a habit . Willpower doesn ’ t work , but habits and rituals do . This way , practice becomes an addiction , not an affliction . Fire up your nervous system through drumming , and the connection between body , mind , and instrument becomes stronger each and every time . The most common excuse of not practicing is – you guessed it – “ I don ’ t have enough time !” But the 3 Minute Rule cuts through the excuses , because everyone can find three minutes .
Now we ’ ve beaten the resistance , we all have to stay where it ’ s safe , that inner voice that tells you to relax and to “ do it tomorrow .” We all know we need more than three minutes behind the kit ( that ’ s not even a full song !), but if that ’ s all you got on your worst day , then at least you ’ ve mastered your actions and connected with your instrument instead of missing yet another day . You ’ ve kept the coals of consistency burning , and you ’ ve pushed that next domino forward to keep and build your momentum . And I ’ m betting once you ’ ve got the sticks in your hands with your butt on your throne , through the magic of movement , more often than not , you won ’ t want to stop .
“ Put your ass where your heart wants to be .” – Steven Pressfield
You ’ ve heard “ the hardest part of working out is getting to the gym .” With the “ 3 Minute Rule ,” you ’ ll train yourself by tricking yourself to get your butt onto that drum throne . Doing a small act every day without fail creates massive momentum that can shatter your ceiling of achievement , of what you previously thought possible within yourself . I want to see and hear more of you on your instrument , and we get there through the reps . Your unique voice on the drums only begins to shine through the reps . You ’ ve now created a habit that silences the master excuse writer inside your mind . You ’ re now riding the wave of momentum , so remember : don ’ t break the chain !
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To unleash confidence , focus , and self-expression through your drumming like never before , connect with Chris at www . chrislesso . com .
Chris Lesso is an expert on optimizing the power of drumming to improve focus , confidence , and self-expression . LTR ( Life Through Rhythm ) is an attitude and way of life , using drumming as a force to reach our fullest potential , and live the art of possibility every day . Chris is sponsored by Sonor , Remo , Sabian , Vic Firth , and Prologix . Get a free course at www . chrislesso . com .