I've been enjoying "Breakfast with Vinnie!" a podcast with the incomparable Vinnie Colaiuta. I'm now all fired up to hit the practice room. Listen here: https://breakfastwithvinnie.com/
My coach and I have planned a project. Finalise my list of memorised jazz standards at the piano. I've got 10 days to memorise and present 5 standards he has chosen. This has been an ongoing project I've been working on myself. Time to supercharge the effort.
Here are the steps I'm taking.
Create a list of jazz drumming tunes, a "greatest hits list" and get busy there as well.
My daily practice of classical piano repertoire is going well. I'm feeling much more confident in that department.
Sometimes you just got to step back and regroup. It's time to spend some time in the woodshed and rethink business, drumming, and piano practice. I need a new strategy that fires up my enthusiasm going forward into the new decade.
It may be time to pivot.
My mentor drummer Terry Clarke says it all about time and keeping it simple. Amen to that. This past week I filled in for an ailing drummer in a local big band. Two plus hours of full speed sight reading. Swing, second line, funk, ballads, and blues. It was a reminder of the importance of the basics and fundamentals of drumming and playing music in general.
What I learned.
Are you stuck in a creative rut? This is a common problem with musicians everywhere. Many of us were attracted to music in our youth. Most musicians are still stuck where every they jumped in But, the world has moved on. Over the last 100 years we have gone through:
A small sample of possibilities...
That being said, the other night I played piano in a trio jam. We played jazzy pop tunes from the late 1950s-60s. What a blast! But we did it in private. I believe it was successful because we were all in the same cohort, we are friends, we don't play this music often. And, it reminds us of our pre-music days as young children listening to music our mothers played on the radio. A private pleasure.
Take a shower... just kidding.
I divide my time in music making with my peers and a much younger cohort. Hanging with my peers is fun. But the stories are old, the set lists hoary. There are about times and people long gone. The youngsters on the other hand are either college age or in their early careers. They are in the process of creating stories not retelling them. They have fresh perspectives and up to date skills. A third group I hang with are the artists. This is new territory for me, a working musician. These folks have given their lives to their vision. I'm in awe of their intensity, skill, vision, and commitment to the muse.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.