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Peru Update Number 2 

Great are the drummer's days of late... it's a busy time of year preparing to enter the mission fields with Celebrant Singers.  Here's the scoop on the latest activities and trip preparations... 

  • The out pouring of support is overwhelming!  The account is 37% full with $1177.  Every digit is immensely appreciated!!! 
  • All digits he receives from Tayters and other live performances in July will support this outreach effort 
  • Music learning has occurred!!!!!!  He's got the drum tracks down.  It is time to meet the ensemble and put all the parts together.  It will be exciting to work with musicians in Christ's service

The drummer continues to perfect and master the "Art of the Give" while preparing to travel with the cast: 

  • The Rhythm of the Ranch Buckets and Sticks Sessions at Happy Trails Riding Academy were incredible.  Students listened to the rhythm of a horse's heart beat; compared the different rhythms of a horse's walk, trot, and canter; and they discovered the true secret of playing drum sticks 
  • The Orosi Cutler Villa Crew continues to develop its live performance with buckets and sticks.  The members have their sites set on some opportunities to play later this year. 
  • Guess who is serving as Tulare Sunrise Rotary club's president as of July 1st.  Yep... the drummer!!!  His first presidential action was to work with seven other club presidents to prepare and submit a grant.  The funds, if awarded, will be used to support an organization that's taken an active role in helping victims of human trafficking escape their ugly situation. This organization also enables people to avoid becoming victims of such a detestable crime.  More will be shared as things develop. 
  • And, of course, Santa Drummer will be looking for passionate drummers who love drums.  More on that when he gets back  

You can go online to make a donation  

  • Select “Support a Celebrant”  
  • Enter “Eric Anderson”  
  • Hit the donate button to provide the information requested.  
  • Also, check the history of this combination of ministry and music from Visalia, California  
  • A lot of small contributions lighten the burden for all involved, and all offerings are 100% tax deductible  
  • Lastly… please know that every prayer, thought, and digit is equally and greatly appreciated 

You can send a check to the following address if you are not comfortable with making an online donation.  Please make sure to write my name on the “For” or “Memo” line of your check  

Celebrant Singers  

P.O. Box 1416 

Visalia, California 93279 

Please scroll down to read the previous two blogs when you have a few minutes.  They share the full story that started in February. 

The drummer is firmly persuaded that each bit of support will yield a harvest that is 30, 60, or 100 times greater than the offerings that support this ministry.  That is the power of Christ working through the faithful actions of the body of believers!!!

"That is the drummer's rumor, and he is sticking to it"

Peru Missions Update 

Here is a quick update on the drummer’s preparations to support Celebrant Singers team as it prepares to share the Word in Peru. 

  • He is steadily learning the parts and studying the arrangements of the worship team’s music.  There are some interesting twists and turns that make for some fun challenges along the way. 
  • Down to $3,030 of the $3,200 needed by July 23, 2017… the day the rehearsal camp starts. 
  • The drummer’s wife, Wendy, is cooking up some ideas to help raise money for the mission trip.  She mentioned something about the “Culinary Cartel” getting involved.  We will also purchase small snacks to sell. All those proceeds to go directly to Celebrant Singers. 
  • The drummer will be sharing Buckets and Sticks with Happy Trails Riding Academy later this month.  Fun with Buckets & Sticks and all the smiles are one gift he loves to give away.  As such, he’s informed the Happy Trails folks that any payment for the fun, games, and learning should be donated directly to Celebrant Singers. 
  • The drummer can and is willing to do some information development and editing (writing, editing and proofing, data entry, and building Excel based products to support your operations) work to raise money for this labor of love in Peru.  It is a great way for you to reap the benefits of his geekdom. 
  • Do you know a drummer or two that would like to transform his or her playing in just a few lessons?  Have him or her mention this blog post when inquiring about lessons and all proceeds from those lessons before July 23 will go towards this endeavor. 

Your generosity and willingness to share this story and your gifts with Celebrant Singers is the best are the best gifts of all.  Everyone on the team is grateful for the outpouring of support received.  

That's the drummer's rumor, and he is sticking to it!

The Drummer's Efforts to Support Celebrant Singers 

I was looking for opportunities to play drums with a group in Visalia.  Unexpectedly, Melissa from Celebrant Singers responded to the Craigslist posting, asking if I would be interested in be a part of Celebrant Singers’ outreach team… as a drummer!     

