A student once told me that he found drum lessons to be very boring. I tried to explain to him that not everybody enjoys being around people, but it can be a challenge to be with a group. When you’re around a group, you can’t just play by yourself. It’s a whole other thing. Sometimes the difference between being liked or not, between feeling accepted or not, it can be roller coaster. When you’re around a group and you’re not playing, you definitely find yourself adjusting around to the new sounds and rhythms.
Yeah, sure I understand that. But it’s different when you’re playing. Playing? When you’re on your own, you can completely shrug it off. Don’t need it. Other people are stopping you all the time, and when you stop playing them, they can’t say anything nice about you because you just look like a idiot. But with a group, they have to say something. You can’t be passive about a group, you have to go out of your way to make everybody feel special even if it means acting like a jerk to them.
Do you know what’s special about groups? Because we act so differently from one another, but we can learn from each other. We have to learn from each other. The challenge is that when you study with a group that you’re with that you find out a whole lot about yourself and what you really are. Are you a social Leper? Do you have a dark secret? (Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. I’m only kidding as in I have a natural talent for drumming just waiting to be unleashed.)
So as a drummer, you shouldn’t automatically go along with any social gathering, but you should add a unique flavor to them. If you want to make eye contact with the people you’re with, you make eye contact with them. If you want to be liked, you make eye contact with them. And if you want them to feel special, you make eye contact with them. But don’t be a paycheck skip. Don’t show up late and leave without saying hello.
My best drumming friend taught me this tip. Whenever I’m out with my drumming buddies, we stop for the night at a local bistro that has smoking guitars on the front counter. Just hanging out with our total strangers most likely most of them being an accountant near me. And we talk. Hike up a hill, enjoy the fresh breeze, taste some club communion classics while we messing around the campfire.
And talk. We don’t always have the opportunity to converse, but it happens. During the day, when you’re watching TV, put on the radio, and tune in to your favorite station. Always make eye contact with the people on either side of you.
Now, as your typical drummer, I’m going to be talking about using technology to enhance your senses in music.
My first iPad was purchased for me while I was on tour as lead singer of a band called “Eagor.” The band won a competition and got to travel with the drums and all of the other instruments. My iPad serves as a portal into the real world.
tastes change. And so do tastes in music. One friend of mine who is an aspiring songwriter plays mostly on an iPad. It’s nothing like owning an actual record player that you can manipulate with iTunes. The songs he crafts are incredible.
Wouldn’t it be incredible if you could create music anywhere, as long as you had access to a computer? If you wanted to, you could! In the comfort of your own home, in your motorcycle accident, in your garage… anywhere you want.
Let’s talk specifics. What if you had a computer at home that could help you create music? Do you know how? Well, I’m happy to say, you can! Because there are softwares revolutionizing the music industry just now. Specifically, Virtual Studio Technology software is now available to everyone, for their computer of choice, and it’s incredibly inexpensive, even free!
This is where it all started for VST. Remember it’s always been easy to create your own tracks, but just as easy to share your tracks with others. People had different experiences with two different programs that changed everything.
Things really started to change with the purchase of the Roland TB303. It’s a piece of kit that was in the heights of technology in its day. Propellerhead also released Reason 4 which is a software program that emulates MIDI and also copyrighted Virtual Studio Technology.
For me, this is the reason I’m interested in VST. Because these programs are beginning to strip away the fundamental elements people need to create music.