If you were like myself, you might have felt a little intimidated by the drums. Growing up in a household surrounded by musical influences such as the Beatles, Chicago, Neil diamond, Carly Simon, Paul Simon, Music was everywhere. My late uncle was a guitar player in his own band in his teenage years and this later influenced my brother to pick up the guitar and start learning. I remember him bringing home books and subscriptions to magazines to study his instrument. I thought to myself, “is this what it really takes to play in instrument? Just what I need!” I already disliked school enough I didn’t want more work to play something that was supposed to be enjoyable.

One day I came home from school for the weekend, and there sat a drum set in our basement. My brother had a few friends over for a jam session. I was very hesitant to walk over to the drums as I was embarrassed to “make noise”. I didn’t  know what I was doing but I thought these were things that you just hit with sticks. How hard could it be, right? Ha!

 

Getting the first drum set.

 

My first drum set was an orange, Ludwig accent.

I remember setting up the kit like it was the first time I ever experienced Christmas. I got it tuned up to what sounded good to me and I had sticks in my hand.

It was time to make some noise.

 

Practice.

 

The word that we are most familiar with when we’re learning something or trying to get better. Practice. Practice makes perfect? No. Perfect practice makes perfect.

From working on rudiments to studying out of books, watching videos, going to concerts, jamming with friends, these are all methods of practice.

How we integrate this into our daily lives is crucial. Taking time to practice 30 minutes a day is better than four hours of just “jamming”. Make the most out of your time! Keep focused and get right to the point. Avoid distractions! Turn off your cell phone or leave it in another room. Like anything else, you’re only going to get out of it what you put into it.

 

Doing all these things is very important to being a successful musician. Listen to other drummers, go to concerts and local gigs, go online and watch YouTube videos! Talk to and ask questions of other drummer’s. Whether they are a beginner or they happen to be Dave Weckl. ASK!

I am nowhere near where I want to be as a drummer/musician. But if I stay humble and honest with myself at where I am professionally it gets me that much closer to my goal.

 

Public Service.

 

Yes that’s right. As a drummer I am in service to the band or artist. A good friend of mine once said “I can’t go into a gig or session with my own agenda.” This means we need to find where each individual artist and or bandmates are most comfortable. We should bring a different energy with each situation that were presented with. We are the engine on the train, leading everybody down the track with us. If we speed up, the rest of the train comes right along with us.

Be thankful for every opportunity that you’re given to play your instrument. There’s a reason why you’re playing and somebody else isn’t. Have a positive attitude that keeps your phone ringing and keeps you busy. Always. Stay. Humble.

 

So what is your agenda as a drummer/musician? Is it to play in your basement by yourself? That’s fine. Is it to play with your buddies on the weekends? That’s fine. Is it to play for a church every Sunday? That’s fine. Is it to play impact out arenas and go on tour? That’s fine.

Whatever your reason or motivation for playing the drums is a valid one. What you’re happy playing with (or without) is your choice. Your Journey with this fascinating instrument should never end. Have fun!

 

If you have any questions of just want to reach out, email me at: mike@epicpercussion.com

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Mike Wrench