Biggest Hurdle

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    @devin I have been there a ton – everyone struggles with learning to “love the way they sound”. I’m a professional drummer who makes a full-time living playing drums and educating other drummers and I still get that feeling.

    I really struggled with the insecurity of “I don’t sound good enough” in college. I was studying music and there were so many drummers in the program who could read music better than me, sight read better than man, play jazz better than me, and so much more. At this point I was also studying several drummers and wanted to sound “just like them”. But any time I would try and pull out a lick they used or a groove they playing, I wouldn’t sound half as good as they did. It was really starting to bum me out.

    But this is what I had to discover – no, I don’t sound like Vinnie Colaiuta. That is just a fact. BUT. I do sound like TIM. And no one can sound like me. Yes, I have areas I need to work on that are weaker than they should be – but I’m a work in progress. Just like everyone else. We are all somewhere on the journey trying to improve our sound and iron out the issues we have. And the pursuit should never be comparative (I need to sound like/better than that person), but always be inward focused (last week I sounded bad playing this groove and now it is feeling and sounding great).

    With Instagram and YouTube, it is easy to get bogged down in comparing yourself to everyone else. My Instagram feed looks amazing, but that is only a “highlight reel”. It doesn’t show you the times I’ve dropped sticks, missed a cue in a song in front of 3,000 people, not sounded great in a studio session, and other things I’ve experienced.

    If you are anything like me – you probably see the worst in yourself, and the best in others. But try and remember this – you might not sound like “you wish you did” but there is someone else in the world who would DIE to have their first proper gig. We are all a work in progress. Here is the nice thing, even if you sound TERRIBLE at your gig – you’ll probably learn more at that one gig than a year in a practice room. My first real gig in Nashville was a SO BAD. I played 20+ songs I had never heard before. It was bad. But, I still have a career in music and have worked with every musician on that stage again. It didn’t ruin my chance for success. And I’ll never forget the lessons I learned that night. haha.

    We have all felt like you are feeling, even if most don’t like to admit it. You aren’t alone. I’m terrible at it, but in moments where I’m really down on myself I try and look at the progress I’ve had and where I was a year or two ago.

    Good luck at your gig! (and sorry for writing a novel haha)

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  • #30718

    Tim B. – SDS Staff Teacher
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    @devin I have been there a ton – everyone struggles with learning to “love the way they sound”. I’m a professional drummer who makes a full-time living playing drums and educating other drummers and I still get that feeling.

    I really struggled with the insecurity of “I don’t sound good enough” in college. I was studying music and there were so many drummers in the program who could read music better than me, sight read better than man, play jazz better than me, and so much more. At this point I was also studying several drummers and wanted to sound “just like them”. But any time I would try and pull out a lick they used or a groove they playing, I wouldn’t sound half as good as they did. It was really starting to bum me out.

    But this is what I had to discover – no, I don’t sound like Vinnie Colaiuta. That is just a fact. BUT. I do sound like TIM. And no one can sound like me. Yes, I have areas I need to work on that are weaker than they should be – but I’m a work in progress. Just like everyone else. We are all somewhere on the journey trying to improve our sound and iron out the issues we have. And the pursuit should never be comparative (I need to sound like/better than that person), but always be inward focused (last week I sounded bad playing this groove and now it is feeling and sounding great).

    With Instagram and YouTube, it is easy to get bogged down in comparing yourself to everyone else. My Instagram feed looks amazing, but that is only a “highlight reel”. It doesn’t show you the times I’ve dropped sticks, missed a cue in a song in front of 3,000 people, not sounded great in a studio session, and other things I’ve experienced.

    If you are anything like me – you probably see the worst in yourself, and the best in others. But try and remember this – you might not sound like “you wish you did” but there is someone else in the world who would DIE to have their first proper gig. We are all a work in progress. Here is the nice thing, even if you sound TERRIBLE at your gig – you’ll probably learn more at that one gig than a year in a practice room. My first real gig in Nashville was a SO BAD. I played 20+ songs I had never heard before. It was bad. But, I still have a career in music and have worked with every musician on that stage again. It didn’t ruin my chance for success. And I’ll never forget the lessons I learned that night. haha.

    We have all felt like you are feeling, even if most don’t like to admit it. You aren’t alone. I’m terrible at it, but in moments where I’m really down on myself I try and look at the progress I’ve had and where I was a year or two ago.

    Good luck at your gig! (and sorry for writing a novel haha)

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