Hello drummers, musicians, and other curious readers! My name is John Keefe, though some people call me Beef! I play drums in a band called Boys Like Girls, and I occasionally do some outside session work when I have the time off from BLG ( to name a few). I am twenty-nine years old and reside in Boston, Massachusetts. I absolutely love what I get to do for a living; it’s my dream playing drums professionally with my best friends and great musicians. I am currently on the road supporting our third release, the Crazy World EP.
A little background on me: I grew up on farm outside Boston, playing in my barn, at local shows, on DIY tours—you name it. I probably played your backyard or local bowling alley at some point or another. Drums and music have been a way of life for me. They kept me out of trouble, that’s for sure! I started playing when I was fourteen and I haven’t looked back. I still like to geek out and am constantly learning and relearning things, whether it’s from sources on the Internet like moderndrummer.com, some of the great drumming books like Syncopation by Ted Reed, or having the opportunity to pick up stuff on the road from other passionate players.
I currently use SJC drums out of Massachusetts, Zildjian cymbals and sticks, DW hardware, and Remo heads. All of these companies have been super supportive in my career as drummer in a full-time band and as a studio musician for other artists. Good products go a long way. Having good reps helps as well.
On the road I like to keep it pretty clean these days—focusing on my playing, staying healthy, working out, and practicing when I can. I do a lot of warming up now, and even warming down as well, just like a singer would. Playing drums has its occupational hazards, especially for you hard hitters out there. They are a lot of tiny bones and muscles that take a beating, so take care of them, and take care of the rest of your body—you only get one! I use marching sticks on a pad for about forty minutes before I go on stage, and I always stretch now. My playing has been better then ever. Drumming is about routine and training your muscles to do certain things so that you can focus on what really matters, which in my opinion is groove and feel. Hopefully someday there will be a contest not for who the fastest drummer in the world is, but who can play the slowest.
Well, that’s it for me! Make sure you check me out on tour this fall and hopefully for the rest of my life playing in a city near you! If you liked this little blog, shoot me a tweet @JOHNBLG. Thanks again, drummers!