Big, sweeping platitudes only carry so much weight… But in the moments when we can put complex ideas into a concise little nugget of wisdom, it’s at least worth hanging onto as an easy reminder.
My first introduction to what I want to unpack in this series comes from an excellent Charlie Parker quote:
“Master your instrument. Master the music, then forget all that shit and just play.”
I’ve been growing this idea in my head for a little while now, and it has continued to gain steam the more podcasts I listen to, the more interviews I read – the more I try to pay attention to the “greats” as it were, or at least the people I think are doing the right things on the kit.
I think Parker is absolutely right, but I’m looking at this as a drum nerd, not just a musician (and not just as an improviser). I also think there’s a ton of value to be had in the idea of striving for mastery, then paring down as much of it as possible for the sake of practicality and effect…