Monday, April 4, 2016


I have to assume, if you're reading this blog, that you enjoy and maybe even seek out new things to learn.  But is learning only an additive process?  Do benefit only when we obtain more?

What about contradicting information, either from another source or your own discovery?  What about information that proves wrong after study or in practice?  How does adding that information alone make you better?  What if you simply learned something poorly, due to your limited understanding at the time?  Maybe you can fix it, but maybe it's better to simply unlearn it alltogether.

Sometimes the best way to learn is to reduce the chaff, or information that's not relevant anymore.  It's a freeing process.  Think of it this way.  If I teach you 10 new things, that's 10 new ideas you have to carry around and process on top of what you already know.  But if in teaching you 10 new things, we're able to get rid of 5 old ones that don't work for you anymore, that's essentially a net gain of 15 "things", just like as if I had taught you 15 to begin with.

For example, if your bachi are too big or too small for you, you have to learn how to deal with them.  If later on you learn what bachi are best for you, then stop using incorrect ones, you've come out with one new and one un-learned piece of information.

or some of us, we get to the point where we're not learning a lot of new stuff often and there's more benefit in dropping older ideas that don't apply than in seeking out just "more".  And for those who are overly-analytical in general, the more ideas you carry around with you, the more they weigh you down.  Streamlining yourself provides an excellent solution.

It's detrimental to learn new things that build on other inefficient, or incorrect things.  For example, if I learned how to strike but in a sloppy manner, and then learn how to play paradiddles or across multiple drums, finding a way to "unlearn" that sloppy striking doesn't mean I forget how to play paradiddles or on multiple drums.  It might mean having to fill in that gap on striking with newer, better information, but in doing so, it should make everything easier in the long run.  If I don't unlearn the "bad" stuff, what sort of foundation am I putting all the more difficult stuff on top of?

Essentially, this is really about self-evaluation.  It might be how you taught yourself to jump or spin, it could be how you learned to feel syncopation, it could be what you thought a "strong" solo was, etc.  What's weighing you down?  Only you can answer that!

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