Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Improvisational Monster!

I had a breakthrough at band practice last night and I'm still crazy excited about it.

I think I became a true drummer!

See, people have been telling me that I don't have to play what's on the page. As long as it's the right speed (very important!)and the right style, I can pretty much play what I want.

But I haven't been doing that. I've been playing clarinet since 1980 (wow. I just figured that out. Old. I has it. ;) and the rule there is to play exactly what's on the page. Same with piano, which I also played for a while. Those years of conditioning are hard to break.

Last night, though! We were playing "Jingle Bell Rock" (high on the list of my least favorite Christmas songs) and the drum part was just boring. Same thing over and over except for the odd little randomly placed bass drum note that did nothing but make the piece harder to play.

A little voice in my head said "Go for it" and I did. I looked away from the sheet music, listened to the band (listening, what a concept!) and did my own thing. And it worked! It sounded great, if I do say so myself, it was easily a million times more fun, and I was watching the conductor better since I didn't have to keep looking back at the printed notes. I'm hooked!

I could draw a parallel to writing, and how breaking out of what I think I can handle is probably a good plan sometimes, but instead I'm just going to post a picture of me and my monster toy that I LOVE. Isn't he cute? He is the improvisational monster, for sure. :)


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