It’s said practice makes perfect. Well, I don’t know about perfect, but it certainly leads to improvement and breakthroughs. The desire to practice is the result of a passion and love for a personal interest, that becoming the engine of motivation. For many local gigging musicians, the pandemic has created an unexpected volume of down time that is being redirected to practicing rudiments, learning songs, writing original music, and filling the void with trying to improve their chops. These are the people who have a true love of their instrument and are always thinking about how to become a better player. Like anything in life, with challenges come opportunities.
For me, I try to carve out time everyday to practice the drums. It might be hitting the pads or sitting down on the kit. I may take a remote web-based video lesson with my drum teacher (yes, I still have a teacher!) or study exercises from one of my drum books. I find the sticks in my hands to be therapeutic and a natural extension of who I am. While it’s only a hobby, I take it seriously. At the end of the day, it comes down to a burning love for the drums that fuels my aim to find how far I can take my natural ability. It’s a never ending journey. Using this time away from weekly band rehearsals, and with no more gigs scheduled at least until some point in 2021 (hopefully!!!), I have redirected my efforts to becoming the best player I can be in my personal time…both for me and for my band, The Influence (www.influenceband.com).
My story is no different from the thousands of other musicians that play in local bands. It’s the connection to their instrument, their bond with bandmates, and the energy experienced when performing live, that inspires practice during times like these. I think we’re all optimistic live events will be back, maybe reimagined in some way, but they will return. For those of us who get on stage, we want to be at the top of our game. That growth only comes from using the time to hone the craft through practice.
All the hard work is done when no one is watching. How you are honing your craft during this down time?