Expand Your Horizons - Part 1

As drummers we can often be very drummer centric. We watch and listen to other drummers, forgetting the rest of the musicians out there. It’s great to watch drum videos and shed all day long, but that’s such a narrow focus. If anything, I’ve learned more about being a drummer from paying attention to non-drummers. I listen to a lot of singers—listen to how they phrase, how they take the melody, how they move the song forward. I listen to bass players, guitarists, keyboardists, horn players, anyone.

I also read the guitar magazines, the bass magazines, the keyboard magazines, the school band magazines—anything I can get my hands on. I want to know how other musicians think, how they feel, how they experience the music. That way I can be a better drummer by knowing what their needs & expectations for the music are. If all I know and think about is drum stuff, then how can I effectively play with other musicians?

I also listen to all different types of music, not just rock or jazz, but pop, electronic, classical, ethnic/world, singer/song writer, country, experimental, everything. Why? Because I never know what I’ll learn, what I’ll find that I can use, or when I might be called upon to play something different. The more you pay attention to, the better rounded you’ll be.

~ MB

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