Month: November 2014

Are Musicians The Most Driven And Courageous People On Earth?

This is a quote I saw on legendary Bass player and sessionist, Nathan East’s facebook page:

“Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime. Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because musicians are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Musicians are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.” -David Ackert, LA Times.

I can totally relate to the quote, but I do think that these issues are faced by anybody with freelance careers. I guess, however, that Music is not considered a real job by a lot of people. I, on the other hand, have always seen Music as a form of community service. When you dedicate your life to this service, it becomes a career. In order to sustain a career, you need to have an income from your work but the reason for why you got into the career in the first place should not be tainted by greed.

Music IS A REAL JOB.

Introduction To Big Band Drumming Article By Stockton Helbing

http://www.stocktonhelbing.com/introduction_to_big_band_drumming.htm

As I’ve just stepped into the big band world with the City Swing Big Band (Singapore), I feel I have now entered the Doctorate level of musicianship.

I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about Big Band Jazz, but I strongly desire to be able to groove like those cats, as well as read and articulate charts like those cats with the precision and drive that they have. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and all thanks go to a musician friend who recommended me to the band’s musical director.

In addition to checking out videos and recordings of famous Big Bands including Maynard Ferguson’s Big Band, The Buddy Rich Big Band, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, ¬†and The Benny Goodman Big Band, to name a few, I searched online for articles about the subject of Big Band drumming. I then came across Stockton Helbing’s article linked to his website about a week ago and found his thoughts on the life of a Big Band drummer very illuminating. If you’re curious about this type of drumming and music, please give the article (link included above) a read, and then go check out the music.

Cheers!