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Things Every Beginner Drummer Should Learn

 

Beginners are by far the largest population of drummers, and they come in lots of shapes and sizes. While some teachers do a great job of taking into account age, background, and learning modalities (visual, auditory, and tactile), others use a cookie-cutter approach (probably because they were taught this way) to help their newbies and this drumming tips.

Work out of only one book, hold the sticks a certain way, play within only one genre of music, learn certain rudiments, and so on. Though many of these instructors have had past success with these methods, modern-day clientele often find this narrow approach to be old-fashioned and stale; they’re not engaged and having fun. It’s not surprising when students ask, “Why not teach myself?”. Below are Drumming Tips that every beginner should learn.

In the not-so-distant past, self-learning was very limited: pick up a book (or a magazine, of course), listen to recordings, or watch your favorite drummers play live. You might have even popped a few instructional videos into a VCR. With the wealth of high-tech educational resources available to beginners these days, including YouTube, DVDs, e-books, online lessons, websites, and apps, we’re swimming in a sea of innovation.

However, it’s become increasingly difficult for students to stay afloat. They easily become overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices, lose their focus, and require guidance. The following ten categories give beginners a way to organize their learning. Teachers may also find helpful ideas to add to their toolboxes. Categories are not ranked by order of importance. In other words, you could start with any one (or more) of these. It’s important to proceed judiciously.

Take the time to repeat new exercises and play them at different tempos. Go for mastery over scratching the surface. Eliminate all distractions, follow through with your goals, and you’ll soon see tangible results and how each strand is interconnected. Whether or not you decide to have a mentor to guide you through this process, ultimately you will need to inspire and motivate yourself. Who knows? If you stick with it, we may soon be writing about you in this magazine.

Drumming Tips

1. HAND AND FOOT TECHNIQUE

Grip An easy way to find your grip is to stand up with your hands at your side. Using your left hand, place the stick into your right hand. The flat part of your thumb should make contact with the stick and your remaining fingers then wrap around naturally.

Holding the sticks in an efficient manner is key to getting off to a good start.

Repeat the procedure, placing the other stick into your left hand. Grip the sticks back slightly from the actual balance point (the middle) of the stick. When using matched grip, it’s common that the butt (back) of the stick makes contact near the bottom of the inside of your hand.

Fulcrum Pinch the sticks between the thumb and first joint of the index finger and/or the thumb and the second joint. Some drummers feel more comfortable using the middle finger or a combination of index and middle finger.

Tight vs. Loose Gripping the sticks too tightly keeps the tip from bouncing freely off the playing surface. Secure the stick only hard enough to ensure that it doesn’t fly out of your hand. As the late Jim Chapin advised, hold the sticks as you would a baby bird.

Angle Of Attack The American grip (where the sticks become an extension of the lower part of your arm and the thumb is in a 3/4 position) produces a playing angle of about 60–80 degrees. This makes it easy to target the inner concentric circle of the drum head, and allows you to more easily access both wrists and fingers.

The French grip (thumb on top) and German grip (thumb on the side) are also useful (the French grip, for example, works well for playing time on a ride cymbal or a floor tom), but the American grip is the preferred way to start.

Drumming Tips - Things Every Beginner Should Learn for free stroke music sheet

Free vs. Controlled In a free stroke, the rebound carries the stick from a high position (near shoulder height) back to a high position. In a controlled stroke, the stick starts high, strikes the drum, but is then controlled by the fingers in a low position (a few inches off the head).

Ex. 1 Play controlled strokes in the first measure (a simple eighth-note rock beat) and free strokes in the second measure (the sixteenth-note fill). You may find it easier to produce free strokes using the second joint and thumb as the fulcrum while utilizing the American grip.

Matched vs. Traditional Beginners often find traditional grip more challenging to pick up than matched. The traditional fulcrum (non-dominant hand only) is located in the fleshy webbing between your thumb and pointer finger (instead of between two or three of the fingers in matched).

Also, instead of the more familiar up and down motion of matched, traditional uses a completely different motion — an underhand rotation of the forearm — to produce the stroke. To avoid unnecessary cognitive dissonance, you might want to wait to learn traditional grip until you’ve become comfortable with matched.

Arm, Wrist, And Fingers At first, some beginners have a tendency to inefficiently use their arms to propel the sticks, instead of their wrists. To learn to avoid this, grab your right forearm with your left hand, thereby immobilizing your right arm. Now play using your wrist only.

Incorporating your fingers in the playing motion — along with the wrists — is another important technique. To get a feel for this, hold your right stick using the French grip. Next, grab ahold of your right wrist with your left hand. Because you can’t move your right wrist, you’ll propel the stick using only your fingers.

Crossed Over vs. Openhanded When playing rock or funk beats, most drummers cross their dominant stick over to the hi-hat while crossing their non-dominant hand to the snare (normally right over left). The logic here is that the strong hand can better handle the speed and endurance required in hi-hat playing.

In open-handed playing (non-crossed-over), the wrists/ arms operate within a full range of motion. Ex. 2 As a beginner, you’ll benefit greatly by learning to both cross over and play open-handed. The two-measure phrases in this exercise (one measure crossed-over, one measure open-handed) should entice you to make both techniques a permanent fixture in your practice routine.

 

2. LEARNING METHODS

Heel-down vs. Heel-up In heel-down technique, the entire bottom portion of the foot remains on the pedalboard as the lower leg and ankle push down. This technique allows for the beater to bounce easily off the head, producing a more resonant bass drum tone. In heel-up technique, your heel rises slightly off the pedalboard, while the ball of the foot remains.

