The Confidence/Knowledge Paradox

Confidence is a strange beast. Some seem to possess it inherently, others seem to fight to find it their entire lives. Musicians are notorious for this dichotomy, many acting as their “own worst critics” or constantly chasing some sense of artistic achievement that’s always out of reach.

The mighty Beethoven, a true master by all accounts, once wrote in a letter to a young admirer:

“The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun.”

Even a man of his tremendous achievement is plagued by doubt, disheartened by some goal that always seems just over the horizon. Maybe it’s just part of being an artist…

But it’s also just part of being a human.

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Creative Confidence

[This was originally written as an internal blog for my day job at LongerDays, but seemed fitting for here too… This goes for way more than drumming! Let me know what holds you back.]

Putting yourself out there can be scary… Even more so when you’re sharing a creative work. We pour ourselves into these projects to sharpen skills, to express ourselves, to get a message across… But when it comes time to share it with the world, the propensity to hesitate is OH SO REAL.

But why?

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A Guide to Being A Drummer on The Internet

We live in some weird times. Smartphones, YouTube, the upheaval of the music industry, vitriol-spewing trolls, more information than we can possibly digest, bombarding us from every angle, every minute of the day…

This is life on the internet.

These relatively new (and harsh) realities are having an effect on the way we do business, the way we consume media, and even the way we feel about ourselves (or others). If you’ve spent any time digging around online, I’m sure you feel it too.

There’s no turning back at this point though. No one’s going to burn their routers or cast their smartphones into the sea. We simply have to find a way to make do… A way to not get lost in the great overwhelm that is being a person with internet access in the 21st century.

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Time, Habit, and Self-Imposed Guilt

Welp, I haven’t written anything here in a while… And I’m not exactly sure why. The ideas come rolling through my head from time to time, but for some reason, it’s been tough to actually sit down and type them out – so, why not make a post about not making posts? (Cue Inception sound effects)

It’s a time thing, I suppose, and we all like to think that we’re the busiest people in the world – myself included. I am, to a point, with multiple bands and the itch to get in as much practice as I can, a day job, a girlfriend, chores to do… But nobody runs at 100% efficiency.

We’ve all got downtime. We all have those days where we’re burned out, evenings we just want to relax, moments where we choose “unproductive” things over the goals and ideals we’ve architected in our minds…

Then – and maybe this is all just my personal experience – we beat ourselves up in hindsight for lost opportunities or wasted time. This is foolish (and a lesson I need to learn better myself).

For anything, be it drumming or writing or booking or promotion or whatever, it takes TIME and EFFORT to yield results. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty damn easy to neglect the things we know we should be doing (or event want to do) in favor of entertainment, rest, or because it simply didn’t occur to us to spend time in that particular way on any given day.

Time management is important, sure, but there’s something else at stake here: HABIT.

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Press On: Why Making Music Matters… Even When It Seems Like It Doesn’t

Damn, I almost tumbled into a terrible valley a little while back. Somewhere over the course of the day, I lost sight of work ethic, though that’s putting it a little lightly…

I have this propensity, from time to time, to think too hard about the biggest questions (vast spans of time and space, inevitability, etc.) and without getting nihilistic here, it gets a bit dark up there in my brainpiece (I save that kind of writing for another place – occasionally). Applied to drumming though, it’s an ugly path to wander down.

You stop thinking about the long road of learning, the joy of growth, and get caught up in A) discouraged feelings of “not good enough,” and B) some sense that it doesn’t mean anything, that it’s an empty pursuit.

These are dangerous thoughts.

Fortunately, these bouts of negativity don’t last too terribly long these days. I’ve kind of developed a way of thinking myself back out of them – in very much the same way I think myself into them in the first place… And if you’ve wandered into this treacherous mental territory, I want to help you do the same.
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