Never Stop Learning

It's easy to get to a certain point in both your life and your art/career, and feel like you've gone as far as you need to. Yeah, things can become comfy, easy, routine. You are able to go out there and just do it without thinking about it. But what's the point? Why stop there?

I'm always amazed, and inspired, by people I look up to, who are at the top of their game, yet keep learning and striving for more. 2 good examples are Neil Peart and Steve Smith. They are 2 of the top drummers in the world. Both have achieved a great degree of technical proficiency, and are majors stars. As different as they may be musically, they have one thing in common: they both have kept studying drums and taking lessons. 

Peart is well known for his studying with the late Freddy Gruber (as were many other well known drummers). He has written articles about how Freddy helped him play more fluidly. He's also studied with his contemporary, Peter Erskine. Neil will be the first person to tell you jazz is not his strong point, but he has been taking lessons with Erskine to improve his jazz playing.

The late Freddy Gruber

Steve Smith (who also studied with Gruber) has a great interest in Indian music and its rhythm system. He has worked with a lot of great Indian drummers, and also formally studied with some of them in order to incorporate Indian rhythms into his own playing. It would be easy to think that he's so great, why does he need to study more? But all great artists tend to have a passion not just for their art, but to keep learning and growing. 

If you find yourself in a rut, or just coasting along, learn something new. You can study on your own, or find a teacher to work with. A good teacher can be more like a coach and often help you tighten up and improve what you already do. Working with someone else can also be inspirational and open up your creativity.

So never stop learning!

~ MB


  1. Hi Michael!

    I recently came across your blog and have been really enjoying reading through it! Some great motivational tips here. I'm a musician myself, although not a drummer, but I too practiced first thing when I got home from school, till bed. You can be the musically gifted artist in the world, but without practice, you will never be able to effectively convey your art.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your blog on Glipho? Glipho is a new social blogging network that aims to promote the writing of its users and help build their audiences. We are trying to establish a creative community at Glipho, and your blog is just what we are looking for.

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    Have a great day,


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