With heel-up, it’s easier to bury the beater (allow it to remain on the head), giving off more attack and less resonance. This technique uses the bigger muscles in your upper leg and hip and can yield extremely powerful strokes.

Using heel-down, beginners often have trouble keeping their toes from coming off the pedal; and using heel-up, they often lift their entire foot off the pedal and stomp on it. Lifting off the bass drum pedal provides no mechanical advantage and can produce long-term control issues.

Drumming Tips - heel down and up music sheet

Ex. 3 This exercise gives you a chance to try out both bass drum techniques: heel-up and heel-down. Which one feels more comfortable to you?

Learning Methods

Vocabulary Learning the names of the parts of the drum kit and the history of each, whether teaching it to yourself or communicating with your students, is not a waste of time. In fact, it will save you hours of frustration in the long run.

Drumming Tips - one note at a time music sheet

One Note At A Time When faced with a daunting groove or lick, you can approach it one note or one group of notes at a time. Your brain can more easily absorb small bits of information that way. Ex. 4 Check out this sixteenth-note-based linear groove. Try learning it one note at a time. It’s a pretty intricate pattern, so don’t cheat!

Copy Cat This fun method requires two or more drummers (though it is possible to do this activity by yourself). The leader (often a teacher) plays a lick and the follower (the student) copies it. This can be done with or without the aid of sheet music.

deconstruction music sheetDeconstruction When multilayered beats and fills are broken down into their component parts, the brain can more easily accept the vertical relationships of the notes. Ex. 5a–5g A one-measure funk pattern (5a) is broken down into its component parts: hi-hat only (5b), bass drum only (5c), and snare only (5d). Next, combinations of two components are paired together: hi-hat and bass drum (5e), hi-hat and snare (5f), and bass drum and snare (5g). When you’ve mastered each individual exercise, go back to the top and try the original pattern. Did this method help you?

Slow It Down Slowing down a pattern allows your body to relax and gives your brain time to process the information. If you go slowly enough, a potential mistake instead becomes a graceful recovery. A metronome is a great tool. It ensures that you start as slowly as you think you should, and can help tug you along to an ideal tempo.

Play Softer There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as pounding away on the drums. However, it can be counterproductive when you’re trying to learn something new. Loud noises can cause lapses in concentration. Once you have the pattern down pat, turn it back up to ten.

3. TIME AND GROOVE

Songs Let’s face it; drumming is mostly used for accompaniment. Our job is to help convey the message and support the song. Though there are many great play-alongs available, drumming to music that includes both vocal melody and lyrics is invaluable. Ex. 6a–6d Listed here are four basic rock grooves with a song recommendation for each.

Obviously, many more beats (and songs) could be added to this list. Some of the tempos are a little too fast for some beginners. Slow-downer programs, available as apps or software for your PC, are highly recommended to help with this issue.

Drumming Tips - metroname music sheet

Metronome Developing a steady pulse is of vital importance for every drummer. Metronomes are now available as apps and are a great tool to strengthen your timing. Ex. 7a–7h The persistent click sound found in metronomes can become grating and counterproductive to learning.

In this exercise, a snare passage is repeated a number of times, but you’ll notice that the click appears in different rhythmic positions: sixteenths, eighths, quarters, every &, beats 2 and 4 (half-notes), every e and ah, beats 1 and 3 (half-notes), and beat 1 (whole notes). Continue to use this concept, and it will not only enliven your practice sessions, but will have a remarkable effect on your development.

Patterns From time to time, a beginning student shows up to her first lesson, and immediately wants to learn an advanced beat or fill. As a teacher, sometimes you have to dismiss the request. Other times, you can use that enthusiasm to teach a whole slew of interrelated skills and concepts.

Ex. 8 Here’s a typical funk pattern. You’ll observe a beat with both rhythmic complexity and dynamic articulations. Of course, this is a pattern not normally associated with beginning students, but breaking it down into the following elements provides a number of teachable moments: rhythm (combinations of eighth- and sixteenth-notes), sticking (notice the paradiddles on beat 3 in the first measure), and various articulations (buzz strokes, ghosted notes, and accents).

Drumming Tips - coordination music sheet

4. COORDINATION

Ostinatos Drum set coordination can be a frightening prospect to beginners. One way to develop coordination is to use ostinatos (continuous patterns). The idea is to get one or more of your limbs going repeatedly so you won’t have to think about that limb as much.

In turn, your other limbs can begin to perform functions independently. Ex. 9 Instead of the typical ostinato workouts in which the feet maintain a steady pattern and the hands play over the top, here, the hands remain constant while the feet change things up.

5. PATTERNS AND RUDIMENTS

List For Beginners The following rudiments are relatively easy for beginners to grasp: single-stroke rolls, double-stroke rolls, single paradiddles, multiple bounce rolls, five-, six-, seven-, and nine-stroke rolls, flams (including power flams), flam accents, flams taps, and Swiss army triplets.

Application Once you are accustomed to these rudiments, apply them to the drum kit. Ex. 10 In this one-measure groove, a nine-stroke roll, seven-stroke roll, flam tap, and flam are applied to the hi-hat and snare.

6. FILLS

Traveling Around The Drums When most people sit down to the kit for the first time, they want to move their sticks all around. Without an organized way to do this, the result may sound an awful lot like drums falling down stairs. Ex. 11 Let’s look at an exercise adapted from my beginner’s book, Drumcraft. It uses single strokes and the single paradiddle (as a pivot) to help you travel around the drums, from the left side to the right side and back.

