Hi, MD readers, Bobby A here! Drummers are truly gifted people. Each of us has been given the opportunity to explore and engage ourselves on an instrument that is at the primal core of our human experience. The landscape for growth is fertile and abundant, as a seemingly unending amount of information to learn exists. Whether by choice or by fate, the call of the beat has impacted us.
But what are we to do once we hear the call? For one thing, we should answer it. Each of us has a different set of goals and a unique level of commitment we are willing to make to our craft. It is important to know exactly what that level entails. In order to move forward, having a destination is key. However, no matter what the end goal is, we can maximize our joy by remembering this saying: “Always Be Learning Everyday,” or “be ABLE” for short.
In my twenty-five years of drumming, I’ve summed up three areas that have helped me get the most out of my journey of rhythmic exploration. Each of these aspects has their own unique way of allowing us to “be able” on the drums. They are playing, studying, and teaching.
Playing: This is where it all comes together. All the practicing and learning we’ve done are put to practical use. When playing, we are communicating and expressing ourselves with other musicians, with audiences, and on a personal level. We do this by listening and with techniques we’ve gained in our studies.
Studying: There’s a vast amount of information in our world of drumming. With the Internet and social media, just about anything is accessible to us. Studying is where we take the time to put that information into our minds. Learning can take on many forms, such as practicing technical stuff we use on the drums (rudiments, reading, time keeping), to understanding the instrument and its key historical innovators, to learning about the latest gear we use. It is important to keep learning in order to keep on top of our game.
Teaching: In my opinion, the greatest gift that drummers have been given is our link to one another. It is well known that as a community, we are always willing to share what we know with others. Teaching can be done in a traditional mentor/student way, or by simply showing someone how to choose a cymbal or tune a snare drum. The point is, when we give of ourselves we are truly growing and we are able to inspire. Be able.
Thanks for reading!
For more on Bobby Angilletta, go to www.bobbyadrums.com.