Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Learning mode

I'm currently on a quest.
Well, I'm always on this particular quest, however, lately it seems to be more highly intensified.
The quest? To learn more about my craft; to explore new ideas, new approaches, and new uses for old ideas and learning materials; to learn more about technique and how to utilize my abilities to their fullest potential. It's a quest to become the best drummer that I can be and for no reason other than because I demand it of myself.

It's almost as if I've been called to complete a never-ending mission. I will never finish learning. I doubt that I will ever tire of learning...especially about the world and art of drumming.

Every now and again, I find myself close to mastering a few concepts (the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel), but just when I think I have it completely under my belt and at my disposal, I will become inspired again and the process begins all over again. It's like seeing the light glowing just a tiny bit brighter at the end of the proverbial tunnel and realizing that I'm never getting any closer to it.

In my recent exploring, I happened to check out Tommy Igoe's "Great Hands for a Lifetime". Talk about inspiring!! I now have a newfound love for some of my favorite exercises...RUDIMENTS. His "Lifetime Warm-up" has been quite a challenge and treat to learn, and I hope to incorporate some of my own warm-up rituals into Tommy's concept. Thank you Tommy Igoe for showing the drumming world this fantastic tool!!
For those of you who aren't drummers, rudiments are the basic learning tools and exercises that drummers learn to develop their ability and their drumming vocabulary. Where horns and pianos have scales...drummers have rudiments. Oddly enough, they never cease to be a challenge to play correctly.

Also in my recent exploring, I have picked up some dvds of past Modern Drummer Festivals. So many players, so many different styles, and so much inspiring material to draw from and be motivated by. I'm so excited!!
Again, for the non-drummer, there is a festival every year that is put on by Modern Drummer Magazine. Yes, there is such a magazine. To a drummer, Modern Drummer Festival seems to be one of the hippest and most interesting things in the world. For those non-drummers who happen to have an aversion to the sounds of drums...STAY AWAY!! IT WILL ONLY SOUND LIKE NOISE TO YOU!!
The same goes for PASIC.

I guess at the end of it all, what I'm really trying to say is this...
I am inspired. I have had my drive re-invigorated. Whatever way that inspiration presents itself to me, I am grateful to receive it, and I hope I can use it to its fullest potential so that I may one day begin to reach mine.

I can only hope that Holly and the girls don't want to throttle me about the neck for all of the racket I've been making!!

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love this post. I am a percussionist about to start doctoral work at UNC-Greensboro. I am classically-trained, but in today's world that includes kit and hand drumming. Especially as drummers and percussionists, being required to play soooo many different things, it really is a never-ending process. I've had this conversation with myself before and it's so great and inspiring to hear it from someone I respect like you. We could be content with what we know and practice around that mentality. Or we can realize there is ALWAYS something to learn and something new to try and explore and go for it! As you said it's a "never-ending mission" and like you I hope to "never stop learning." Very inspiring post. Thanks for it!