Here’s an idea designed to open up your drumming in new creative directions. Smart businesses use this concept all the time to come up with new products and creative ideas for their companies, but it will work for your drumming as well. The notion is to ask “what if” about your drumming.
Some of the “what if” questions may make you feel uncomfortable, scared or anxious. But that’s OK and actually expected because what we’re trying to do is shake things up and come up with new ideas. Change and new ideas can cause friction, but it’s worth it. You never know, you might make an amazing discovery for your art.
Here are some “what if’s” to get you started.
- You decided to become an open-handed drummer like Simon Phillips or Billy Cobham?
- You used three hi-hats and no ride cymbal?
- You could play eighth note triplets effortlessly in any combination between your left foot, left hand and right foot, while maintaining eighth notes with your right hand?
- You were able to play single stroke rolls with as much precision and power as Tony Williams or Chris Coleman?
- You could play 16th notes with your left hand at quarter note = 145?
- You could transcribe your favorite drum solo note for note and then steal the best ideas and change them around to your liking?
- Your technique was equally killer matched or traditional?
- You had a unique way to incorporate electronics into your drum set up?
- You used two 18″ crash cymbals as hi-hats?
- You played amazing double bass drum ideas on two 18″ or 20″ bass drums instead of the usual 22″ or larger bass drums?
- You created your own band so you could play exactly the kind of music you wanted?
- You set up drums with the toms in the following order from left to right: 13,” 12″ 10″ 16″?
- You started listening only to non-drummers as inspiration for your drumming?
- You transcribed the random rhythm of noises that your washing machine makes and used it in your playing?
- You could play this with your left foot: [insert idea here] and play anything against it with your other limbs?
OK. Enough. You got the picture, right? It’s this kind of thinking that too many of us do not do. Each and every one of the above is possible.
Pick a “what if” scenario for yourself and then make it happen! That’s how great ideas become great achievements.
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AWESOME post. It’s really refreshing to see this. Thanks very much!
Mark Feldman says
Hey Eric- thanks a lot. It is nice to know these articles are helpful.