Please visit this page if you're interested in my thoughts about music, drums, literature, philosophy, and whatever else may
pop into my mind.
July 15, 2015
-I'll let you decide if this is just a rant OR a free, valuable lesson, but I feel like 75 to 80% of the drumming world has a
choked snare sound. It makes my skin crawl! Here is a simple test: play the drum forte and then play the drum pianissimo.
The drum should sound exactly the same. If you have to play the drum at a certain volume for the snares to respond
properly, they're too tight and they're choking the snare head. If you want a crisp snare sound, you have to increase the
tension of the snare head along with the snares so they don't cancel each other out. I think you'll appreciate the difference.
May 19, 2014
-I worry about the phrase "eternal student." We all give it lip service, as we all understand that learning is a process that
continues throughout one's lifetime. While it is appropriate for a student to search for solutions to the everyday challenges
presented by their craft primarily from the outside world and the past, a professional must begin to also seek those answers
from within. It is difficult to pinpoint where one passes this line of demarcation, and one probably won't recognize they have
done so until well after the fact, but it is imperative that we recognize it. Real creativity languishes if we never allow ourselves
May 24, 2013
-I like how my printer, which no longer has the ability to feed paper, still blames me by saying "out of paper," as though I
neglected to load it. HP should add a function that says, "I'm sorry, I know you loaded the paper properly, I just suck." It
could then go on to elaborate by saying, "Hewlett Packard has a very specific quality control policy that states that our
roller systems are designed to last just long enough to not arouse any suspicion while ensuring that our dedicated
consumers still have to buy a new one every few years," but somehow I think they will just keep blaming me.
February 13, 2013
-I just commented on a video on YouTube showing the performance of a guy who faked his way onto the bandstand even
though he couldn't play at all. It was posted three years ago and the tune was Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints.” I was the only
commenter who didn't find it funny. It was like watching someone defile a statue. And I’m not just referring to the tune they
played. I’m also referring to the poor musicians on stage who were giving their utmost to play music and accommodate the
guy. When the tune was over, they were polite and cordial with him because they assumed his heart was in the right place.
I have a hard time relating to the choices and life-styles of ascetic monks living their lives in silence and prayer, but
it doesn’t mean I want to go to a monastery and run up and down the corridors yelling at the top of my lungs. I have a
deep reverence for their discipline and I know, or assume that they are in tune with many things with which I am not.
Artists are journeying towards the transcendent. It's a spiritual journey that takes many twists and turns. People often
get lost on this path, go backwards, or follow false trails. Sometimes the artists are seemingly moving in the wrong
direction or in a direction that doesn’t make any sense. I always want to assume that they are in tune with many things
with which I am not, especially when they’ve been on the journey longer than I have. Often they are dealing with internal
and external obstacles, many which we will eventually have in common, though there will probably be more obstacles that
we don’t share.
The journey toward the transcendent is difficult and the way is long. The mere commitment to such a journey deserves
respect. This includes the product and more importantly, the PROCESS.
November 6, 2012
-Look up “patriotism” on BrainyQuote and you’ll get the impression that it’s a dirty word. I understand this. It brings to mind
the “our country-is-better-than-yours mentality” that implies that one’s regard for mankind stops at the border. However, I
want to suggest that there is a quieter kind of patriotism that begins with the view that one improves the world first from
within and then by bringing a positive influence to bear upon one’s immediate surroundings. It’s great to wave a flag, but
the most powerful way to exercise your patriotism is to go out and VOTE. Thanks. I hope you do.