Good time to be creative...try something new
As the entire world is figuring out how the future will unfold, this is prime time to think creatively and try new things. One of the silver linings of the pandemic I hear from a lot of people who work from home, is the newly found amount of free time they have. If you're fortunate enough to have extra time, make use of it and try out new creative pursuits.
Let me share a few things I've been doing recently in hopes of inspiring you to take advantage of this rare time and motivate you to try something as well. It can be small or big, just think outside the box and go for it!
I learned drums playing match grip and never had a reason to know traditional grip. It never really effected me until I started teaching, that's when I recognized that I wanted to have a broader skill set. Even though I started working on this a couple years ago, I really zoned in over the past few months and made it part of my regular practice. Each day it gets better and feels more and more natural. So to the drummers, choose a technical challenge that has been on your mind and start making it part of your regular practice routine.
I hired a mural artist that I recently met and I'm giving her a full wall at the practice space to paint. I'm very excited because it's been YEARS since I last painted and it definitely needs some love. But maybe more important than simply it's aesthetic, is how it can inspire and spark creativity. There's something symbolic about a fresh coat of paint too, like turning the page of the wall's life. So try and change something visual at home, work, where ever, it could potentially spark some fresh perspectives.
My band Dryclean has been able to stay active even as live shows have shut down. At the beginning of 2020 we all went in on purchasing recording equipment, which in hindsight was impeccable timing. Since we're not rehearsing for gigs, that time and energy has shifted purely to recording. It took a decent amount of trial and error time at the start to figure out our setup and workflow, but totally worth it because now we're off to the races and record whenever we want. So expand what you think you can do and pursue a new DIY project.
Teaching has picked up in recent weeks, so with more students come more variety. Many students come in and fit right in my wheelhouse, I can see the roadmap ahead, and get them moving in the right direction. However, others come in and throw curveballs straight away, keeping me on my toes. I've been using my extra practice time to dig deeper into these less familiar genres, work with new books, refresh styles I don't normally practice, and teach myself new grooves. So seek out some music that you wouldn't normally listen to and try to learn more about it.
This is still in it's early inception, but currently I am doing a lot of brainstorming and testing different ideas for a podcast. It has been in the back of my mind for upwards of a year, and especially now that I have proper recording equipment, I mean, there's just no excuse. I've recorded a few test episodes and even though nothing has quite sticked so far, I'm feeling good on the path it's moving in. So use this time to try a whole new endeavor.
- Closing thought -
I enjoy the challenge of continuous learning in order to keep up, it goes hand in hand with teaching and running a business. Now is the time to experiment creatively with drumming, music, or anything else. Think about a year from now and new skills you could potentially have at your disposal...start today.