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Integration or Division?

Hi, I'm Stephen Hawkins...

Let me first start by telling you a little bit about myself and how I came to be writing this blog in the first place.

Actually, it all started very badly about 10 years ago - I was forced to change directions after a really bad car accident that totally changed my life.

My career as a drummer was just starting to really kick off (in my preferred direction) when everything went horribly wrong. I lost my confidence my self-belief, my income, car and nearly lost my life as well.

It has been a long haul with many changes made to integrate my new interests developed whilst recovering.


Which brings me to my first blog snippet that I hope will have some positive effect in your own personal journey and success story.

Integration or Division

As I sat silently thinking and reflecting on my previous life as a drummer I wondered where I would go from here? I reflected on my days teaching and in particular a student of mine who had a problem most drummers face at some time and throughout their drumming lives. 

After this particular student informed me of a problem he was having playing something different with each limb It struck me that this same problem was evident in other areas of life too, in-fact just about every level of life - let me explain from this particular storyline.

The boy in question approached me and I must say he seemed very agitated, "I just can’t get my head around splitting everything up and getting my brain to handle it", he said in a confused manner that reflected his agitated approach to me.

My response was, "You are thinking about it the wrong way, you are perceiving it from the wrong point of view, everything is dependent on one persons or another’s point of view," I explained and whether you are learning drums, building a business or anything else in life, although you are learning several units that at first seem disintegrated and disjointed (the division) are just parts of a much larger picture - you are learning just one concept, one subject, one beat, drum fill or phrase". 

"The main problem is that your mind is dividing the limbs when it should be integrating them - If you think of each limb as separate then they will be separate. On the other hand, if you see the limbs as one and the various parts as coming together instead of being ripped apart they will be "one", they will come together".

"Try this little formula " I told him, but all the time thinking of bringing the parts together and not dividing them.

  • Try playing each limb individually, (here they are in their divided form).
  • Then try playing the right and left hands together, 
  • Then try playing the two feet together, 
  • Practice each until you feel comfortable with them before moving onto the next part of this easy formula.
  • Play both hands and just one foot, then:
  • Play both hands and the other foot, 

Then from that point and all the way through this process think of bringing all parts together. Then try to fit them all together.

"This way you are bringing the limbs together and not dividing them". Instead of thinking, "Oh I can't play this I'm going to have to split it up to practice it" think "Oh I can't play this let me bring it all together". You see the limbs where split already so you don't need to split them again. This just confuses and divides the mind and creates confusion as the brain attempts to build neural pathways. Or more aptly, roadblocks.

As opposed to divide and lose (to be conquered) - Instead, Integrate and bring together (mastery).

If you divide your limbs or if you divide your business concerns then they are surely going to sound or function badly. Integrate them and bring it all together, SLOWLY - Slow it all down and attempt to bring the limbs together one step at a time.

Try to think vertically instead of horizontally when you look at the written exercise and begin from a standpoint that you are "BRINGING TOGETHER" and NOT Dividing.


Changing Perception 

He understood and after a couple of hours practice he got it. When he eventually got it, he played it pretty well for a beginner - his mind was integrating rather than dividing. The mind needs to think in an integrated manner or it will collapse at every obstacle.

So, from my first blog post here, it is my hope that I can provide something of value to you and other visiting drummers - and through some free tools help people just like you to add a little, (or a lot?) of success to their lives.


Thanks for reading and please leave your comments and let me know what you would like to see here and I will do my best to provide it. Thank you again and also please download my FREE eBook "Beginning Tips" which contains some basic information that will hopefully enlighten "new starters" and hopefully give a few ideas to more advanced players.


Stephen Hawkins.

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Stephen Hawkins 05.01.2019 0 494
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