Have you ever wanted to do something, but felt you just needed a little bit more time to really pursue it? I have–multiple times. However, there is a simple solution to help you overcome this. Read on...
I attended a very small private Christian school from Kindergarten to High School and the music program was next to nothing. I think our High School band had 9 musicians and 3 of them were drummers! So needless to say, I never had the opportunity to experience marching band/corps. Sometimes I would feel that I missed out on the benefits from this environment.
In 2003, I moved back to LA from Nashville and met up with Virgil Donati to catch up. He mentioned he had been taking lesson with this multiple winning rudimental world champion, Rob Carson—and has been really enjoying and benefitting from it. I figured this would be a good opportunity for me to “make up” for my missed drum corp/rudimental experiences growing up. I gave Rob a call.
For the next 18 months I studied off and on with Rob and it was excellent. He introduced me to a completely different technique and philosophy which was exactly what I needed at that time. But, as with all great teachers, the wisdom and information shared wasn’t always about the primary subject being studied.
About a year after my first book “Double Bass Drumming-The Mirrored Groove System” was published by Hal Leonard they asked me if I would be interested in doing a DVD to accompany the book. My first thought was “No way, I’m not prepared to put myself out like that. There’s so much I can’t play yet. Maybe in a year I might be ready to do that.”
After one of our lessons I mentioned this to Rob as we were walking out to my truck. I expressed to him how I would feel more confident if I could just practice for one more year—then I would feel better about doing it. Immediately he said “Jeff, if you don’t take this opportunity now it’ll just go to someone else and you will have missed this chance.”
This jolted me a bit. I thought, “I don’t want to miss this opportunity, but I also don’t want to suck!”.
Well, nervously and begrudgingly, I agreed to do it and started practicing my butt off so I could do the best I could. It was filmed and released and ended up opening a lot of other doors for me. To my great surprise it actually ended up on Modern Drummers list of "The Best 25 DVDs of All Time."
That DVD came out in 2004 and even when I look back at it now I see a young version of me that played what he knew to the best of his abilities. And it’s fine. Sure it would be quite different if I did it today, but that what’s so amazing and rewarding about the growth process.
Now, the moral of the story is: if there is something you’ve wanted to, hoped for or dreamt about, but have postponed it due to feelings of inadequacy—Do It Anyway! That musician you want to ask to jam with; that band you want to play with or sub for; that local jam session you want play at; those online videos you want to create; that book you want to write—whatever you think you can do to the best of your immediate abilities-start doing it NOW! By deciding to do it now, your abilities will grow exponentially quicker rather than if you choose to wait until you’re “qualified”.
Do it! You owe it to yourself and all of us who are waiting to benefit from it!
Unit next time...
Stay Focused and Practice with Purpose,