This week I’m back at home, so I’m particularly busy at the moment which is why I’m posting a few days early than the usual slot.
I’m currently performing a brand new theatre production called Murder Ballad. We are the FIRST group outside of the West End to have the opportunity to play this. Times like this as a musician, is what I and we all in the community really live for and when I say community, I mean everybody whether you have an interest in music or not (I’m there isn’t one person who doesn’t like music) I’m aware that the last blog was a little too much about myself and not about involving you guys reading my blogs. More on this below!!
So, today I wanted to share some thoughts behind what goes on in the depths of a drummer’ mind. Murder Ballad isn’t what you would call a technically challenging show, the parts are relatively simplistic. However, where most people fall, musician and non-musician alike, is the complexity behind the music. This week, it’s not just what I’ve learned but this blog, and thereafter, is trying to portray an understanding of music from how a musician sees it, without getting too technical.
We are a four-piece band and first of all, nobody is marking a formal assessment on what we are playing. As long as we are making the audience feel good and enjoy the show, that is the main outcome. As a drummer, I personally subdivide each sound I play in order to achieve a certain feel, or what makes somebody listening feel on an emotional level. Take David Bowie’s song Young Americans (Young Americans – David Bowie) Listen to the drums, particularly the kick drum and snare drum, the gap between beats 1 and 3 is where I would be hearing and feeling an underlying rhythm. If I want you to feel relaxed and in the music, I’ll be a little behind beats 1 and 3, or if I’m after energy, I’ll be bang on beats 1 and 3.
Going back to the four-piece band scenario, this means we have to be locked into each other and the internal metronome i.e. how we each feel the pulse, for this show, it is 1000% important (no error on the 1000% fyi) as each song runs into the next and each song’ tempo can be very drastic. At some points, we’ll be playing 77bpm then go straight into 161bpm (Beats Per Minute). This is by far, one of the most challenging aspects of music by far. The more one understands, the more one appreciates and enjoys the music with more meaning!
We want to provide the best sound possible. It’s having the positive energy to give to others, to put your time and expertise before yourself. I always try to make sure the others in the band are feeling good and if not, I try to help them as much as possible and if not, then that’s the time I focus on myself and challenge myself to sound the best I can.
In life, generally speaking, it’s really important to help others first whilst making an authoritative stance. The people who are most successful, have this authoritativeness yet they have a yielding understanding and compassion towards others. If you can tap into that, then for sure you’ll have a deeper level of understanding for what it is you’re focusing on and have a deeper level of satisfaction.
The take home message today.
Be a positive influence, whilst being authoritative and compassionate towards others.
Instead of Songs of the week, I wanted to share this podcast I listened to (below) today. Do something different today and take some time to listen and be inspired! 🙂
If you’re interested, follow the link to the website here and search for podcasts (there’s an option to subscribe too)
See you all next week! Have a great one.