The Thinking Drummer: The Richest Drummer in Babylon

Drummers: Don’t you wish you could practice more?

Do you have a hard time getting your practicing done? You just don’t have enough time. Once you finish working, doing the chores, going to the gym, going to band practice, picking up the kids from school, and having dinner with your significant other, the practicing just goes by the wayside.

You’re not alone. One of the most common things I hear from my students is that they can’t seem to find the time to practice as much as they want.

This post will address a simple method to help you get the job done.


The Answer: Pay Yourself First

“Pay yourself first” is a popular notion that financial gurus have been touting for eons. And it works. The origin of the concept is a classic of personal finance literature called The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason.

This idea is simply a method for saving money. Here’s how it works. Choose an amount or percentage you would like to save every month. When your paycheck comes, set up an automatic withdrawal so the desired amount goes directly into your savings account or 401K. After that money is sent to your savings, and only after that happens, you can pay your bills and expenses and use your money as you see fit. By doing this, you literally “pay yourself first,” and in effect, that money becomes the most important bill you pay—the invoice you give yourself so you can create some financial freedom.

So, I hear some of you asking “how can this help me practice more?”


Choose an Amount of Weekly Practice

To use this idea to help you practice, pick an amount of time you wish you could practice, say ten hours per week. Then, think about how much time that is per day. In this case, about an hour and a half per day will get you to ten hours per week. Create a log to keep you on track. I’ve been doing this for years and it really helps keep me honest. People log what they eat and people log the details of their workouts, among other things, so why not log your practice?

You pay yourself with practice. Carve out the time from your weekly commitments. Make it as important as going to the gym or going to work. Then schedule everything else accordingly. But your ten hours of practice have to happen.

Is it a big commitment? Sure. But if you want to become a better drummer the only way to do it is to practice, so why not start now by committing to a weekly amount of practice time?