This past weekend I attended the Nashville Drum Show. If I had to describe this event in one word, it would be LOUD. Imagine a room with a cement floor, cinder block walls, tin roof, and hundreds of drums and drummers. Even the sales reps were wearing earplugs.
It was difficult to talk during the show, but I did see some very nice things. Check out the beautiful work on the drums in the photos in this post.
However, no matter how beautiful the drum is, what matters most is the sound and it was difficult to hear anything clearly amid all the noise. It’s like trying to hear a conversation when there are a few hundred people shouting around you.
My husband and I talked when we left the show. He’s worked with a lot of drummers and he said that he’s found that some of them just hit as hard as they can and let the producer set the levels in the recordings (or sound guy in a live situation). Other drummers play according to the situation and adjust their volume to the size of the room, type of event, genre of music, and the people they’re playing with. In other words, some drummers pretty much do one thing: they’re very solid, lay down the beat, and let someone else make it fit. Other drummers are more collaborative in their approach and see making music as a team effort.
I think I’ve come across people who approach life from each of these perspectives, also. The ones who hit hard and let others sort it out have the ability to drive the song, but they also tend to leave a lot of broken pieces behind. The ones who adapt to the situation and adjust their playing accordingly have more friends. I don’t know if one approach is more valuable than the other, although I know which one I prefer. I know that sometimes what we need is a strong beat to help us keep going, but most of the time what we need are people who can work with us as collaborators. Those are the situations where life is most beautiful.