11 June 2016
Practising, a big part of any musician’s life. We all have different approaches and here are some of my recent thoughts for your consideration:
‘Playing any instrument is a lifetime’s study; we never stop learning. With this in mind relax and embrace the idea that some things might takes months or even years to perfect and assimilate. And try to avoid getting frustrated with your progress when it feels slow and others are apparently moving forwards at a faster rate. Also consider the fact that whilst Tony Williams had landed the gig with Miles Davis playing some incredible drums at aged sixteen(!), one of his peers, a then little-known drummer called Steve Gadd, had to wait another fifteen years until in his thirties to begin turning the New York session scene on its head and change the face of drumming forever.
So in short it’s not a race. Enjoy your progress, at whatever rate that might be. And it’s not an athletic event so try not to be deterred or intimidated by the ‘stunt drummers’; these players may have their fifteen minutes of fame and help sell a few drum kits but musicians, band leaders and producers will always want drummers who make the music sound and feel good and who put the band and listener at ease. And if possible these requisites will also be delivered along with a few moments of magic and by a person who’s interesting and sociable enough for people to want to spend eight weeks of their life on a tour bus with.
So in short enjoy your practise and where it takes you!