“You have to learn the ropes from the veterans.” – Jon Batiste
I’m sitting in a room watching Jon Batiste give music lessons to a novice drummer. One of the things Jon asks him to do is to play with his hands and fingers.
The drummer reluctantly tries it out and says: “Alright, could we try something a little more practical?”
I stand up and tell him the following:
“If we look at this as if you’re learning to drive. Right now you want to know how the engine works etc. Am I right?”
The student nods and I continue:
“Well, in reality you have to pay attention to the other drivers on the road. If you get a flat do you just let go of the wheel and say ‘Fuck this shit!’? If you break your last drum stick, do you simply stop playing?
No. You carefully steer your car to the side of the road. You keep on playing with your hands. These are the things you’re not seeing right now, but that those more experienced have gone through and can teach you.”
A couple of things conspired to create this dream.
First, I binged a lot of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert”, then I went to a Toto concert on Friday, and I watched a video featuring Toto’s late drummer Jeff Porcaro.
In the video he said the following:
“You have to have some musical background or some knowledge of social music.
It’s funny, a lot of people… I meet a lot of guys, they study, their chops are unbelievable, they can read anything you put in front of them. But there’s some antisocial thing about their playing.
Meaning: maybe it’s too stiff or it’s too much. It’s not good street music or they’re not aware of just playing with your everyday Joe, which is what it’s all about.” – Jeff Porcaro
What I want to get across here is that it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there’s always someone else who’s been there.
Maybe not in the exact same position, dealing with exactly the same things you are, but they understand what it’s like.
They know the things that lay ahead and how they, in hindsight, could and would’ve acted. As well as the lessons they absorbed just dealing with life.
Listen to these people. They have a fountain of knowledge to share with you.
Who’s been where you’re at right now? Who could you ask to share their experiences with you today?