Music is your DNA: Part 1

There are more resources available to drummers than ever before. The internet is saturated with information. Many of the most influential drummers today grew up learning and playing drums without the internet. They listened to records, they went to gigs, they learnt from each other and took lessons in real life and real time. A lot of these fundamental lessons are now online as interpretations of interpretations of interpretations. There are many, many highly skilled and proficient drummers in the world today. There is also a lot of homogeneity.

It was once believed “unhip” to play like someone else. All musicians go through an emulation stage. It’s a big part of how we learn, just as we learn from our parents as children. But at some point we need to break away from emulation and discover what and how ‘we’ like to play as individuals. What sounds pleasing to our own ears? We’re all built differently, we’re raised differently, we grow up in different places in different circumstances. We’re different from each other. It’s subtle. This is too often forgotten by students when approaching the drums today. And we are all forever students. For many of us when we’re young, we feel the need to act a certain way in order to fit in. Then, as we grow and become adults, we discover and continue to discover who we actually are or want to be. We develop confidence, we think for ourselves and make our own decisions. Then, hopefully, we positively integrate ourselves into society and add value to an established culture. Sure we model ourselves on people we admire but we don’t dress, act or speak exactly like them, eat what they eat or like what they like just because they happen to… So why would you want to play exactly as they do? Any attempt to do so will be met with futility. You will never be someone else. Only a mere interpretation at best. Why not paint the canvas in a way that is pleasing to you? There are tried and true forms but within those forms you can do whatever you like. The possibilities are limitless.

Music is innately human. It has provided social value for as far back as we can date human existence. It is woven into the fabric of the universe. It is found in every known culture. It exists in every living thing. You ‘are’ a musical instrument. You are music.

Jonathan Harding-Clark

Jonathan Harding-Clark

Jonathan Harding-Clark is the creator of Scenic Drums. He has performed in Australia, the US and Europe. Jonathan has earned a reputation as an extremely versatile, virtuosic and sensitive drummer. He uses his broad knowledge of style and technique to respond quickly and creatively to the music being played. Learn more about Scenic Drums.

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