So we’ve all heard about this thing called the compliment sandwich. For a drummer it typically sounds something like this… “man that fill sounds awesome, do you think you can try something else there?” followed by the “man, that’s awesome” comment. haha. That’s what I like to the call the compliment sandwich. Oddly enough, it’s a rather effective tool that producers and band leaders make good use of. I do the same thing with my website development company. Man, I love that design, but can we add a header here? That’s perfect. Great job.
For those of you that don’t know about this idea, it’s basically a structured comment where you lead with a positive, follow with something that needs to be improved, and end with something positive. I know, it’s so standard right, but it works doesn’t it? If I tell you that you’re a beautiful person, say you have oddly shaped feet, and then end with how much I like your haircut, the hope is that you’ll only remember the positive things and forget that I insulted your feet. But it also leaves you wondering if you can do something about those horrible feet you have without hurting your feelings :)
In practice last week I realized that I was using this technique on myself, and it was actually working, even though I knew I was doing it. Basically I would start practice with warmups, pushing new tempos. Then I would go into some hand foot combinations that I already knew how to do. But from there I started pushing into areas that I’m weak, like left hand lead stuff, sight reading, Latin and Jazz grooves that are extremely difficult. Just when my confidence was in the gutter (aka, I was improving on playing), I switched gears and played some songs that I already knew how to play. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.
This is a SUPER effective way to practice drums. I mean SUPER effective, and I bet it would be effective in anything you’re trying to learn or that you’re working on at your job, in life in general, this idea can be applied. The idea here is the mask your growth phase in between things you’re already good at doing. It really honestly works so well. I have major growth as a musician each practice, but at the end I don’t feel horrible about myself, cause I ended doing something I was good at.
I know, it’s cheesy. Try it though. See how it works for you. Try it at the gym, at your office, with your family. Trust me, if you want to see results you have to go through the middle part of this sandwich, but that’s the good stuff!! Surround that with positive energy and watch yourself sky rocket!!