Authenticity: Social and Musical Currency

I’ve been a little lost on what to write about lately. I’m not a pro drummer, I’m just working on it – so who the hell am I? Why does it matter what I have to say?

…But oh so gradually, I’ve been starting to figure it out. From the conversations I have with my musical peers to the responses I got on Sarahah, the marketing material I edit for my dayjob to a talking point at the Derico Watson clinic I recently attended… The message shows itself time and time again – most of us are just too stuck to soak it in:

THERE’S ONLY ONE YOU

So, duh – just be you.

I’ve mentioned this kind of thing before as a reason to overcome anxieties or feelings of “not good enough,” but I don’t think I was fully taking my own medicine. It applies to everything, not just drums. When you are authentically yourself, people notice. Even more importantly, when you’re really being authentic, your creative voice emerges, your confidence blossoms, and your “place in the world” begins to show itself.

Of course we’re all works in progress, and as drummers, we know all too well that the rabbit hole is probably deeper then we’ll ever be able to fully explore – but that’s ok! That’s real too. Wherever you are right now, that’s YOU… And wherever you’re heading, that’s you too. The same goes for me.

None of us areĀ on the exact same journey, so why pretend like it?

Instead of asking myself why my voice matters, I should just be speaking and writing and playing. If people find value in it, great – and if they don’t, there are plenty of other blogs to read and songs to listen to.

Hesitant creativity is damn near an oxymoron.

And this is true of so many things, whether it’s business or booking gigs or making friends or playing tunes. When we just go with our instincts and our personalities (instead of getting caught up in all the bullshit of how and what we should be doing), it shows. People dig things that are REAL.

Maybe it’s not for everyone, but when the right audience presents itself, authenticity will click. Contrived strategies will not.

So, in my roughshod quest to figure out how to best use this space, I think I’ve started to figure it out. I don’t have to be the best advice giver – I’ll just offer what I can from the experience I’ve gained. I don’t have to have all the answers – just my own. I will try, as authentically as I can, to share MY journey through this confusing world of drums, music, and creativity.

In this video from the always-unfilterd Gary Vaynerchuck, he drives this message home hard. Share the journey, don’t punish yourself, and above everything… Get to know who YOU are.

 

If writing here helps me get to know myself, if it makes me honestly face up to struggles and proudly embrace triumphs, then it’s doing its job for me – and if it can help or inspire others (at any rate), then it’s more than worth it.

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Thoughts?