The Musician’s Creed
Have you ever felt that the inspiration train has left the station when it comes to your drumming? Your beats sound tired. Your rhythm feels monotonous. And the fill that you just played sounds like the same fill that you have played in every song for the last year and a half.
We have all had drumming days like that. Our first reaction might be to suck it up and practice more. We might grab another drum beat book, listen to a new radio station or watch another DVD to ignite that creative spark. Sometimes that’s enough to give us what we need to feel like we’re alive on the drum set again. When it isn’t, try this three-line declaration and watch it shift you into a new state of mind. I call it The Musician’s Creed and it goes like this:
I’m a person first ,
A musician second,
My instrument third.
A person lives experiences. He (or she) hangs out with friends. A person shares a meal with others. A person might stumble and fall. But they can also decide to get up. A person is alive in life, taking in the lessons that life itself offers.
A musician is a person who takes those life experiences and shapes them into something that communicates emotion through notes and rhythm. A musician is compelled to pick up something with their hands, be it a pick, bow, or a pair of sticks and transfer how they’re feeling into song. If none of those things are available, a musician will grab anything they can that’s nearby – a coke bottle, a Starbucks cup, a rubber band or an out-of-tune piano to convey whatever they need to get out of their system. A musician is a person who has the need to create music.
And here’s the kicker! It doesn’t matter what drums you play or what you’re holding in your hands. You are the instrument! Your soul that has taken in all those experiences has also channeled them through your limbs. It’s your life that makes the sound on the drumset.
So the next time you feel like you’ve hit the creative wall, think about the Musician’s Creed. Follow its advice. If a drum book won’t get you flowing, go bowling with some friends! Or pick up a guitar (even if you don’t know how to play it) and play a few notes. See how it makes you feel. Above all, adopt the philosophy that you were born to be creative and that no matter what instrument you play, you can’t help but sound like…you!
Thus ends the sermon. Go rock out in peace!