Music has a way of renewing me not only spiritually and mentally, but often physically as well. Physical exertion is more a part of drumming than in most other instruments. Often after practicing and performing drums, I feel like I’ve bicycled or done some other exercise. Although drumming isn’t really a substitution for exercise, it certainly helps clear my mind and leaves me feeling refreshed.
Drumming also gets rid of any guilt I feel when I’ve been away from my instrument too long. While I may not have time to practice as much as I’d like, I take what I can get, because, frankly, there’s never enough time to cover all the areas I’d like. An excellent musician and good friend of mine used to say ”when you work on one thing, you work on everything”, which I’ve found to be true on a deeper level. Also, it doesn’t serve me to focus on what I haven’t accomplished. I prefer to focus on what I have accomplished.
I often say, half jokingly, that the three biggest challenges in life are showing up, paying attention and getting started, and the three are related. For most people, including me, getting started is the hardest part of practicing. I always want to practice, but there are usually reasons why I don’t do it as often as I’d like. Rather than spending time figuring out what these reasons are, I just talk myself into playing for just 5 minutes. It usually works.
The holiday season is often one of the most stressful times of year. I plan to take any opportunity to slip away, even for a few minutes, and do some playing. Maybe this sounds selfish, but it not only refreshes me, but it makes me a lot more pleasant to be with. Which benefits everyone around me!