3.5 + 0.5 Short fills have become a recent staple in pop music: In fact, most are limited to one or two beats. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable, but it’s a reality nevertheless.

Ex. 12a–12b Four-bar phrases are constructed in three and a half measures of a rock groove and a half measure (two beats) of a fill. Notice the circular nature of these phrases: The end of each fill becomes the beginning (the downbeat) of the next measure (the rock groove). You can land back on the hi-hat/bass drum — as notated here — or replace the hi-hat with a crash, using the shoulder of the stick to make contact with the cymbal in a glancing blow.

7. READING & WRITING

Subdividing Breaking down quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-notes into their least common denominator (sixteenth-notes) helps the beginner keep these rhythms in time. Developing a good foundation helps newbies then branch out to more complex rhythms. Ex. 13 In this exercise, quarters, eighths, and sixteenths are in a sequence. Make sure to count a steady stream of sixteenth-notes all the way through as you play.

Looking Ahead Reading and playing rhythmic notation can be a challenge when your eye remains on the rhythm at hand. Once you get more familiar with the rhythms you’re reading, begin to look a beat or more ahead, as you do when you read text in a book.

Writing Your Own Music Learning to read and play music notation is very much like the process of learning a foreign language. Without learning to write at the same time, you may be missing out on fully comprehending the new language. Find some blank staff paper and write your own music. You’ll be surprised by the benefits.

Transcribing/Listening/Analysis It’s never too early for drum students (especially with guidance from a teacher) to begin to listen intently to music, pick out the drums from the mix, and write down what they hear. This helps many students better conceptualize notation, get a sense of why drum parts are played within a song structure (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, and so on), and allows them to communicate better with other musicians.

Things Every Beginner Should Learn for alternating music sheet

8. STICKING

Alternating Most people pick up on the concept of alternating (one stick after another) very easily. Ex. 14a Hand-to-hand playing works very well here, especially when the right foot is not involved. However, when you take the kick drum into consideration, you see that both the right and left hands land on the beat (with the kick), and the involved coordination is more challenging.

Logical Approach The concept here is that the dominant hand lands on every beat. Because of this, sticking becomes much more predictable, and coordination with the kick is easier. Ex. 14b: Compare this sticking to the feeling of the alternating example (14a).

9. DYNAMICS

Balance Depending on the musical genre, dynamic balance can be of utmost importance. For example, in rock the kick and snare are most predominant, while in jazz — except for playing accents — the ride cymbal is heard above the kick and snare.

Accents The excitement generated by surrounding louder notes with softer notes (or vice versa) is one of the hidden keys to masterful drum part creation. Some drummers struggle with the concept of raising or lowering the stick height to produce louder or softer notes.

In 1942, George E. Glasgens published a book to help students with this called Strokes And Taps. Since that time many others have perfected the system, including Charles Wilcoxon, Roy Burns, Lewis Malin, and most recently, Jeff W. Johnson with his excellent book, The Level System. Ex. 15a–15b Play a two-measure accent pattern on the snare (15a). Make sure the accented notes don’t affect the volume (or stick height) of the unaccented notes. In 15b, the accents are now applied to the crash cymbal (and bass drum).

Crescendos A crescendo is a gradual increase in volume from soft to loud, which often provides tension in the music. Ex. 15c: This exercise involves sixteenth-notes played as flat flams (simultaneous hits) using the snare (left hand), floor tom (right hand), and bass drum (right foot). Since the crescendo is executed over two bars, make sure to affect very small dynamic changes (and stick height increases) as you go.

10. TAKE CARE

Stretching Warming Up Playing drums is physically demanding, and just like many other strenuous activities, stretching is recommended to prevent injury. Warming up is also good for your body as it increases blood flow to your limbs before you start to exert yourself.

Hearing Protection There are plenty of options available to help you prevent hearing loss: mute pads, earplugs, earmuffs, mesh heads (Remo), low-volume cymbals (Zildjian), and low-volume drum surfaces (Aquarian). You are simply out of excuses. Protect your precious ears!

Ergonomics The way you set up your drums, cymbals, pedals, stands, and throne is paramount to maintaining a healthy drumming future. Fight the urge to slouch as you play. Because we all have slightly different physiologies, it’s worth putting in the time to determine the setup that is best for your body.

Drum Care The longer you play drums, the closer the relationship becomes between you and your gear. Buy cases (or bags) for your gear, change drum heads periodically, lubricate tension rods and hinges, don’t over-tighten wing screws to avoid stripping the threads, and keep everything clean and dust-free.

Tuning To a certain extent, you are only as good as your sound. With all the books, DVDs, YouTube videos, and gadgets out there to help you tune, you should be able to achieve a pretty darn good drum sound. Again, if you have any trouble with this, seek out an expert.

What is Gain & How It Differs from Volume

One of the biggest questions we often see from beginner mixing engineers and producers is,

What is gain and how does it differ from volume?

Having an understanding of the differences is crucial and can alter the way your mixes sound for the better! Continue reading to find out how you can craft better mixes with a proper understanding of volume and gain.

What Is Gain?

If we look back to the days of analog, we can see that gain was relatively straightforward in the definition. However, now that we’re working with audio in the digital realm, the definition of gain has new complexities to consider.

Because several of the plugins we use mimic analog gear, we still have to consider the old properties of gain while noting how it works in the digital realm.

