In my opinion, these past few weeks have been very successful, busy and at some points hectic, but still successful. So much has happened that frankly I’m not even sure where to start. Since the last time I blogged, I have met with my mentor twice, almost mastered the rhythms for “Today’, and found a new lead singer for the band.
As I mentioned above, my mentor and I have now met for a total of two practices. Mike (my mentor) and I have been solely working on ‘Today’ by the Smashing Pumpkins for the time being until I can play all the rhythms at the tempo of the song. There is one particular line in the music that I have been struggling with, but Mike has been teaching me techniques to break down the rhythms and make them easier to play. For next week he said he would have ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ written in drum notation for me to attempt with the assumption that I will have ‘Today’ down pat. I think I am definitely growing as drummer and slowly but surely developing my own style. I don’t think I could have found a better mentor.
When it comes to playing as a band I can hear difference in the quality of our music. We have become more confident with our instruments and much stronger at our parts. ‘Today’ is starting to sound pretty good, and thankfully we have reached a point where Rock Band isn’t leading the band anymore. On top of that, our band also found a new lead singer this week to help us out at our performance at In-Depth Night. Her name is Anika Venkatesh. She is a future grade 9 TALONS’ student with a phenomenal voice. She has been singing for quite a few years and has had solos in many of our choir pieces throughout middle school. Anika came to our most recent band practice this past weekend and I don’t think things could have gone any better. She meshed really well with everyone and she has become a great asset to our band.
Going back to my practices alone with my mentor, in this past session I tried to incorporate some of the skills from de Bonos book. I asked many questions to further my knowledge on drumming and get an insight on the different techniques that Mike uses while he is playing. Many of the general knowledge questions were shooting questions with a straightforward answer, but I tried to also ask some fishing questions to not only gain knowledge, but also bond with my mentor through something we both enjoy. One of the main questions I was really curious about was, how did his band start? This question obviously isn’t directly related to drumming, but it allowed me to learn something new about my mentor and get to know him that much more. A key component to asking questions is listening and paying attention. Even if you are multitasking it is important to listen to the other person and let them know that what they are saying is valuable to you. It’s pointless to ask a questions if you aren’t planning on listing to the answer. Next week I will continue asking questions and hopefully developing some more fishing questions once I feel I have a very solid foundation of vernal knowledge.
In conclusion I am proud of the progress I have made so far, both alone and as a band and I excited to have the chance to share all of our hard work at In-Depth night. Somehow it seems to be coming up so fast!