Monday, August 13, 2012

A Few Different Faces

I once remember having a discussion with a fellow musician whose band I was playing in. We were talking the finer points of musical philosophy as it applies to practice and learning. What he told me has stuck in my memory ever since:

"I know everything I need to know to make the music I want to make."

Huh. Arrogant air aside, it still seemed to me to be a rather artistically shallow perspective: specifically, that the only things worth knowing musically were the things that pertain to the particular genre you want to participate in. Now, to each his own. One of the great things about music is that it does, in fact, have room for everyone, no matter how droll, naive, or immature their musical worldviews may be.

Up & running at 232 Studios.
But, for me, there's always been an attraction to the styles and genres of music that didn't come naturally. I've always been fascinated and infatuated with jazz & classical & old rhythm & blues music that didn't quite sound exactly like the kind of music that awakened my passion to become a musician. But the infatuation certainly led to broadened horizons and a deeper understanding of music in general, and those things alone make the occasional ventures into unfamiliar territory well worth it. I'm grateful for music I don't fully understand and even more for the opportunity to perform it every once in awhile.

Such was the case last week, when I got the call to participate on two recording projects that don't exactly fit perfectly in my wheelhouse. The first was a call from a band leader who I recorded drums for about 4 years ago. It was a sort of modern-rock-meets-post-grunge style; I got to play lots of big, technical drum parts along with long instrumental sections and the recordings actually came out alright for a bunch of guys who didn't have the greatest understanding of tracking and editing at the time. It was cool to reconnect with an old client and get set up to do another project; it's always cool to be remembered.

Drew tracks drums for the very first time.
The second call was for the magnificently-voiced Kellie Prophet, a singer/songwriter with a taste for jazzy, soulful, pop compositions. This session was a world apart from the other: groove-driven and feel-based, awash in texture and vibe as opposed to the technical whiz-bang of the big rock project.

It was both rewarding to even be considered to play on two such disparate projects and satisfying to be blessed enough to benefit both of them musically. For every musician who remains content to stay in the same place artistically, I'm grateful for the examples of those that dabbled and largely succeeded amidst various musical genres. Experience in music does not have to be a one-note banjo or a singularly-toned palette. For those willing to step outside their natural comfort zone, multifaceted adventure awaits. 

Don't ever be afraid to dive into something you don't totally get. Nothing bad will come from it. It reminds me of something Pete Rose once said when he asked how he got to be such a great all-around ball player: basically, that most guys he knew of only worked on what they were already good at. By contrast, he not only worked, but focused on all the things he wasn't good at. Makes sense. Well, to me, at least.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips