Been working in a new drummer. As such, that means a ramping up of practice time.
I’ll admit: it started off a little shaky. It wasn’t necessarily ability (although I simply wasn’t aware of what he was truly capable after his first audition); it was also just a matter of style. And… that’s totally cool.
Every musician has a style, and a comfort zone that is in his DNA. I could try as hard as I could to write bubblegum, but you’d know that my heart wasn’t in to it. Same goes with playing musical styles: drummers hit certain ways that let you know what their style is. They groove the hi-hat in ways that let you know who they listened to growing up. That stuff is difficult to change if you’re trying to put a square into a circle.
So, after the 2nd audition (aren’t all practices, for a while after the 1st, still sort of auditions?), he and I had a heart to heart. We talked about what I desired, and how it wasn’t happening yet, but part of me was also simply unaware of his ability. It’s one thing to audition for me and for me to say, dude, my music is just not your style. Even he admitted that he was getting to about 80% of where he thought it should be. I agreed.
Turns out James likes a lot of different styles. And I felt, hey, you have to really enjoy my music to want to put in the time to get to and through the devilish details. And he seemed to be into trying.
Well, during the third audition, it’s as if he figured out my mojo. He just started hitting harder and playing with more emphasis. Then a 4th practice, and a 5th, and wow: what a turn around.
I always tell drummers I meet/audition/test out/practice with: I’ll be your biggest fan and your biggest critic.
I’m a HUGE Fan of drummers. I can talk shop a lot more than your average musician. I write my own drum parts, so I guess the best way I can say it is “I understand.”
Drummers are the most important part of a rock band. and here’s why:
You can have mediocre guitar and bass players and an awesome drummer and pull off a show. But awesome guitar & bass players and a mediocre drummer? Forget it. EVERYONE notices. The whole thing is just a grind.
I’ll do a formal introduction soon, but just so you know, James Cottrell is my new drummer. And he’s a great guy to boot. He’s got really good instincts. Once he got over the hump of trying to understand how I wanted him to approach my music, his ability just “came out” and showed itself.
And that makes me happy.