Today let’s talk about frustration and perseverance. I started playing the drums as a teen, 13 years-old in fact. As with anything new, it was both exciting and inspirational. But then the work started…Practicing exercises, reading drum notation, and playing rudiments over and over became quite the chore. It wasn’t fun that’s for sure.
The thing is, I wanted it. Bad. I wanted to play the drums so bad I suffered through whatever was necessary to proficiently play the instrument. After months I got comfortable. After years I got pretty good. But none of that would have been possible if I didn’t put in the hours necessary to call myself a drummer.
The drum book that I wrote with Rich Redmond goes beyond teaching the fundamentals of playing and reading. It’s supposed to inspire the reader to want to become a drummer. Our ultimate goal is to “light a fire” in the mind of the reader.
Now I’m experiencing the same situation with the piano. I was blessed with a 117 year-old beauty that sounds amazing. I got the beginner exercise books and Pianote website lessons and I’m slowly working my way through them. Honestly, it’s not going well. I’m struggling and many times my hands won’t cooperate. I must confess…I’ve dropped a few F’bombs.
That said, like drumming, I want it. I’m willing to put in the time as time permits. I go stretches without sitting at the instrument due to life’s commitments but when I do, I work. Am I having fun? I enjoy spending time sitting at the piano but not doing the repetition required to call oneself a “pianist.” I love the idea of playing the piano but I’m not in love with what it takes to get there.
So now I have to fan “that fire” in myself and put in the work necessary to competently play the instrument. I never expect to play the piano as well as I play the drums but being able to sit down and play music, no matter how intermediate, would satisfy me.
So that’s it. Perseverance is the key to nullifying frustration. If you want it bad enough, you’ll be willing to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. I’m a good drummer but a lousy pianist. I really hope to change that.
Will it always be enjoyable?
Will it be worth it?