Term 3 Week 10: The End and The Beginning...

July 1st, 2011

Well it was the last week and its been one of mixed emotions :-/ Joy at finding my true passion and moving on to the next stage, and going back to Canada, but also sadness because I will miss BIMM and the friends I've made over the last 2 years.

I just wanted to thank a couple of people; firstly, Andy Nixon for giving me a chance 2 years ago and for his support and encouragement while I've been at BIMM.

And also, Preston Prince for giving me an appreciation of Jazz music in general and especially Jazz drumming. Also for making it cool to start practicing at slower tempos ;)

Its hard to thank Pat Garvey enough for giving me a better technical and independence, but mostly for a passion for the drums and a view into what can be achieved by practicing and trying.

Finally, to Dave for giving me the opportunity, his support, patience and putting up with me.

The future is uncertain, but I am full of optimism and chances, I hope to continue and improve on the drums, I will be open to new ideas and opportunities.

The journey will continue :D Watch this space...

Term 3 Week 9: Fight the fear of failure...

June 21st, 2011

These are my last lessons at BIMM and going forward I have to Fight the fear of failure:!:

My friend Dan told me that its time for me to get out there B) I am ready to start playing and perform as much as I can. And its nice to hear people are stating to point out the really positive things that came out of my audition which is also really good to hear.

Fear of failure is something that I struggled with and its important that I challenge this, and to try hard to get out and play with as many people as I can. Networking and making friends is not one of my strengths, I'm not really a party person but I need to start to have faith in myself that I can go forward from here and really build on the foundations that I have got out out the whole experience of the last 2 years. That means networking with musicians and practicing, trying new things and not being worried about failure.

Self perception of how much I've improved is really difficult for me to gauge. This week I played in class for the last time (for a while at least) and I got really good feed back from Andy Nixon. One big improvement he pointed out was my confidence, and my bass drum power, which he's been picking me up on ever since I started 2 years ago. He pointed out that my strengths were; Relaxed posture, Preparation, Back beat, Dynamics and co-ordination, and the areas that I need to work on are; fills, tempo (trusting your ears), left foot control and loosening up my fills.

So on the whole I am really pleased with my last class performance :D

Term 3 Week 8: You have to ask yourself...

June 17th, 2011

This week we did Weak by Skunk Anansie in the audition. Although my playing in this terms audition shows progress, you have to ask yourself if it has all been worth it :?: the long distance relationship's, the sacrifice, the time, the money :?:

A number of friends have said that we are our worst critics, which is true in my case. And I know I tend to be, but I keep revisiting that opening fill I should have got it right. I feel bad about letting the others in the band down :oops: You see I can play this song in my head, I've learned this song :crazy:

I have to move on, and I will, but I've got to keep my focus and keep trying, but also try to get my worst critic into line >:XX

If you check out a video of me playing when I first went to BIMM and the latest for sure there is a lot of progress. It's frustrating that it's not better and as we discussed in Pat's class this week you can learn from others but in the end you have to be the best drummer you can be and keep trying.

So here is my first term BIMM audition in 2009...

and this is my last in 2011...

At the end of the day, I've really enjoyed the last 2 years at BIMM, and made some very good friends. I'm also a much better drummer than I used to be. And the audition has taught me... I'm not at the end of the road, and the show, and the journey must go on :D

Term 3 Week 7: Use the Force...

June 12th, 2011

Our audition is next week, which really signals the beginning of the end of BIMM for me for a while at least. And this week I have been really getting a grips on the track we are doing.

I've really learned this song like no other, and I am trying to figure out the reasons why...

The first thing I've really done this time is understand the structure of the track. It's not difficult, it go's like this - Into, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus x2 and Out. The really difference for me this time is I've learned to really know were I am in the track all the time. This requires me to concentrate and focus. This is a skill that I haven't really got to grips with as I find it really hard, my mind is always wondering off somewhere :roll: There are a couple of quotes from when Yoda is training Luke in Empire Strikes Back which I remember:-

"All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless!"

So I've been trying to stay focused and concentrate on where I am when I play this track. This is allowing me to do a couple of things that are new to me; firstly, stay in control of what I am playing, and secondly to really stamp my authority on the tempo of the track. But last weeks rehearsal, and having to do this for two hours, is hard. To do this during a performance/audition the song may be even harder.

:idea:"Concentrate...feel the Force flow. Yes. Good. Calm, yes. ":idea:

Term 3 Week 6: Blur vs Steve Gadd

June 3rd, 2011

The story of the week is Blur vs Gadd.... And I lost :(

I've been working on playing Blur's Charmless Man in class and it was just not to be |-| There was a clash in the timetable as Steve Gadd was doing a masterclass in London on the same day as I was due to play the Blur track in LPW. So I thought 'well I really need to get more practice playing live at this stage in my journey of drumming and not go to see Gadd'. Well only two people turned up at class and the guitarist did not know the track, so I never got to play it at all :roll: So I should've gone to see Gadd after all.

I've never really got the whole famous drummer thing. My tutor asked me the other day who was my favorite drummer, and I just do not have have one - I rate everyone who plays the drums. This may change. I've only just stared to begin hearing the drums on songs and understand what they are doing in the song and for the song.

So I hear from a couple of mates at college who went to the Steve Gadd Masterclass that he had played on the new Kate Bush Directors cut album. So interesting... I love Kate musically and I have done for many years. If you know her work then this Directors Cut album is a great revisit. Kate and Gadd, perfect for me NOW at this point of my journey. I'm a firm believer in that things come to you when you are ready to receive them. This will be my album of the summer....

I'm also very reflective lately... I'm coming to the end of BIMM and trying to understand the progress I've made. But also I've been scanning some old photos just to get them digital as I do not want to lose them (a lesson learned after a fire at my Mum and Dads house recently), and it makes you think.

I had a great rehearsal today on the Weak track. I've still got to work on the timing of the intro fill, but in general my fills on getting that much more fluid. This is really pleasing, although I have to try and place them in the center of the drum head as I sometime hit the edges :crazy: