The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
The Story Of An Unlikely Dream
To Become A Musician
A year well used in the end
It's been a tough year and as with much of the world I'm in lockdown for Christmas but I'm also more fortunate than most being in Australia and for that I am grateful. So music journey update for the end of the year, what I achieved, what I didn't and what my plans are for next year.
What I achieved:
I took my grade 7 drum exam and passed, I took a hell of a risk this year and even now I'm still amazed I got through it. I wouldn't have if it hadn't of been for my teacher but we did it and I'm thrilled because it did exactly what I intended it to, it forced me to confront and make big progress on many of my weakest areas. It made me organise myself, find a more effective way to practice and forced me to put in far more time and effort than I did last year. I didn't just pass I changed who I am as a player and a student and that will continue to benefit me. I did a cover of Reelin' In The Years for my xmas cover and that was a LOT of song to take on. Every instrument kicked my behind but I'm happy enough with how it turned out. It was never going to be great but it wasn't offensive and that's all right I reckon! I've made really great progress on bass now I'm applying the right techniques and studying the right material. My rhythm guitar has improved a great deal, my timing is better and I'm starting to understand a lot more. I wrote music I'm proud of, I entered my first competition, I took on new genres in my writing and pushed myself. I learnt some sound design and my mixing and production are slowly improving. I look back at the player I was at the start of the year and I've come a long, long way. In that regard I'm incredibly happy. I think I did well.
What I didn't:
I'm still an inconsistent sloppy player on everything, I'm still struggling with bends on guitar, nice clean doubles on drums and using the correct fingering on bass. I've improved greatly in all these areas but we are now in year 3 for some of these things. I didn't cover anywhere near enough new genres in my writing and I'm still writing pretty boring basslines for the most part. My writing is definitely lagging in terms of progress behind my techniques and I need to see it filter through. I'm still learning new songs unbelieably slow and I'm very slow to learn in general although I do feel like I'm finally breaking through that wall. Next year will tell I guess.
I've got THE song to write and that pressure is huge, I'm not ready but I don't have a choice. I hope to do my grade 8 drum exam and I'm not aiming for any partular mark but I would like to do better (even by one mark) than this year and keep that pattern going. I think it's good just to push a little harder each time but beyond that it'll be enough pressure this one on it's own! I want to start writing more genres, more interesting parts, continue to improve my technique, become more consistent and work on my confidence. I want to really start to improve and use the rhythm guitar more, finish some songs I've been working on for a while and release another album and I want to work on my sight reading.
I'm so lucky to have the teachers I do, I say this all the time but I genuinely can't stress it enough. My guitar teacher goes out of his way to help me understand my way of learning and we've made amazing progress because of it this year as we finally figure it all out. My bass teacher has a lovely manner, he's patient and very enouraging but also pushes me just enough. I can't let myself be pushed as hard as I do on drums but none the less he's got great progress out of me, I'm happy anyway. I've never met any teacher who's so commited to their students as my drum teacher and he's brought me further out of my shell than I ever thought possible. He helps me so much and he's so patient because I'm a difficult bugger.
Finally ..... I've decided I know who I am as a musician after all this time!
I've decided I'm a drummer. I didn't choose to be one, I am because it's what fits me best. Not what I enjoy most (although I adore drumming) but learning drums although no easier than the other instruments feels so natural, it makes sense to me and I feel comfortable doing it to a degree I don't on the other instruments. When I play I feel most at home behind the kit as well. Guitar will always have my heart, we're an incompatible couple who struggle but I don't care because I love guitar and I will force myself to be a guitarist. It may be what I'll become but it'll never be who I am. Bass feels like a friend to me, I enjoy being around it but only for shorter periods of time. It's so easy to learn bass and I find playing fun and comforting but not all day! Writing has never been a primary draw for me, I enjoy it but I find writing to be something that has to command me, I can't wield it by choice. I'll always be a multi-instrumentalist and writer but drums are my real home and the place I'll feel most myself. I didn't expect that when I started, not at all but often we discover strange things about ourselves and at the end of the day we are what we are.
Goodbye 2020, it's been a really tough one but it's also brought me a long long way.
Learning Time Log
How long I've been learning as at at the end of Dec 2020.
What's This About?
One fateful day I decided to get guitar lessons. 5 years later I'm learning four instruments and trying to become a musician and songwriter. I've set a five year goal (Aug 2021) to create a very special song for my 25th wedding anniversary and this is a record of my crazy journey, weird thoughts, strange doodles and unapologetic music obsession! Enjoy!