No Sound Is Innocent

So here we are in the 5th week of 10 weeks to Improve Your Drumming (or whatever art discipline you practice). I hope you're still with me, and more importantly, I hope you've gotten something out of these blog posts to help improve your art. And it's not just about improving your technique—playing super fast paradiddles does not necessarily make one a better drummer—but I hope you've been able to improve your ideas and your approach/outlook to your drumming (or art).

This week's assignment is to step out of your comfort zone and be creative from your heart & soul. For drummers, I want you to raid your kitchen or kids toy closet, or go to a thrift shop/flea market and get 5 objects that you can make a noise with (you can shake them, hit them, bang them, etc.) There are 2 parts to this exercise:
  1. Play something you know, something familiar with these new sound sources. Listen to how the music takes on new shapes, new dimensions, and rewards you with little unexpected surprises.
  2. Create a new piece of music with your new sound sources. Don't just recycle old ideas, but look for something you can only produce with these new sounds. 
Don't be shy or give up too easily. If nothing comes to you, stick with it. It sometimes takes extended effort to make a breakthrough. We're trying to change your core thinking here. Most of us find it all too easy to get caught up in the same things, the same motions. When you hit the unknown, or uncomfortable, it's easy to just fall back on the familiar. Keep going! This is only a temporary tunnel with a wide open field on the other side.

For other artists, you can do the same sort of exercise: find objects in a different medium, use different colors or music, do something by hand rather than on the computer, etc. If you get stuck, go back and read my previous posts about Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, or The Noise of Art .

Dare to be differtent! And remember, No Sound Is Innocent!

~ MB

Photos  © 2012 Michael Bettine


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