My dad enjoys using different ways of learning whether it be by preexisting media, or opportunities to learn on your own. One way that my mentor uses other media to expose to new learning is videos. When we are looking at a complicated newer drum beat or fill, we sometimes look at covers on YouTube. This helps a lot because we’re watching someone who has practiced it play it, and sometimes they’ll also explain the rhythm as well. I’m able to learn by watching someone else play other than my dad and see their take on it as well. We’ve also looked at songs on YouTube when looking for songs to play, learn and for ideas on where we want to go next. My dad also provides opportunities for both instructed and self-guided learning. All the practice sheets that you’ve seen are an example of guided learning, where I have a set plan given to me to practice. The video that you saw in the last post was an example of self-guided learning, where my dad said to find a song that I liked and experiment and play around to learn.
I think that some big opportunities that reinforce new learning is performances and having others around you that also play music. One benefit of having a larger family is that there’s always someone around to listen to you play. When I play, I’ll sometimes ask my brothers or mom to listen. This helps a lot with adding that pressure when playing, and also having something to work towards, like “I’m going to practice this one song really well so that I can impress my brothers”. My brothers also play different instruments, so I also enjoy playing along with them to different songs that we like. It helps me learn how to play along with other instruments, and also practice my improvising and beats while riffing.
One tool that definitely accelerates learning is one I’ve mentioned, pressure. The pressure of playing in front of your family member, playing along with your brothers, or even playing at In-Depth Night is a scary motivator. Though it’s probably not a good accelerator in learning to use all the time, it really helps with buckling down and getting through it. Another accelerator in learning is also interest or passion of course! The best opportunity to accelerate your learning is to learn about something that interests or excites you. For example, the songs that I’ve been playing recently have been some of my favorite songs like Lucy Dacus and Lizzy McAlpine. I love to get on the drums and learn a new beat so that I can play along to songs that I like, or finding songs on Spotify and YouTube that I want to learn for inspiration.
When my dad and I have our mentoring sessions, we usually try to keep our conversations on topic to drumming. A lot of what we talk about is why are we doing this, how does this help with drumming, sometimes about my dad’s previous experience with drumming. I love talking about music with people, whether it be about their favourite music or trading songs that we like. Even when we’re not having a mentor session, I often find myself talking to my dad about a song that I want to try, or what songs we could do next. But we don’t always talk music and drumming during meetings. Because of how busy I am, I don’t get a lot of time to talk with my dad during the week. So when we have meetings, it sometimes nice to just talk for a little bit about our day or what else is going on.
One part of the mentoring relationship that I think is going well is the mutual excitement for music and learning. My dad really enjoys learning new songs, and playing along with music as much as I do. This helps because then he kind of understands where I want to go in my learning. For example, he understands that for the In-Depth song, I want to do something challenging and exciting because he knows I love being challenged with new material. I also know that my dad likes teaching to songs that he knows sometimes, so I look for older songs that I know and that he likes too. It also helps to be with someone who wants to learn and play music just as much as you do, the energy match!
I’m learning that my dad really enjoys playing music, and even what kind of songs he’s into. Before, We didn’t really talk about music together because we didn’t really have any musical interests in common. My brother Hayden had more in common because he played the drums. However when I started getting into drumming and even bass guitar last year, we were able to connect more on that level. I got to know my dad more in terms of his music taste and even just the talks that we had during meetings. In turn, my dad’s also learning about my music taste through the songs that I’ve wanted to play.
The past few weeks in terms of In-Depth have been pretty eventful. In the first few weeks, My dad’s health problems have been pretty evident and it was difficult for him to sit and rum with me. We mostly talked about what songs I wanted to do next and what we were thinking of preparing for In-Depth Night. I did a lot of my own learning as well while talking with my dad and experimented with songs and improvising.
I used a lot of online media for when I was learning new beats or rhythms when my dad couldn’t show me. This was a nice change of pace as it allowed me to be more creative and adventurous with my learning as well as the internet had a lot of cool rhythms that my dad didn’t even know. Despite this I think that my learning slowed down a bit as well for a bit. In no way was it my dad’s fault, more so it was my own. Without having regular meetings, and getting more involved with sports, Easter preparations and what not, I had a hard time finding time for music at all. I also was feeling a bit down and not really in the mood to sit at the drum kit. It wasn’t until a week or so before Easter where I started to get back into more drumming, even piano and bass! I big cause for this was, like I mentioned previously, my brothers and family! Everyone as feeling better since Easter was soon, and my dad was feeling much better. I started playing along with them more, making me more excited and ready to learn more. I had so much fun riffing with them that it got me back into the swing of music.
My dad and I have started working on In-Depth Night Preparations. We’ve been brainstorming a lot for what song I want to preform. Some big factors that we’ve considered are time length, content, and most importantly if I’d enjoy learning and playing it too. A few songs that I’ve considered are sometimes way too long and hard for me to find a good snippet to play, or I like playing them but they don’t showcase my learning very well. The reason I don’t have a video to show progress this time is because not only the slump I was in, but also the deciding on what I want to start learning. I know that I have to choose a song and can’t decide forever, but I also want to be a good song. Instead of a drumming video for today, I wanted to show you two of the songs that I wanted to try learning. One of them is Body to Flame by Lucy Dacus. My reasoning behind this one is my love for Lucy Dacus, but also that is has some super cool rhythms and fills that I want to try. The other is Wipeout by Surfaris. My dad and I listened to this one and agreed that it would be really cool to play. It has some awesome sixteenths and would be a cool challenge to try and take on. I supposed we’ll see in a month and a bit whether these end up being my final song!
Body to Flame