Today’s post is about humility. When I started playing the drums, actually when I started getting serious about the instrument, I developed an ego. Like many middle-schoolers, I was immature and conceited. Very few kids were playing instruments at the time and that set me apart from them. While they were goofing off I was going to weekly drum lessons and spending time practicing my rudiments on the pad. While they were watching MTV for fashion tips I was observing the drummers. While they were emulating their favorite athletes I was mimicking my favorite players.
As I moved onto eighth grade I got my first drum set, a beautiful white Pearl Export kit with Paiste 505 cymbals. It quickly became my most prized possession. After starting high school I became friends with all the other drummers in the various band programs and we all lifted each other up while maintaining a healthy sense of competition. As high school progressed I started cutting school in favor of hanging out with older drummers and playing in garage bands with my friends. This led to summer school in order to graduate. I had chosen drums over education. All along I felt I was better than I was and it was only after college that I realized I had a chip on my shoulder.
As I grew into adulthood I began to gain a sense of humility that overpowered my sense of pride. I felt grateful to be able to play an instrument and be a part of the drumming community. I also realized that every drummer and musician I had ever played with had gone on to record their own CDs. Bands like Grapevine, The Drowning, Hepcat Dilemma and New World Trio all put out tremendous albums. Recording in a studio is still an accomplishment I have yet to experience. I do produce my own drum tracks but that is a solitary affair. So today I come to you with a deep sense of unpretentiousness. I feel a sense of accomplishment with my books and blogging but my ego remains in check. What did I learn from all of this? Work hard but keep in mind there is always someone better. All you can do is be the best drummer you can be. Have pride but don’t be prideful and above all else, play your instrument for all the right reasons. Play for the joy of playing, not for bragging rights.