Youtube can be a blessing and curse. A blessing in that you can see some pretty neat things: amazing imaginative ideas, or newly discovered music, or something ridiculous that your friends from college posted. Sarah finds some really great stuff in her surfing travels—nearly every other day there’s something to listen to or ponder or just laugh at. That said, youtube can be a bit of curse too: the amount of garbage on there is pretty atrocious. It’s as though you’ve got to wade knee-deep through the sludge to find the gems.
For me, youtube provides me with new ideas, and usually these have to do with drumming. I can’t speak on behalf of musicians who play other instruments, but for myself I can tend to get in a rut. A lot of this probably has to do with the fact that I’ve really played the same styles of music. But beyond genre, there’s still a certain dynamism that can seep away as time goes on. Like anything in life, we need to infuse fresh inspiration into the activities we love, lest they become mundane or we forget the beauty they’re capable of making.
The curse comes into play here, as well—it’s easy to watch excellent drummers and become discouraged, “I’ll never be able to do that!” (and that might very well be true, sadly…) But that’s why I really like watching Mike Johnston’s drum lessons. He is without question a gifted drummer, but he’s also a teacher who is inviting, down-to-earth and humble about his skills in a way that makes one think, “Hey! I really could play this!”
I tried that tonight with this video. It was harder than it appeared. But it was great practice, great fun, and challenges me to take the time to play and practice more and avoid the ruts.
Be well this weekend.