One of the issues that I often struggle with is comparing myself to other drummers. I will have thoughts like “I wish I could solo like that” , ”I wish my hands were that fast”, or ” I wish my jazz chops were at that level”. What I have come to find that if I look at the musicians that I REALLY admire (not the ones that impress me just within that given moment of envy) are the ones that are really themselves; they may pull from several different influences, but are speaking from their heart and soul, not someone else’s. This is not such an easy thing to do! As players, we often let our ego get in the way of what music (indeed, art) is really about; our own expression. It is not about how fast you play or what kind of licks you can pull off…how do you touch someone on an emotional level? That too me is the beauty of music. I feel that so many drummers in this day and age are so wrapped up in speed, licks, chops, etc. etc. etc., that they forget why they more than likely got into music in the first place; the emotional aspect. I can tell you that the pursuit of being the fastest, most technical, most versatile player is a fool’s game; there will always be someone faster, more technical, etc. Instead, work on playing from the heart. Don’t waste your time trying to create music that is all about the technical. Focus on the emotional and believe me, you and audience will be the better for it!!
Until next time….