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Otto Percussion Studio Posts

I’m Not A Musical Theater Guy, 2

Here’s the interview with my good friend and educator Matt Dudek after he returned from his first national tour as drummer for the show ‘A Night With Janis Joplin’

Watch the first part, our interview from before Dudek left for tour, here:
Follow Matt here on Twitter: @dudekdrum21
Lessons Available:
Twitter: @musiciansnotes ( )

I certainly nailed the outfit on this one!



Hard To Handle

This month’s GOTM for Musician’s Notepad is Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle.” That’s right, the original!


Gettin’ Good – Vol. 5

It seems like I’ve been saying the same things for the last couple of months. Those things are important, but they are repetitive, so I will try to say them quickly and in a manner that is commiserate with the weight of what they are before moving on.

I am finding myself with less time to practice, but I am still getting better. In fact, I am definitely in the best playing shape of my life. On top of that I am happy with the way I sound. I still want to improve it, but I like my output. Direct evidence of both being in great shape and sounding good is that the other night at rehearsal I totally pulled off some things I never would have been able to before. On top of that I did it without ego, or at least without the idea of “I’m gonna try and pull this off.” The moments I’m talking about just flowed out of my playing. They were not an attempt to do something cool, they were a result of the meeting of my ability and and a musical moment.

I think it’s important at this time to start to differentiate these posts a little more. I honestly thought it would take longer for me to be satisfied with my playing. It had always been a struggle before. Even when I wasn’t playing I’d get a few calls a year for gigs. I’d practice for them, but it was never great. I was never at the top of my game. I remember one specifically where I got a call for a startup wedding band. It was new players working together for the first time on new songs. I wasn’t expected to walk into a fully formed band and just sit in, there was some craft in working together.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to really dive back in to playing. I got the song list and started working, but I got bored quickly. While I could play the tunes, I wasn’t playing well at all. Nothing felt right. I was fighting it.

What I missed was that I needed to be working on me, not the songs. I wasn’t spending any time at becoming a better drummer. I was just trying to learn those songs. That’s why I got bored. Learning the mechanical spots of when and where to hit what part of the drumset is an inherently droll task. Certainly there are times when an insane combination of dexterity and coordination is exhilarating, but the second one can do it, it’s not as important as it was before. That’s what failed me all the times before. I thought I needed to work on tunes. What I needed to work on was me.
I don’t know what it was that lit a fire under me last January, but it’s been really amazing to become this better player. I don’t think I would ever get here, but here I am. Thank you for reading these as you have. This is not the end. I will continue to update on the 31st of every month that has a 31st, but they will be a lot less “yep, it’s getting better,” and hopefully a lot more “this cool thing happened” and “this was something that helped me in my journey.” That journey that is of course ongoing. Thanks for coming along with me on it.


Not a metal guy …

Ok, I know a thing or two about metal, but I’d have to up my chops before pulling a Vinny Colaiuta and recording the next Megadeth record. Anyway, Musicians Notepad is launching a new column in which we explore how to teach the kinds of things we may not know a lot about or be comfortable teaching. In the first episode, I’m not a metal guy.