When many people think of gain, they think of the output signal level of a sound system that comes out the speakers. Your compressor plug-ins likely have a “makeup gain” function. While that particular nob knob might read “gain,” it is really just a fancy way to say output volume.

The true definition of gain from the analog audio days is the input level. of the audio signal. In essence, the gain control is what you alter prior to entering other forms of processing. Making a gain adjustment can drastically alter the tone of your audio signal.

For example, you might find a gain control on your microphone preamp. You can use this gain knob to change the level of the microphone. Your console or interface will react differently depending on how high or low you set your gain.

You can find the same thing on a guitar amplifier. Most guitar amps have a volume knob and a gain knob. You can use the gain knob to change the voltage going in to get a bit of grit and distortion.

In fact, the first cases of distortion came from guitarists overloading their preamp sections on their amplifiers, which is why many people refer to gain as “distortion.”

What Is Volume?

Volume, sometimes referred to as “amplitude,” is a sound system’s dB output. Essentially, it is the level of the music coming out of your speakers.

After a signal has been processed and it makes its way out of a sound system, the volume is how loud it is. In essence, volume is how loud we perceive something to be.

In the world of mixing, the volume of a signal is the audible level of the source you are sending out of your speakers.

Using an amplifier for your bass or guitar?

The volume knob is what controls the output volume of your amp’s speaker or speakers. The same thing goes for the volume knob in your car sound system.

The crucial thing to note is that the volume will not alter the sound coming out of the speaker, as it is not a tone control. Volume simply controls the loudness or amplitude of your system. 

Gain Vs. Volume – What’s The Difference?

The differences between these two terms might seem simple, though people often complicate the difference.. To make it simple for you, gain is the level of your audio going into a system while the volume is the level going out of your system.

Gain gives us the ability to alter the sound of a voice or instrument by driving the circuit in which it is entering, while the volume control allows us to adjust the overall loudness of your audio without changing the tone.

What Is Gain Used For?

Gain is used for a variety of things in the world of audio, but one of the most important things that gain control is used for is getting the right level going into a system. That is the difference between it and volume.

For starters, you can use the gain control on your microphone preamps to boost the level of your microphone going into your system. Microphones use what is called a mic level signal, which is a very low signal with less amplitude than line level signals, or instrument signals.

So, whenever you plug your microphone into your console or interface, you must boost the input. It is important to note that, in the world of audio, you are constantly dealing with what is called a noise floor , which is noise produced by electronics and other various components. If you don’t give your microphone enough gain at the input stage, then the level of your microphone will sit too close to the noise floor, giving you a low signal to noise floor ratio .

Using a pre-amp to increase the level of your mic signal going into your system so that you get the valuable signal you want in your recording without all of the noise.

Another reason that you wan to make sure your gain is set correctly is so that it hits your analog-to-digital converters at the optimal level.

In short, an analog-to-digital converter, otherwise known as an ADC, converts electronic signals (analog) into signals that your computer can read (digital). To get the highest-fidelity recording, it is important that you give your system the loudest possible gain without heading into the red (otherwise known as clipping).

The difference between distorting in the analog world and clipping in the digital world is that clipping in the digital world is a big no-no. It occurs because your digital system is only able to handle a certain amount of voltage. Too much voltage and your music will get a nasty, distorted sound that is not often preferred.

Of course, that is not to say we can’t push gain to the point of distortion for a desired effect. Consider the fact that many guitarists use gain on their guitar amplifiers to push the internal electronics and get a heavy, saturated, and distorted tone. As a guitarist, you can do this by placing a boost pedal or overdrive pedal in front of your amplifier to raise the level of the sound going in and reach its distortion point.

In summary, there are three main ways in which you can use gain:

  • Optimizing your SNR value
  • Getting the most out of your analog to digital converters
  • Imparting distortion on your amplifier or mixing console

What Is Gain Staging?

In the world of mixing, engineers will often talk about the importance of gain staging. This term, which floods online mixing forums, is often misunderstood.

We use gain staging to create level consistency in a digital system. The idea with proper gain staging is that the level going into the digital channel matches the level going out of the channel. Gain staging ensures that we’re using the optimal level going into our plugins, which can help us craft more accurate mixes and perceive our sounds better.

Gain staging is a crucial part of the mixing process in which you make sure all of your tracks are roughly at the same level prior to applying processing. As you continue processing through your mix, you will use gain staging after each plugin to maintain consistent volume.

For example, if you decide to compress a signal, you will likely lose a bit of volume. To compensate for that loss, you will use the makeup gain control to boost your signal back to its original volume so that when it enters the next plugin, it is doing it an optimal level.

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The Benefits of Professional Mastering

