Hilary Duff and Benise’s Mike Bennett
What’s up, MD readers—long time, no blog! I am writing you from the road in Daytona Beach, FL, on tour with an awesome guitarist named Benise. It’s a big flamenco/world music show with a great band and cast of dancers. The cool part of this show for me is that it keeps me on my toes, running around the stage playing drums and percussion and also up front playing a lot of cajon. It’s a high-energy two-hour show, so I’m definitely getting my endurance back up.
The past few years have been really crazy and so much fun. I’ve been touring a lot with acts like Benise, Hilary Duff, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and others. In addition, I have also written my first two drum books: Demystifying Drumming and Demystifying The Cajon. Both books will be available on my Web site soon, and you can also email me for more info.
Now, time for a few thoughts… Living in Los Angeles I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing young musicians. The question I get a lot is: How do you get a big gig? Even though there’s a lot that goes into getting the gig, the challenge lies in keeping the gig. Getting a good job and doing a good job are two totally different things. Once you do get that gig, it comes down to your level of focus and your commitment to making good decisions on and off stage. You have to have a selfless respect for the entire production. Advertisement
Though I love being creative and musical, I try to do it in a manner that makes the artist, the band, the dancers, and the audience all feel safe and have a great show. Sometimes this means sacrificing my best drumming show for what would be the best show overall. Great drummers have a lot of chops; working drummers have a lot of humility. Learn to play with respect for the music and the people around you, and your chances of getting on that BIG gig will become much greater. My advice is to practice hard to be a great drummer and focus hard on learning to be a smart one.
I hope this finds everyone well! Please keep up with me at the links below.