– – – as the talented Americana Singer songwriter Guy Tortora put’s it, ” – – – – I’m a late starter, wasn’t built for speed. A little encouragement is all I need, Started late, but I’m catching up. It’s gonna take a river just to fill my cup ! – – “
Well that sums it up beautifully for me on where i’m ‘at’ currently playing the Drums – –
A little background first; I picked up the sticks for the first time when I was just over 40 (mid-life crisis ? maybe, but I figured it was safer than a motorbike ! ) not long after processing personal bereavement & managing low mood Initial lessons lead to first playing in public after 6 weeks – – one of the most exhilarating & petrifying experiences I’ve ever had ! After years of going to Gigs I suddenly got a whole new perspective on performing & it gave me total respect for anybody who has the nerve to get up on a stage ( no matter what size) & strut their stuff !
With unconditional support & encouragement from my wife, Gill, I set out on the lifelong trail of hard work to develop as a drummer.
10 years on – What have I found out from my experience so far ? ( I’ve found that most of these also apply to many other parts of our lives !)
1. Learning ‘how to learn’ ( I’ll explore this one a bit more in the next Blog !)
2. the more you think you know, the less you actually know !
3. there are many ways to approach & break down a problem, and to resolve it.
4. Hard persistent work pays off, but learn when to back off a problem and let your sub-conscious work it out for you.
5.The right teachers / tutors at the right time can transform your craft – – not the gear !
6. Be influenced & admire other players – comparison is pointless – we are all on our own trajectories and everybody has their own unique style, skills and valid contribution to make .
7. Learning this skill has improved both my mental & physical state – relaxation & co-ordination.(more on this another time – – ) Don’t put all your energy into the one pursuit – a balanced life creates a fertile ground for all your pursuits.
8.A creative endeavour involves a combination of many skills – organisation, diplomacy, marketing, interpersonal skills, empathy, teamwork – – – the actual creative bit is the icing on the cake !
9. For me, drumming is about making music with other people. I’ve found that the development of Technique supports that goal – it’s very easy for that pursuit to become the purpose of the exercise itself, and to get completely bogged down with it – I acknowledge the skill and dedication of those players who follow that path, but it’s not for me.
10. Because I started late there is an assumption made that “I’ve been there, done that” – – I haven’t – – – and I’m not content to rest on my laurels, always looking for fresh challenges – – – so watch out “–I’m catching up. It’s gonna take a river just to fill my cup ! – – “
11.Enjoy it !!