 
The goal of mastering is to make your recorded tracks sound their absolute best. Often, it’s the difference between a decent raw track and a professional sounding masterpiece. However, many still take the process into their own hands and fall short of these desired results. Mastering is a notoriously complex business, requiring a seasoned set of ears and the technical know-how of a recording studio veteran. Thankfully, there a number of professional mastering experts on-hand to transform your music into distribution-ready perfection.
A professional mastering process ensures that every part of your track is giving its all, and sitting in its perfect place alongside all the other elements. Getting that ideal sound is no mean feat; manipulating sonic characteristics and whipping every tone and limit into shape can sharpen your music and breathe life into a raw recording. However, unprofessional or amateur mastering can distort and warp your beloved treasure. So, keep your goods in the hands of those you can trust – those with the years of experience to prove their mastering mastery.
The first benefit of professional mastering comes with experience. A professional has spent years defining tracks and pulling out the winning parts. It’s these expert ears that often separate a stunningly smooth mix from a riotous cacophony. A professional can also help you go that extra step, finding techniques and sounds that work with your ideal sound and manipulating your work to ensure the right tone is achieved. Finding an expert on the same page as you in this respect is invaluable.
Mastering also helps your tracks form a whole, unified album. Coherency throughout the track listing is achieved through the process of level matching, compression, and volume consistency. Taking on this process yourself, without the appropriate ear or experience, can often leave an album sounding flat. A professional will help make each track shine by itself, while also creating a tonally refined collection.
There’s also the hard truth that better equipment really does equal better results. You can hack your way through free trial software or an old mixing station, but today’s top of the range technology still produces the clearest, punchiest results. Unfortunately, it’s rare you’ll find this gear lying around so submitting your work to a professional with access to, and deep knowledge of, the latest technologies will give your tracks the best possible starting position.
Mastering also takes a considerable amount of time. Done right, every layer of every tone must be considered, manipulated, tuned, and polished off. It’s a process of learning where each track is coming from, and where it should end up, that takes hours of concentration and technical know-how. What’s more, learning how to master in the first place is a meticulous and time-consuming process.
It’s likely you already have a sound understanding of the technical musical elements that make up your track. Sadly, that’s rarely enough to master a track to today’s high standards. The process is extremely technical and requires inside-out knowledge of sonic manipulation, in-depth software, and complex processes. Professional mastering will see your tracks in the hands of experts who live and breathe these procedures, meaning they will stand out amongst the rest.

TEAM SPIRIT

Embodying a sense of team spirit at work helps employees to bond with their colleagues and impress their managers. Team spirit isn’t just limited to interacting with other employees. It also extends to dealing with customers, partners, and vendors.

What Is Team Spirit?

Regardless of what an employee’s role is, at some point, they will have to work with other people at the company – whether that’s a colleague, customer, or other stakeholders. Team spirit is an attitude that enables people to work well together. It’s about camaraderie, cooperation, and collaboration between different members of the organization.

Team spirit is based on the culture of the company. Businesses, where collaboration and teamwork are encouraged, will have high levels of team spirit as employees will be familiar with working with one another. For businesses where job descriptions require employees to work more individually, team spirit activities may need to be implemented to encourage colleagues to interact with one another.

In many cases, team spirit needs to be modeled at the executive level. Leaders within the business need to show they are committed to working well with others, regardless of their place within the organization. This kind of behavior shows employees that the company values camaraderie and cooperation.

Why Team Spirit and Sportiness Are Important at Work

Team spirit is integral to building a successful team. People that exemplify good team spirit may be able to take on more leadership responsibilities and management roles, as they are able to encourage others to work well together.

When people show teamwork spirit, it means they are more invested in the goals of their organization. Teams that function well together are more productive and provide greater value to an organization than teams that are full of conflict. When teams are working well together, the organization will be more efficient and profitable.

Actively Solving Problems

One of the most common team spirit examples includes taking initiative and working actively to solve issues within the organization. Regardless of whether that particular problem is part of an employee’s job description, people with good team spirit will have the drive and motivation to help the company find solutions.

This involves actively participating in meetings and providing ideas and suggestions to further the goals of the organization. In addition, people with good team spirit often volunteer to take on additional tasks outside of their job description if that means it helps solve a problem. Active problem solving is also a key characteristic of strong leadership, which is tied to team spirit.

Helping and Teaching Others

Going above and beyond what is required to help colleagues is an example of good team spirit. This can be as simple as inviting a new hire for lunch on their first day so they have the opportunity to bond with someone at work, or as involved as helping a co-worker with a big project.

Sometimes, employees are in a situation where they have more work to accomplish than hours in the day. People with good team spirit often help out colleagues by offering to do a few tasks for them or teaching them a new way to complete a task more efficiently.

This is similar to the abundance mentality, which is the belief that there is enough success for everyone. By helping out another employee, you are not taking away from your own success, but are instead helping to lift someone up.

Mentoring Junior Employees

Passing down knowledge, guidelines, and advice is one of many good team spirit ideas. Senior employees that have a lot of job experience in the industry or at the company can take the time to advise greener employees about various areas of the business.

Knowledge can be handed down through mentoring or coaching other employees on a regular basis. Many organizations have coaching programs that are used to help new employees build key skills and further their careers. Volunteering to participate in these kinds of programs is an example of good team spirit.

Participating in Company Rituals

Taking part in company rituals and activities is a way to show _team spirit and sportivenes_s. For example, if a company holds birthday celebrations for all employees, it’s important to attend those when they don’t conflict with work to show engagement within the organization.

Some businesses have team building events that are optional and outside of work hours, such as going to a local bar for a trivia night or going bowling with the department. While these events can take up personal time, they are a good way to exemplify team spirit and build a bond with colleagues.

Exemplifying a Strong Work Ethic

People with a solid work ethic often have great team spirit. These employees show their colleagues that they feel their work is rewarding, and that they enjoy doing it. Often, people with a strong work ethic are rewarded for their contributions to the business.

Often in teams, there is a variety of work styles. Some employees may be hard workers while others may take several breaks and not put in as much time and effort. In order to successfully work in a team environment, it’s important to contribute equally so others don’t feel they are being taken advantage of or disrespected.

