I get questions/comments a lot about how seriously I take music and drumming. I know many of you are right here with me on this, but today I’m going to try to put words to the reasons WHY music is actually MORE important than life and death to me…
Hey there, welcome back again for more Drummer Daily. Man I’m happy you’re here, I’m happy I’m here. The sun is shining. It is hot as anything outside in Nashville right now. I just got done, I was going to say cutting my grass, mowing my lawn. I say cutting the grass, I don’t know if that’s like a Nashville, a southern thing. It’s not a Nashville thing because I’ve said it since I was a kid, but got done mowing. I was going to say mowing the whole lawn, but that’s not true actually. Got done mowing the front yard. Our front yard is tiny, and so I have a push mower that I use for that. Then I, we finally broke down and got a riding mower for the back yard. The back yard is right on the line of too big for a push mower, without it being like a two and a half hour event mowing the lawn. So it’s too big for a push mower, but it kind of seems silly with a riding mower, but because when you get a riding mower it takes like 20 minutes and you’re done. So I don’t know what the best solution for that is, I just feel silly either way.
Anyway, I’ve done all the push mower stuff in the front yard. Then I also did, there’s some spots you know around trees and some other places in the back yard that I have to use the push mower. So I did all of that, but I was waiting for our grass to dry out from all the rain we’ve had recently before I do the back. So anyway, I’m taking a break from that, and I thought I’d hang out with you, and say hi.
So today I want to talk about something. Man, I’m walking around my house and there is a very large bug. Oh good, it’s on the outside of the front door. We have a glass door in the front of our house, and I was worried there was large bug on the inside. It’s on the outside, we’re good. Today I want to talk to you about something that, I’ve had this conversation with a few drummers. This kind of goes back to the conversation we had last week about this other way of drumming. This idea if you are someone who feels like there’s something else missing from your drumming, or there’s got to be a different way of drumming. There’s got to be something to kind of unlock the artistic side of your playing, and the feel and the passion, and the energy, but also the precision and the fine attention to detail, all those things.
If you feel like you want to pursue that, I just want to remind you you’re in the right place. Also, as a part of that, some people hear this, and will hear that, and they kind of roll their eyes. They’re like come on man, I get you, we all like playing music, we all like drumming, but that seems a little bit like dramatic, or over the top, or a little too like, it’s not that big of a deal, chill out Daniel. You know, drumming is not that important. Music is not that important. I understand that you might feel that way, or that there are people who feel that way. If you feel that way, and you’re never going to change your mind, this is probably not the podcast for you because I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that, and there are a lot of people who don’t believe that. I would hope to change your mind. So I just want to say to that, that if me saying to you that music is really important, if that doesn’t resonate with you in some way, if you don’t have something deep down that at least wants to have that conversation. If you just say nope, that’s not true, then you, this is probably not the podcast for you, and you’re probably not, me and you probably aren’t a good fit for hanging out and talking about music.
Anyway, there is a, so why is it so important? Why does music matter? Why does drumming matter? Well, I want to, there’s a quote, and it’s, this is going to be funny because this is kind of like a paraphrase of a paraphrase. So there was a quote by a famous soccer coach, and I don’t remember who it is. I need to go look it up, but he said something along the lines of soccer, or football I think it might have been in this case, but you know what I mean, soccer, “Soccer is not a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that.” Now let me tell you what, if I have to pick my soccer coach, this is a guy who you know is like a coach of a professional team. If i have to pick my soccer coach though, and I want to be a pro, I want somebody who feels that way. I want that guy coaching me. I’m listening to that guy. If he thinks that soccer is that important, you better believe he’s going to pour every ounce of energy, and heart, and passion into his drumming, sorry or into his coaching.
So, I want that guy as my coach. That’s the thing. I’m listening to that guy because that guy is a guy who cares about soccer, and I want him as my coach. All right, so that’s the original quote. So there was a quote, but I originally found out about this quote from seeing a quote from, I believe it was someone who has to do with YouTube. It was either Bono, or it was like a show designer or something, but the quote that I read originally was paraphrasing that soccer coach. It was, “Music is not a matter of life and death, it’s much more important than that.” That resonated with me so deeply because I do believe that. I do believe that music is really important.
