I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day. Todd Rundgren
This is my continuing story of being a drummer, and trying to be a leader even though it does not always seem like a drummer would be a leader. Or how I am a drummer and how I can serve and follow and how that impacts leadership.
I play the drums in a Praise Band. No I am not a lead singer or even a lead instrument. I am a guy who has been in and out of a lot of bands playing various instruments and various styles of music. I have been playing the drums lately and it is a lot of fun. I actually don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
Are we the best musicians? No, but we are having fun, and we are serving others. A lot of the music we play have more parts or instruments than we have people in our band. We have a keyboard player who sings, a guitar player, a bass player and I am on the drums. Some of the songs we play have multiple guitar and keyboard parts. We have to scale things down because we do not have enough people to cover all the parts.
I have one message when we play. I tell everyone to play with confidence. You do not have to try to cover a lot of parts, but you must be confident in the parts you are playing. I listen to some of the songs we play and the drummers are full-time musicians who are playing at a very high level of musicianship. I am a Bass Player who is playing the drums part-time, a couple of times a week if I am lucky. I may only get to play a couple of times a month if my day job gets in the way. I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
I can not play at the level of the drummers who are on the recordings we are copying, but I can play based on my own experience. My experience tells me to keep it simple, play with confidence and have fun. When a musician is having fun, people can tell. It rubs off on the audience. When a musician is playing with confidence, people can tell. You can see it and hear it in the performance. When a musician is playing with confidence the audience can feel it in the performance. The best way to be confident and have fun is to stick to the basics.
I often find myself playing basic drum beats. I keep basic patterns but I switch the combinations of what drums and cymbals I am using. I keep this simple, but I play with power. I call it my Big Lazy Rock Drummer imitation. Sometimes when I play I miss a beat or miss hitting a cymbal. I make a mistake, but it makes me laugh. It makes me laugh because I am having fun. I do not have to be drinking or taking anything to have fun. I am having fun because I am making music and I can tell other people can feel the performance. It makes me laugh because I wonder what it is like to be on a big stage playing for a big crowd. I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
In my own mind I am one of the Top Ten Bass Players in the world. In my own mind I am the greatest Non-Famous Bass Player you have never heard about in a magazine or have never seen on television. I am not the world’s greatest drummer. I am a bass player playing drums who is having fun. I am having fun and playing with confidence and it rubs off on the people around me. I miss playing the bass guitar, and people tell me they miss me when I am not able to pay the drums. They miss the feeling that a simple, confident and fun performance brings to the table. A good drummer keeps a good foundation not matter how simple or complicated the parts they are playing. A good leader can stick to the basics and keep things simple and make sure everyone is confident in their part.
The best leaders in my mind are servant leaders. The best leaders prepare others to take the lead. The best leaders can follow others. The best leaders provide a solid foundation and know how to keep things simple and fun. This is my approach to playing the drums. I want to be a better leader. I want to be a better musician. I know there are more and better drummers out there. I hope I can help teach others and I hope other drummers will come forward so I can switch to guitar or bass or keyboards and help add more parts to our music. I hope more drummers will come forward so nothing is missing if I can not be there one week because of work. Until then, I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day!