Communicating Appropriately in Public and Private

Communicating well with colleagues, managers, customers, and external stakeholders is a way to show good team spirit. There is a time and a place for certain conversations, and it’s important to know when certain subjects are appropriate and when they should not be discussed. Similarly, using the right tone to communicate with others, both in public and private, is a part of being a good team player.

For example, if a colleague has a certain area where they are particularly weak, it’s best not to bring that issue up in public where it could embarrass or hurt them. If it’s something critical that they need to do, bring it up in a private setting using a compassionate and helpful tone.

Praising the Backbone of the Organization

In many businesses, there are some individuals or teams that are the backbone of the organization. They do important work but are not often in the limelight. For example, clerical staff or the administrative group perform necessary and critical functions of many organizations, but they may not be acknowledged as much as the sales team.

Part of teamwork spirit is to acknowledge those members of the team that doesn’t often get enough praise. This not only shows those colleagues that their work is valued, but it also shows other team members how critical every employee is to the success of the company.

Giving Without Receiving

One of the most important good team spirit ideas is to give time, money, or expertise to others without expecting anything in return. If a colleague’s daughter is selling cookies for her scout group, buying a couple of boxes shows good team spirit. If the company is having a car wash fundraiser, offering to volunteer for a few hours on the weekend shows team spirit and sportiness.

Similarly, sharing expertise, whether it’s with colleagues, customers, or partners, helps to build credibility and trust. If a prospective customer doesn’t understand the full benefits of the product, taking extra time to walk them through it helps them to see the value of the employee’s knowledge and their commitment to team spirit.

Be CONFIDENT

No matter what your dream is, don’t ignore it. If there is something in you telling you that this is what you want to do, you owe it to yourself to, at the very least, acknowledge it and think about how it might come to reality.
Sit down, write out your goal, and start outlining a rough road map of how you might get there. Do you need a business plan or investors? Will you need more classes, or will your experience provide enough of a foundation? Just having it on paper might help you begin framing the reality. Better yet, identify some people you know who have made it work for them, and seek their guidance and mentorship. The more you think and talk about your goal, the more you can begin to see how it could really work in reality.
Hope this stirs up the hunger to discover your passion and the courage to go for what makes your heart beat.
#wednesdaymotivation

How To Improve Vocal Stamina

How To Improve Vocal Stamina

When it comes to improving your vocal stamina, viewing your voice like any other muscle in your body is a great way to approach vocal training. For example, take working out at the gym. It pays to have a tailored ‘workout’ programme designed by a trainer to suit your needs. Having an effective practice plan that focuses on everything you want to strengthen will help your voice immensely.

You can tackle your vocal workout 3-5 x per week depending on what you are working towards.

I believe singers are athletes! In the same way you would build muscular stamina, you can improve vocal stamina using similar principles.

Five Ways To Improve Your Vocal Stamina

  1. Regular Focused Practice

Aim for 15-60 mins per practice session, 4-6 x per week. However, just like the gym, if you are starting out it, build your workouts and stamina slowly so as to not put too much strain on your vocal muscles. Starting out 3 x per week for 30 minutes is great. Build it as you improve or if you are working towards a show or specific gig. Incorporate learning and polishing new songs into your vocal practice.

  1. Vocal Rest

Make sure you schedule rest days in between intensive practices.

It could be a full day of vocal rest, like NO SPEAKING and this is hard to do but is a good reminder of what life will be like if you push yourself too hard vocally and end up on vocal rest for a long period of time. You can also do a modified vocal rest period of 15-20 minutes after any high voice use including talking for long periods.

  1. Singers Technique Toolkit

Singing with excellent technique in itself is the key to improving your vocal stamina. If you are singing efficiently, you should be able to sing 4-6 days per week without too much stress on your voice but you should be incorporating rest days as well. One thing singers tend to do that leads to fatigue is working the vocal folds too hard and using very high effort levels without adjusting based on the task at hand.

Some key tips for singing to instantly help with this:

Monitor your effort levels. Try to perform the same phrase with less effort. Assign an effort number on a scale of 1-10 and adjust based on how you are feeling on the day plus to develop your control at varying effort numbers. The high notes require less air pressure, the low notes require more air pressure. Pushing or reaching for high notes will exhaust your vocal folds.

Learning how to use your breath effectively, your filter/resonance as well as voice qualities to make singing easier are must-do’s for improving technique, stamina plus overall enjoyment in singing.

  1. Consistency

Consistency will really help shift the dial for your voice. Getting the practice in and sticking at it will improve your vocal stamina. The best way to get better at singing is more singing! Use your practice plan to focus your attention when you are increasing the frequency of your singing.

  1. Review

Once you have a solid practice plan and have maintained consistency with your practice routine, begin to make time to review your practices and performances to reflect on how you can improve all elements of your singing. Challenge yourself with new vocal exercises and songs outside of your chosen genre. Recording yourself singing and constructively ‘critiquing’ your performance or letting someone you trust critique you, is a great way to improve your singing. You could approach it like a “before and after” singing video.

Tackle a song you find tricky as part of start your regular practice schedule, go at it for a month, then record yourself singing the same song again to see the improvements!

What else can you do to improve vocal stamina?

Remember to also prioritize vocal health as a foundational element of improving your vocal stamina. A healthy voice is a happy voice that can have all vocal techniques overlaid onto it.

As always, we would love to hear from you if you have any comments or thoughts to add on improving vocal stamina.

Building Your Vocal Strength

WORKING ON YOUR VOCAL STRENGTH

One can hardly ignore the loud voice of a newborn baby: with no warm-ups, training or instruction, he uses his vocal folds correctly, controlling them so perfectly, as to produce ear-piercing sounds with significant vocal strength.

