Showing posts from April, 2015

Burning Down The House

We've all been there: dead ends, wrong turns, failed ideas. Sometimes you just have to be willing to start over, go back to square one. There's nothing wrong with that. The best and most successful people in history have all failed at one time or another.  The trick is knowing when to stop, when to say no more. Sometimes you have the greatest idea, you work and work on it, yet it still doesn't become something usable.  Stop. Take a serious look at it. If the idea just doesn't work, toss it. If the idea is still good, file it away for the future. Nature does this. When a forest or prairie becomes too congested, a fire comes along to clear out the debris and overgrowth so new life and healthy plants can thrive.  Sometimes we accumulate too much baggage along our journey. Baggage of ideas. Baggage of thoughts. Baggage of rhythms. These can clog our thinking and lead us into repetition of old ideas and stagnation of creativity. Don't be af

How much of what you play is really wasted sound?

Think about your overall sound and presentation.  How much of what you play is really wasted sound? Think about what you are playing. Are you doing some things just to do them, or are they important to the music? Sometimes less really is more. We need to be good at self editing. Just as a writer might start out with a 2,000 word article, they will chop and whittle away, taking out all words that are not needed to convey the message. They may end up with 1,500, or even 1,000 words that are sharply focused and pack more punch than the bloated 2,000 words did. Look at your own work and see how you can edit  and focus what you play to be more effective. Sometimes less really is more.  More effective.  More interesting.  More connecting to your audience.  And less can also make space for those small gestures to stand out, to be noticed. ~ MB

Sometimes Small is BIG

As drummers/percussionists, we are often used to the grand gesture , that is, making a big noise and being noticed. But the problem with always making big gestures is that, after a while, they're not really noticed anymore. When you keep hitting people over the head with something, they tend to tune out after a certain length of time. Sometimes small is big I was reminded of this a few days ago when I visited the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. There's nothing like seeing original artworks up close, especially a major collection spanning the artist's career. You can really get a sense of how they worked, how they thought, and often what they were striving for with their works. Photos in a book or on a computer just don't do it.  How big is this in real life? One of the things you don't get from photos is the actual size of the works. Some works you think are really big end up being very small, and vice versa. While Dali did paint some e