What you put into your drumming studies and endeavours will indeed come back out . If you want to improve and to excel you do need to learn, study , practice and play.
I saw an interview with the late great Raul Rekow (R.I.P.) recently where he spoke of an example of the path of learning being as simple as a line from “A” to “B”. If A is where we are at or start at and B is the end, it might takes us 1000 hours to get to B. If we practice one hour a day that could be 1000 days. If practice 2 times per day that could be 500 days. If we played 3 hours a day thats 333 days and so on and so fourth. Of course it is not quite that simple, this is merely an example of what you put in you get back out. Of course if you are practicing only in your comfort zone or incorrectly you are not going to get to point B. And of course learning never ends. But neither of these are the point he and now I am trying to make. It’s about setting our intentions and following trough.
Often in my own practice, studies and teaching I see that the learning processs is indeed accelerated by what we let go of rather then acquire. What does this means? It means the more we let go of our ego, of how we sometimes might inaccurately judge or see ourselves as being “better” then we are or even “having to be good”, the more we become open to receive information. If I go into a class or possible learning situation with better, equal or lesser players and think I am hot shit, I am not going to learn anything. If I go in humble with an open mind, clear that I /we can learn from any one anywhere at any time, and I am dedicated to learning, committed to learning then you can damn well believe i am going to learn something in this class or situation. I set my intention before I arrive to learn and have fun.
Simplify your learning process and dont try to get everything, dont try to learn everything at once. It all happens in time and everyone’s time line is different. And we are all here to learn and experience different things. Some come to the drum to heal and others to experience and learn the musical form.
If we are the learners, we have to dedicate our selves to learning and commit to that.
I see certain associates in the drum scenes who have studied with me, studied with my teachers and take classes with whoever comes to town. They call everyone their teacher, not because the teachers are their teacher but so they look better. They buy every book, the nicest drums and watch videos of the best players yet they never learn a damn thing. Why? They can’t remember the names of rhythms, put pieces together or hit the drum correctly. But at the local drum circle they are in the middle spinning around in circles. “look at me, look at me”! Their drumming does not improve and might even get worse. Why?
Because they can not humble out. They can not truly surrender. They can not leave their ego at the proverbial door. And I am not talking about humbling out or surrendering to another person. I am talking about surrendering to the the music. Start from zero and truly learn. Drop your ego. If your goal is to be the best, to be seen and to be applauded the chances are it’s not gonna happen on any big scale.
I teach a multi level weekly class and some of the better players come and learn which is nice, and other players won’t come because they think they are “too good”. When they do come they are looking outside the class and not paying attention.
Someone wrote me today, “I might not ever be great but…”. And I said,” who is great”? Just be good. That’s all we can do is be “good enough”. We can have fun, we can heal if we need healing and we can study and learn if you need to learn.
we have to commit to learning and find the tools we need, the ways to learn. Be it from a teacher on line or however we must be stick-to-itive and persistent. We have to find ways and means to learn, grow and experience fully or we can get stuck in a rut. We can not blame our lack of learning abilities on others or on our lives fortunate or unfortunate experiences. I almost never have an easy time learning in class but i have figured out strategies to learn.
We have to put in the time and when we are putting in the time we have to make sure we are doing it correctly as well or we are just wasting our time.