This shows that speaking and even (non-professional) singing are innate skills, which require no training. Professional help is only needed in case your vocal effect is unsatisfactory.

In other words, natural, free, and fluent singing or speech comes easy. But in order to achieve vocal strength you must, sometimes, contract your oral cavity and neck muscles-without a further straining of your cords, but while relaxing them.

Confusing as it may sound, it’s very easy to practice these techniques for improving vocal strength.

Supposing you had a strong voice, as a baby, you have the same vocal capacity today-unless your lifestyle is unhealthy. 

So, if you’re not heard loud and clear, or you have difficulties to generate a strong sound effortlessly or without damaging your voice, you should try the following exercises:

Warning: in case of ailments on your vocal cords, of vocal fatigue, avoid these exercises. Instead, perform short relaxation exercises such as the drinking straw exercise

  1. Diaphragm and abdominal muscles strengthening exercises:

    1. Breathe in through your nose, and then breathe out through your mouth while making an “s” sound as long as possible.

    2. After a few minutes’ exercise, start making a short “s” sound while intensively drawing your belly in.         

The purpose of his exercise is tightening your belly and diaphragm, strengthening the breath support and make the diaphragm and abdominal muscles contract with a better coordination. This allows you to support and strengthen your voice. We recommend performing this exercise a few seconds before any vocal effort.

  1. Make your voice a little nasal, imagining it as a howl. This should make it sharper and less airy. The reason that sometimes speakers with strong voices can shout without getting hoarse, is they usually increase their vocal strength by making their voice nasal.

  2. External oral and neck muscles strengthening exercises:

  • Except in the cases presented below, it doesn’t take opening your mouth wide to enhance your vocal strength. Instead, you should kind of “chew” and “bite” the words-that is, moving your lips intensely, thus pronouncing the vowels accurately and stressing them. Just let the sounds roll in the front of your mouth and “chew” them forcefully.

  • Another useful trick is “braking”, or resisting the words’ pronunciation. While in case of vocal overstraining, you should release your jaw and relax your tongue and lips, if your voice is intact and you want to enhance its strength, you should press and stress the words.

Practically speaking, just imagine your upper and lower teeth forcefully attached together while speaking or singing. This should increase your vocal volume and enhance local muscles effect. To increase the effect, you may show your teeth occasionally.

Another and commonly practices vocal strength exercise is trying to speak while holding a cork with your teeth. This exercise stresses actions such as, biting, small mouth opening, and teeth exposing. It also uses additional force of external neck muscles during consonant pronunciation and increases air resistance, thus pushing the vocal folds more tightly against each other, eventually producing a stronger voice.

  1. Exercises for singers:   

When shouting or singing high tones, as well as low tones, (tones above or below first octave), we recommend you should relax your lower jaw. Here, the extent of mouth opening is most important: in high and low tones, a wide mouth opening strains the muscles which allow the tightening of you vocal cords. This makes it easier for you to reach high and low tones. When singing the middle octave, you should not open your mouth widely. By contrast, when singing very high tones, you should release your upper jaw further, smile wide, and sense your voice vibrating with head resonance. This exercise should strengthen your voice box muscles and boost your confidence.

We strongly hope this article has been helpful. Do share!

WHERE ARE THEY, WHY THE SWITCH, WHAT CAN WE DO?

It has been quite a thing that has been happening in our midst especially in the church and it seems to not gain our attention.
What could it be?

WHERE ARE THEY, WHY THE SWITCH, WHAT CAN WE DO?
In a bid to answer this question, an interview was organized with one Mr S. (A talented growing Gospel Music Minister and an Instrumentalist) to get his opinion on the very issue that has been eating the church for many years now…

Mr S. says, “You see, to be candid with you and not to mince words, the very reason as to why ‘some of the talented voices’ who had their beginnings and training from the church cross the line along their career to join the worldly secular music is due to lack of “support, absence of platforms to promote their gifts and timely encouragement.”

He further continued by saying;

“Most of the popular Artists you hear today, with the likes of D’banj, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Terry G, etc… all began their music career from the church but due to one reason or the other, they seem to deviate and its effects can not only be heard in their songs but also seen in their lifestyle.

The major cause of this is “Lack of Management”. Mr S.

How then can this be solved?

“Let the church administration cater for their youths. Platforms should be created to promote the gifts of those who have discovered theirs, and constant programs/schemes and empowerment be set in place to help the others discover their God-given gifts and there should be proper monitoring of their progress along the line.

The Church is the one that nurtures them up, don’t push them out when they want more. Of course, it is normal for anyone with an ability, to want to use it in a way that he/she will become relevant. They would want fame, money and the likes. Instead of pushing them out by labeling them as “a backslider”, set up committees that will organize programs where these youths will be active. Moreover, constantly check up on them, promote their works, support them and they will not be tempted by whatsoever the secular record labels will offer them.”

Finally, It’s not a bad thing for the church to have different record labels. It is however good to see the industry grow into what it is now and we know it is still not yet there. The likes of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Pastor Enoch Adeboye among others have been looking at ways to get it’s artiste to stay in Church and be useful for God as the creation of the church’s record labels has really opened the eyes of youths to the opportunities that lies in the church.

