I truly believe that talent is something that for may of us can be developed with hard work, love and practice. Sure there are naturals. But many of the people you see on the internet and on Youtube did not pop out of their momma’s womb playing drums or music at a very high level.
I guarantee no matter who you see playing their incredible music or drum, they put years and years of hard labour into it. Maybe they are gifted. But assuming someone plays great because of something given to them vs them putting in an incredible amount of time and energy into their craft is a gross misunderstanding and is rarely the case. Yes we need fantastic teachers, inspiration and mentors. But it is about hard work. The more you put in to it, the more you get back.
Because, If someone is truly outstanding then they have put in an amazing amount of time and study in almost every case of people I have met, seen or experienced directly.
Many people do not understand, know or respect that the djembe, conga drum, bongo (or related percussion) are musical instruments, and also assume the people playing them are untrained. Its simply a lack of understanding and negative programming, (drums = un musical, primitive or a “toy” at a play shop).
The master drummers paid their dues, did and do their training and yes… put in their time. Ask any teacher about their training, about their teachers and they will tell you. Drumming at the highest levels takes years of intense training. It is an art form where learning new things never ends. It is very physical and demanding as well. Yes, the greats are gifted.
But I think the gift is often misunderstood. The gift is the ability and openess to learn new things, to have intense focus, desire and the follow through to train and practice an incredible amount of time.
Patience is needed with ones self, with ones teacher and with the learning process as we develop and learn to play drums. Nothing happens overnight and their are constant battles with our own egos and identities being fought.
Most great drummers and musicians have sacrificed to become great. They have all had to surrender their egos at sometime as well. Without openness there is no learning.
When you put in the huge amount of time it takes to excel at anything there is always sacrifice. There is always something you are missing from other aspects of your life to make this one aspect great. People, your teachers, my teachers, myself and you we all had to start somewhere and there is always struggle involved.
Next time you watch a great drummer or musician play please think about this. The more you put in the more you get back. The more you give the more you receive.
I lived and trained in a compound with a professional group in Guinea, West Africa a short time ago. The people in the troupe were playing before I woke up, all day and practicing songs when I returned! They were always doing it, involved with it. It is their entire life.
I am not saying anyone has to do this or even should do this. I am writing about this so we all understand what goes into being an accomplished drummer. Work, Hard work and lots of it! Drumming, playing music and improving your skills does not happen on its own. Pick up your drum and play it!
The great drummers and talents may be making it look easy when you see them play, but I guarantee you it was not easy for them to get there. The easier it seems the more work was put in!