If you want to learn more then just rhythms and patterns and really want to know how to drum on the deepest levels and if you really want to grow, you have to challenge your brain and you have to do different stuff then you are used to or comfortable with.
I see many people practicing the same things over and over and they are stuck. I believe practicing one thing to perfection, but what I am talking about is different. Many of us practice only in our comfort zone.
Some of us have learned just a little bit and have stopped learning believing we now “have it all”.
Just because others tell us we sound great or we play in public to applause does not mean we are there, that we have arrived. This is a mistake. The ego is tricking us! Don’t look for pats on the back. When they come accept them, but if we play or look for pats on the back when we do not get them or when we get criticism we will be sorely disappointed. And at the same time we need to give pats on the backs and be supportive of others.
You never want to stop learning and studying drumming. It is a life long pursuit and learning is the beauty of drumming. Even master drummers are still learning. Ask them, they will tell you!
You need to learn and try things that might not be comfortable at first. Even stuff you might not even like.
You have to challenge your self! Try something new. Learning from someone else means learning their ideas. Every time i take a class I tell myself, “learn one thing new”. One thing different then i could ever come up with myself.
Learning drumming from someone else means accepting and trusting someone else as well. To do so you must surrender your ego, there is no two ways about it. A blocked egotistical mind can not and will not let the new information settle in. Because drumming is not about ego, showing off, being in control or being the super star. Contrary to popular belief, this is not drumming. Drumming is about community spirit, intention and sharing. Bringing people together with intention.
I keep telling people that the rhythms, the patterns, the phrases the techniques are just like people you don’t know at first and you have got to make friends with them. Acceptance. Or at least peace.
Until you learn to make friends with the rhythms, the patterns and the concepts and foundation principles that are at the baseline of drumming won’t be accessible to you. You can’t learn and you can’t really have a deep understanding of what complete, deep and full drumming is about unless you accept and surrender to the drum.
Your ego may resist this and deny this.
As I look at the many people I have taught and people around me and of course myself, I see that often *(not always) the people who have the most trouble learning are people who do not have a lot of true deep friendships in their lives. People who don’t get along with others on a true, deep meaningful level.
I have found that there are two types of people those that come for healing and those that come to experience the drumming in its traditional communal sense.
The people that come for healing may never learn anything formal and thats fine. But if you do want to learn the art form you will need to surrender your ego and leave your personal baggage at the door, before you enter the drum room.
People that do not know how to share, to give, to receive and to surrender will have a hard time learning to drum in the traditional sense.
Look at where the drumming comes from. In the African cultures and the Afro Cuban cultures the drumming is directly linked to community. It is about service and not about ego.
I believe that is why so many of us people in the western world can’t learn is because in life many of us don’t know how to make or be true friends, to share, to receive, to let go.
To give and not just take. The rhythms dont care how much you want them. You have to put in your time to get it and there is no getting around that. You have to learn and you have to practice and this takes time.
There is no substitute for time put in. What you put in will indeed come back out.
In the need to be the star, to perform we stop learning and growing. In the need to be the man we block information and in my opinion are coming from the wrong place.
We are all beginners, we are all learning. Why not try a different approach? Humble out, be positive, supportive and think “we” instead of “me”.