Monday, June 12, 2017

Technique - the cause or the effect? (pt. 2)

I usually don't add to a blog post that I've just done, but after my last one, I've been thinking more about the idea of seeing the result of technique vs. the cause of it

When you watch someone do a really cool thing, it can inspire you to try that thing yourself.  "Wow, that jumping triple kick hitting all three targets was really cool!  I'm going to try it!  Huh, I apparently suck at it..."   Or maybe, "that guy played 5 different drums with overlapping strokes and really fast patterns, I can do that too!  Oh wow, I'm not hitting things well at all..."

That's human nature, after all.  We see, we love, we want to do.  And it's not to say you shouldn't be inspired!  But you shouldn't also be discouraged by failing to be able to do as well...if you understand what's going on here.

I saw Akira Katogi play a couple of songs at TaikoBaka a few years back.  Here's a clip of him playing.  His style may not be unique, I don't know, but it was the first I'd seen like this and it was really really fun to watch.  So of course, when I got back on a drum, I lightly tried what I had seen, and as expected, I was horrible, haha.  But I planned for that.  I just wanted to see if I could figure out some of the techniques used, and...nope!  Not from just watching it once.

It's very clear that he has a lot of practice doing this sort of playing, but on top of that, he has good fundamentals that feed into his style of playing.  It's complimentary.  And while I might have really good this or excellent that, I'm missing the practice and the modifications I would need to make in order to do what he's doing.  So I wasn't disappointed, but instead more impressed by how easy he makes it look.

And that, that's what I hope to accomplish through this (and the last post).  Realize that impressive moments often come about through hard work and long practice.  The un-sexy stuff, if you will.  And sometimes it's the boring stuff that is really the hardest to do!  Keeping your right and left hand sounding even no matter what drum/style you're playing, staying on tempo in a solo, knowing to play a little quieter so that you don't overshadow another part, etc.  Those take a talent most of us take for granted...

Now, don't ever feel you shouldn't want to do the impressive stuff you see others do.  But realize, those moments are just moments, passing points in time and that still require strong fundamentals to achieve.  And while it's possible to replicate a moment through practice, it may very well be a lot of work for a little gain.  Maybe if you're going to put in a lot of work on something, it should be something that brings everything up so that you don't have to work a lot later.  Make sense?

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