Learning to Play Drums

Ok as I said this blog is more in the way about crafts but crafts in many different ways for example doesn’t matter if you build things like pottery, crocheting, or scrap-booking, but at the same time it’s for people maybe that are amazing word workers, or wood carvers, maybe it’s someone is a farmer or incredible mechanic, someone like me who plays a musical instrument because I want this to be about people who do things with their hands but they do those things phenomenally.

So for me this one is about me playing drums and I’ve been playing drums since I was about 12 and even though I had some breaks in my life where I didn’t play I’ve been playing drums professionally for like 38 years.  In the beginning I just started like I’m sure many other have by playing on boxes or whatever I could find.  It’s been so long I don’t remember who told me I needed to learn this but the very first thing you have to learn is how to get one hand to do something different than the other.  It’s a coordination that you have to learn and try as you might that is very difficult and what happened to me happens to almost everyone I’ve talked to.  I use to practice 4-5 hours every day trying to get this to happen and one day I remember is just tried it and it worked no clue how, or why and really the how and the why were not nearly as important as it happened and I could do it.  It just happened and I was so glad it did…and my life as a drummer had begun.

After finding friends who did similar things with guitars we formed a band.  The band members change over the years as others have things that mean more to them then playing for people, but in my case playing was really something I wanted to do.  I started playing dances at places like: The Eagles, or Night of Columbus, The Moose lodges and trust me they paid really bad, and I played place like taverns where the stage we played on was surrounded by chicken wire and if you’ve never seen that watch a movie called “Road House” with Patrick Swayze.  There is a place he ends up going to called the Road House and it just a wild bar but my point is in the movie towards the beginning when he goes there the stage is surrounded by chicken wire and I’m just saying I’ve played places like that.

Later in life I play much better venues like nicer clubs, and then onto various Casinos, and finally opening for people like “The Charlie Daniels Band”  which was amazing playing in front of 10,000 people and they were all screaming for us to play it’s a high that is incredible.  I was the leader of the band and did most if not all the bookings but I just played the drums I didn’t sing…didn’t really practice at singing and therefore was not what I could consider a quality singer.  Also keep in mind by the time I got to this point in my life I had raised 5 children who were no grown and out of the house, and I’d spent almost every weekend out on the road playing different places and my wife of now 32 years stayed home with the kids many of those years.  I wasn’t until the end when I was playing some nicer place that she started going with us to the gigs.  I only tell you that to tell you this…it was clearly in my mind I was not going to be able to take this band further…the leader needed to be the front person, whether they were a man or a woman.

I began training the lead singer how to be the front person…he was young nice looking and had a good nasally country voice and the woman loved him. We got him a wireless microphone and I talked him into wandering through the club as he sang, got him to climb up onto the bar to sing and he could dance so he had a very good package to sell to the audience. I explained to him something I learned a very long time ago which was we are simply a tool…we may be great musicians and play really good music but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is we get the crowd excited and get them up dancing.  The unique thing bands seem to forget is that if you please the people is such a way they have the best night ever they will come back when you play.  The way you do this is by focusing on the women if you make the women happy and want to party and dance the men will surely follow.  As you make this happen those same people are up jumping around dancing having a blast.  Here is the kicker if you do this they get tired and thirsty and they buy more and more drinks, which in turn makes the owner or manager of the club very happy. So when you create a happiness for the people who are customers by having a party with them and celebrating they will always come when you’re playing which fills the club.  This mean that will be a very good night for the owner so they make lots of money which means they love having you and will book you more…the more your booked the more money you make…it’s amazing circle if you create it with 5-6 clubs because you rotate so you only playing the same club like every 6 weeks which creates even more anticipation for when your there.

It’s such a great concept and it works with everything in life…if you give to people before you do anything else your success will follow…I’ve seen this work in so many other areas of my life…it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to build it takes some time but just like learning the drums…remember back how I told you I kept trying to get my hands coordinated and I would practice and practice over and over, and then one day it just happens the same is true with what I talking about you just keep working at giving to people…understandably you getting paid to play, but not a lot.  However, the more you give to the people to help them have an amazing night surprisingly you can ask for more money from the owner…because you know many people are drinking, which is giving him more money and if he doesn’t want to pay you more money he also knows you can go to his competitor club and builds their business up.  My point is do not focus on the money and don’t try charging them more if you’re not creating an incredible evening for his/her customers. If you instead focus on the customers to try and give them the best night ever the extra money you receive over time is only a bi-product of what you love doing which is creating the most spectacular fun evening for people…

So there you go told you about learning to play my drums and keep in mind over the years I became one of the best drummers you have ever seen because I cared about playing and I learn yet another lesson about music and creating a drive to your music so people want to dance.  I will explain that for another time…just saying I was pretty dam good, but always remained humble.  At the same time I just told you and very important life lesson if you took the time to receive it.  I truly want you to get that more than however great of a drummer I am so I’m going to repeat it.  Whatever your into if not enjoying yourself with it stop and find something else…you need to be doing something you love or at least like to do and at the same time be certain you give way more value to your customers and the money will become a bi-product and it will come to you in ways you never knew existed…

Hope you enjoyed these words of wisdom that I learn a long time ago and used it over and over again.

Thank you and much love,