Here is a list of Christian Record Labels who are in the work of not only sourcing out Talents in the church but also promoting them:

  1. Spaghetti Records

  2. Azusa World Records

  3. ROX Nation

  4. Eezee Concepts

  5. LoveWorld Music And Arts

  6. One Hallelujah

  7. Rockanation

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ANCIENT OF DAYS

God is referenced as the “Ancient of Days” three times in the book of Daniel.
Ancient of days expresses how God has revealed Himself to Mankind since creation. It unveil the various ways men describe God when they encounter Him.

Ancient of days is a song of praise to the one “True God”  who has been the rock and my support all through life’s challenges. I have been through ups and downs of life, but I have always come out stronger. I can’t but give all the praise to the ARUGBO OJO who saw me through it all…..

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Therefore, DBES HUB INTERNATIONAL proudly presents DBES HUB RADIO…
 
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HELPFUL ADVICE FOR THE CHRISTIAN ARTISTS

Independent artists are often on a difficult journey, and it is especially difficult for Christian artists who swim against the cultural and secular current. It is therefore expedient to offer words of advice and encouragement to the teeming young and talented gospel artists.

  1. Recognize your Creator

Before you begin creating, you should know your Creator. In that, I mean that you must be in a relationship with Him. You must be communing with Him. You must have His mindset. When we create, we are modeling what He does, and we are creating in His image. So be sure to have a solid foundation before you begin.

  1. Study your Bible

The Bible is essential for the Christian life. It is especially critical for the life of the Christian artist. In God’s Word, you will find a never-ending well of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation as you create. Spend time in Psalms and Proverbs. Examine Biblical poetry, parables, and prose. Learn from the Author of art.

  1. Spend time in fellowship with other Christian artists

Join others who share the same faith in God and passion for art. Learn from one another, spur one another on, challenge one another, and grow together. Find an older Christian artist mentor. Join or make a creative group at your church. Use the Internet to connect with Christian artists. And especially, support one another by seeing and sharing your work.

  1. Find rhythms for creation and rest

A good theology of art highlights the need for rest. God gave us a pattern to follow in working and resting. Give yourself at least one day a week to step away from your work. Take the time to try something new, enjoy other endeavors, and recharge by resting. Pause. Gain perspective. Learn to step away from your work, reevaluate, and recommit. And don’t just settle for physical and creative rest. Make sure you get your spiritual rest by singing, praying, and meditating on Scripture.

  1. Learn how to discern good art from bad art

Art is not amoral. Be able to say when art is sinful. When we see art with Christian eyes, we must have the mind of Christ. Our heart can easily deceive us into liking art that is not Christ-honoring. Pornography is not art. Self-mutilation is not art. Take a stand for holiness and strive to be wise when examining what people make.

  1. Speak purposefully about art

Have the vocabulary to communicate what you see, think, and feel. God does not talk about his work in abstract, theoretical concepts and terms. He gives definitions to his deeds and calls out what he creates. And he lets us know how we are to see things from his view. Think in theological terms and point out when art is showcasing Biblical themes such as justice, exile, sacrifice, and redemption.

  1. Create for the kingdom

Go out of your way to create for the church. Design, style, curate, and create with strategic purposes for Christ. There is more at stake than self-expression. Join or start ministries at your church that can use your creative gifts. Connect with mission-minded people who need a designer. Be an artist who heralds the kingdom of heaven.

  1. Share your art in as many ways possible

Be smart and shrewd about how you share, but do not be shy when you are sharing art that echoes your beliefs. There is a time and place to be bold about what we believe. Share your work on Facebook. Use hash tags on your Instagram posts. If you are able, be an echo of grace and give away your work for free. Spread your work and grow your audience to ultimately give glory to God.

  1. Use art to build connections for evangelism

Your unique voice as a Christian is needed in the artistic community. Some artists will never step foot in a church. You can bring light to places of darkness. Exploit the places and positions God has given you. Join the school bands and even bands outside your denominations. Audition for the dance team. Submit your work to be showcased. See the mission field before you and give others the gift of hope.

  1. Enjoy art for God’s sake

Understand that your art is not your own. God gave you the ability to create. Have fun with the process, and do not get stuck in the details. You are not defined by your art. What you make and your level of success are like rubbish when compared to the sacrifice and joy of Christ. So whether you eat or drink or paint or perform, do it all to the glory of God.

What a Vision Can Do for You

What a Vision Can Do for You

Describing what you currently do seems inherently advantageous. People want to know what you do. But why should you have a vision? Every individual or organization should have a vision for two reasons:

  1. First, a vision inspires you and gives you energy. It guides and eventually gives all of your efforts a purpose. Coming to terms with your “why” connects you with your core values and roots you. Your vision unlocks your deepest motivations. Making the connection between your deepest heartfelt values and your everyday work will make you unstoppable.
  2. Second, it provides guidance in a world of choices. It enables you to focus on what to do (and not do) for those achievements five, ten years or further in the future. When you are clear about your vision and goals, it is easier to say yes wholeheartedly or say no with an acceptable reason and no fear of rejection.

How to Find and Develop Your Very Own Vision

When searching for your vision, it is best to do so offsite somewhere you are inspired and not distracted. Rather than your office, think of someplace more inspiring like a small secluded spot. A central question when building your vision will be, “What is my Why?” When you are thinking of this, what are the dreams that you have just started to work towards or that you should finally start? Simon Sinek addressed in his book ‘Start with Why’ that every individual or company needs to know their why to get the remainder (the what and how) right and sorted out. That means if you know the Why, you will easily figure out the What and the How later. Zoom out and concentrate on the biggest, long-term version of your picture.

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