Let me tell you why I believe that, and I want to take it a step further of course. My belief is drumming is not a matter of life and death, it is much more important than that. Here’s, let me tell you what I mean by that, or at least kind of where I’m going with that. So, scientists would tell us, and I am not a scientist, so this is based on my own memories of what I’ve learned, but I do believe it’s a scientific thing that sound, sounds waves that are created, the ripple of energy or whatever it is. It’s a wave that goes through the mass of everything out of us. So when I speak there’s sound waves coming out my mouth, and into your ears, but there’s you know, it goes everywhere. Whatever, all that stuff, but sound waves float out and they never really disappear. That’s how we were able to pick up waves of energy from, you know this is very basic, this is like taking something really complex and turning it into a third grade level of something. So please don’t send me angry emails that I’m completely wrong with this.
There’s some kind of basic thing that’s true about this. That’s all I know, but sound waves don’t really ever go away. They might slowly dissipate and become smaller, or lose their energy, but they don’t really just go away. So everything that is spoke, or sound that is created, lives forever. I am a Christian so I believe the Bible, and in the beginning of the Bible opens with a poem about the creation of the Earth. The thing that you notice about that poem is that God created everything with his voice. He spoke things into existence. So I do believe that the power of sound is something powerful. So that’s just something I believe. I don’t have any science to back that up. I’m just saying that’s the thing I believe.
So this resonates deep within my core for a couple of reasons, but back to the science thing. Scientists would say that sound waves never go away. So what I want to tell you is this, every time I hit my drum, any drum, symbol, any time I make a sound with my drums, that note, whatever it is, comes out and it drifts out into the universe, and it will never go away. That note is permanent. Every thing we play in some way is permanent. Now sometimes we’re reminded of how permanent it is if we get a chance to record ourselves, or we share it with other people, but even when we’re alone, the sound that comes out when we play lasts forever. The sounds we are creating, the music we are creating is eternal, whether we record it with technology or not.
So for me, there will be a day when I’m no longer here, when you’re no longer here, but the music that we played, and the words that we speak out, those will live on forever. Now I know that people may not be able to hear them, but for me it’s like I am living every day. I am playing every note. Every moment, whether I mean it to or not, is creating a monument to what I did with my life, and what I did with my music and my art. Every note that I play, every breath that comes out of the drums, is building this monument, this thing that lives forever, about me. I’m leaving a mark in the universe with every note that I play.
If that doesn’t get you excited, and convince you that what you’re doing is important as a musician, I don’t know what will. I know for me, it inspires me to want to make every note count. To put every ounce of my energy, and intentionality, and ability, and purpose into every note that I play on the drums because it’s going to come out, and it’s going to live forever. That’s why drum tuning matters to me. Once I play these notes, they float out to the universe, and they last forever, but they also for me, a lot of times, I’m recording them. Then those get played back for a long time. So the tuning matters. The miking of the drum matters. The mix matters. Everything matters so much. So I want to be involved in all of those pieces as much as I can because it’s important to me. It is more than a matter of life and death to me, the music that I create, the drumming that I do. What I can bring to a song, or what kind of songs I can be a part of. This stuff matters. It’s important.
So if that resonates with you, and you do believe that what you’re doing as a musician is important, or you want to feel like it’s important and you’re frustrated because maybe you’re not where you want to be supporting music in a way that, you think you’re falling short of how important it is. You know it’s important, but you don’t feel like you’re doing it justice, I want you to hang out with me. Keep talking to me because we can get there. Just knowing that it’s more important is the first step, and it’s probably the biggest step because people don’t respect themselves enough a lot of times as artists and musicians to get to the place where they actually are happy with their own playing.
So I want you to stick with me, and we’re going to do this. So, today my statement for you is this. Drumming is not a matter of life and death. It is much more important than that. All right, I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. Thanks for listening. Bye for now.