Experience Drums

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Community Voices

Archive for December, 2013

Hi and Welcome to the Community Voices Submission Page

Posted on: December 23rd, 2013 by Rick Aleman

What kind of material are we looking for on this page?

Experience Drums is looking for submissions centered on the following:

Mind, Body and Spirit barriers – We’re looking for content about breaking through the Mind, Body and Spirit barriers that prevent drummers and percussionists from reaching their full potential. Submissions can be about how to think about music, how to improve the freedom of your limbs and/or how to deal with the daily ups and downs of being a drummer or a percussionist.

Building community – We’re looking for content that addresses the ways we can create and build community through music. Submissions can be on starting a drum club, a music mentoring program, a networking opportunity, an interview with someone who has donated their services, started a non-profit organization or simply inspired other drummers.

Learning about life – We’re looking for content that pertains to learning about life through the medium of music. Submissions can be about goal-setting, problem solving, communication and listening skills, teamwork, creativity, and service to others.

Who are we looking for to submit content?

1. Teachers who would love a chance to share their ideas.
2. Professional drummers and percussionists who would love to share their ideas.
3. Enthusiasts, weekend warriors, parents and students of all ages who would love to share their ideas.

In other words, if you are a musician and you want your voice to be heard, we would love to give you a platform to share your ideas based on the submission criteria detailed above.

Do you have to be a drummer or percussionist to submit material?

No! If you’re passionate about music, and you love drums and percussion, feel free to submit.

What writing style should I use when I submit to the page?

Be you. If you are a professional teacher, write like you. If you are a player, write like you. If you are an enthusiast, student or parent, write like you! You will be writing for an audience that ranges from beginner to pro. Share your wisdom and write the way you speak. We want to hear your voice on Community Voices. We just respectfully ask that there be no expletives in the content.

What form of submissions do we take?

1. We are interested in articles. The word count should be no more than 1,500.  You can submit articles with music examples using any music program you have. We can also take hand-written scanned PDFs and put them into Finale.
2. We are interested in YouTube Clips that are no longer than 3 minutes.
3. We are interested in audio interviews that are no longer than 10 minutes. 

Where and to whom do you submit your content?

Please submit all content to Editor–in-Chief Evan Pollack.  His email address is evan@experiencedrums.com

What happens when you submit your work?

1. We send you a notification that we’ve received your submission.
2. We review the content and make sure that it matches our criteria for submission.
3. If it does match our requirements, we send the material to Managing Editor Kristin Horgen for review and editing. We’ll ask you to approve the content before we publish it. We suggest that you give your article a good once-over before you submit it. We can post it much faster if you do.
4. If it doesn’t match our requirements, we will give you feedback on where your material might best serve others. Or, we will give you tips on how to resubmit your material to our site.
5. As mentioned, we do edit. We check spelling and grammar. But we also check name and band spellings. In addition, we will want to contact you if we feel that Experience Drums needs further clarification of your sources. Opinions and thoughts are fine. We just want to make sure that if science is involved, everyone knows where your facts are coming from.
6. Once your work is fully edited, we will notify you about when your work will be published.

How long will it take to see your work posted?

You should expect a three month period to allow the process of submission, review, editing and posting to occur. Expect longer post times if we are given music that has to be converted to Finale or requires the placement of graphics.

How many articles can you submit? 

Please feel free to become a regular columnist for us! We will do shout-outs on social media for you and we will archive all your work so that others may see your past contributions.

Who owns the articles?

You do. We professionally edit your work but we consider it yours. We simply request two things of you:

1. Please acknowledge your editor, Kristin Horgen, if she has helped created your article with you.
2. If you feel like Experience Drums has helped you, please feel free to spread the word about us.

Whom do I contact if I have further questions about the Community Voices page?

Feel free to contact Evan Pollack at evan@experiencedrums.com.

Thanks for checking out our Submissions page!  We’re looking to get the word out to others who can benefit from your experiences!

I’m My Own Worst Enemy

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by Rick Aleman

I can find any reason to stop practicing. Usually, it’s after I yell at myself and look around to see if anyone is watching me smack the top of my head in frustration.

Every time I hear live music (well, almost every time), I stand there and say, “I can do that. It’s not hard.  Boom, tap, boom boom tap. Who can’t do that?” Then I go home and it turns into, “I just don’t have the time. This TV show is just so darn entertaining. Perhaps the dog needs to go out.” This is mostly because I remember the last time I practiced and it followed the pattern above.

You’re looking for a reason not to practice. Even when you’re sitting behind your drums with your drumming shoes on and the room temperature is just right, you don’t really think you can do it. Well, you think you can… but you really don’t think you can. Face it, you may as well get frustrated within the first 15 minutes of practice because you’re going to get frustrated eventually. That’s more tolerable than waiting until you’ve started to make progress and then telling yourself you should be better than you are. Who wants to feel that frustrated? Let’s take the less frustrated option because either way, you’re proving yourself right. You can’t do it.

How do I take my own worst enemy and turn her into that guy at the bar, grooving with his band?

Practice? No, we just explained what happens then.

Lose the attitude and believe in yourself? Easier said than done.

I’ve been playing music since before I can remember. I must have gotten something useful out of all those years of lessons/orchestras/school bands, right??? But that was all so easy and this is so different. I got through so many of those years by sight-reading, practically with my eyes closed. It gives me indescribable comfort to see the notes that are coming, the amount of space before the repeat sign, the codas, etc. But to listen to a song and know what to play? Greek.

Sight-reading. Maybe that’s the key. Stop listening to songs and expecting to pick up your sticks and play them after hearing them two or three times. That’s not you. Take your blank sheet music, find a quiet place where no one will stare, turn on some music you like, any music, and count sections.  Where does the chorus come in and what’s stanza two? Write out your drum parts. You can see them in your head before you will ever pick up your sticks. One day, you’ll be able to ad lib without anything written in front of you and without really knowing the song front to back. It doesn’t have to be today. It will not be today. Today, you will sit down with pencil, paper, and headphones and make yourself something to sight-read. Then you’ll watch yourself play something you didn’t think you could. Because it will only be sight-reading. And that, you can do.

About Becky Abramson

Becky Abramson has been a percussionist and drummer since the age of seven. And now, at 36, it turns out that she’s a gifted blogger as well. Becky’s touched all the bases when it comes to the world of orchestral and rudimental percussion – marching band in high school (Go Great Bridge High School Marching Wildcats!), orchestras affiliated with city of Chesapeake during middle and high school, percussion at Mary Washington College, and currently on the drum set in the thriving Washington, DC area music scene. If there’s a Beatle’s tribute band out there, Becky knows them!

Becky Abramson