I think this quote sums up a lot of what I’m about. Sometimes for as much as I’m set or comfortable in certain ways, some of those ways can actually have some sort of variety and since this site is focused on one aspect of my life, I’d like to provide some insight as to the how, especially as it relates to drumming.
I’ve been making some kind of racket for oh, 45 plus years now and over that period of time, I’ve seen and heard a lot, been influenced and inspired by a lot. And I’m purposely keeping all these things general and inclusive in order to explain the point of this entry. As far back as I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS been into different things. Music of course, sports, TV, toys (we may grow up but having toys never gets old, just different and probably more expensive than the ones we played with as kids!). ALL of these things factor in to the varied career in music that I’m WAY fortunate to have and enjoy. However when it comes to actually drumming or technique, allow me to narrow things down a bit.
I do whatever I need to in order to express myself with a pair of sticks in ANY situation. What helps me do this is having been taught or influenced by approaches that differ from one another. Having an open mind really has been beneficial as I’m able to make adjustments and have my hands react to what I’m trying to get across. I don’t get hung up on style or interpretation to the point of insisting that there is ONLY one approach, ONLY two or three heights and two or three sounds or dynamic levels. I don’t compartmentalize my drumming. At least I try not to. I don’t approach it as a science either, not to say those that do that are bad or wrong which is EXACTLY my point! There’s validity to MANY ways of drumming! Do I have preferences? Sure I do but I like to think that trying to be more open to things helps me enjoy the variety, freedom and choice when it comes to making whatever playing adjustments I need. Please keep in mind I’m talking generally here. Of course if I’m teaching a drum line, I consider the environment I’m in and work within those guidelines and criteria. However within that particular area of drumming, I do embrace approaches that differ from one another and have been a benefit to me as a player, teacher, and judge. You never know, keeping an open mind may allow things to happen for you and YOUR drumming, or teaching, or judging, or….“You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a tea pot, it becomes the tea pot. Water can flow, or it can crash…be water, my friend.”
– Bruce Lee