Celebrant Singers’ is in its 40th year of taking the gospel of Christ to America and around the globe, and I will support the Peru team in July and August.  Ministry and music are coupled together to proclaim God’s glory, His message, and His blessings.  Our journey begins on July 23.  We will share His message in California while traveling to Los Angeles to fly to Peru.  We will meet up at the Fox Theater in Visalia, California for our final performance with the other Celebrant Singer Team that is already proclaiming the message throughout the US. 

Wendy and I are not in a position to fund this journey on our own… today!  We have faith, prayers, and the generosity of you who share our passion for bringing God’s word to people that may not hear of His love and promises.  It takes $3,000 for each team member to partake in this labor of love and service.  We are persuaded that this amount can be reached in short order.   

We seek your help!  Will you support this drummer’s missionary endeavor?   

Please offer your support and bless this outreach effort with your prayers, your donation, or both. 

You can go online to make a donation at http://celebrants.org/giving/ 

  • Select “Support a Celebrant” 
  • Enter “Eric Anderson” 
  • Hit the donate button to provide the information requested. 
  • Also, check the history of this combination of ministry and music… in Visalia, California!!! 
  • A lot of small contributions lighten the burden for all involved, and are 100% tax deductible 
  • Lastly… every donation is 100% tax deductible 

  God will accomplish great things through His servants in Peru.  He blesses us daily with the gift of music and inspires us to bless others with his gift.  Thank you very much for being our partner in the gospel… taking His message, blessings, and gifts to people in America and Peru. 

Your faithful servant.... 

Eric Anderson (The Drummer) 

P.S.  You can send a check to the following address if you are not comfortable with making an online donation.  Please make sure to write my name on the “For” or “Memo” line of your check 

Celebrant Singers 

P.O. Box 1416 

Visalia, California 93279 

  

“That’s my rumor, and I’m sticking to it!”

Why Add Another Drum Book? - Part 2 

I still love a purposeful approach to getting more gooder, and I hated my stagnant and stale rhythmic vocabulary.  My rhythmic vocabulary grew and my drumming became more and more expressive when I started running different sets of four rhythms through the Grid.  My next challenge revealed itself: How can I help my students grow their rhythmic vocabulary and make it fun, exciting… and addicting.  Believe me, it was much easier said than done!The presentation of this idea has been in work (in one form or another) since early 2013.  The concept makes a lot of sense to me.  And it should because I am a senior ranking student of sticks and pedals.  Learning a concept can be difficult when you do not intuitively understanding it.  This simple truth was the stumbling block I repeatedly stubbed my toes on.  I experimented with various methods of presentation, before I had a flash back to my days on the flight line: those days when I learned how to learn.

Getting promoted through the enlisted ranks in the Air Force was (and still is) very competitive.  My peers and I took two 100 question tests each year to determine who would earn their next set of stripes.  I really struggled with the test that dealt with my career field: aircraft maintenance.  I’d look at all those wiring schematics and cut away diagrams of components and the only thing I’d see was black lines on white paper.  I really felt dumb!  The year I earned my fifth stripe is the year I discovered how to learn.  I bought colored pencils, grabbed the study material, and learned about B-1B Hydraulic systems, KC-135 Landing Gear Systems, and B-52 Brake Systems.  I read about how each system operated.  I highlighted the name of each component, then colored in the component on the diagram or picture that was provided.  Each component had its own color.  It was the most coolest thing ever, EVER!!!  I finally saw everything: components, fluid passages, relay and grounds… everything!  I walked into the testing room with indelible images of all the aircraft systems I could be tested on stored in my brain.  I read the questions, looked at the images in my mind, and selected the correct answers.  Well… at least enough correct answers to be selected ahead of most of my peers!  I reflected upon those learning days and wondered if same approach could be applied to drum set music.
It worked like a charm!  A 13-year old student received a book of 12 colorless Grid Grooves in December, 2014.  She saw black lines, bubbles, and squiggly symbols on white paper.  She couldn’t see the rhythms that were right in front of her.  I walked into one of our lessons armed with highlighters immediately after recalling my learning experiences on the flight line.  We got down on the floor and highlighted each of the four 2-beat rhythms in the first Grid Groove.  She then sat down at the set and played the 12 measures without stopping which was a first.  She was able to see when she needed to switch to the next rhythm.  Stumbling block removed…! 


Grace Note drum set students of all ages are using this color coded Grid Groove system to learn and grow their rhythmic vocabulary.  They learn four rhythms at one time and discover some unexpected benefits that cause them to smile and get excited about playing drums.  One student discovered there are some cool four beat rhythms that emerge at the end of every Grid Groove. She got very excited about that.  Another student, who has been playing for years, is rapidly discovering how even the most basic of beats now becomes an interesting challenge to play.  He mentioned that he took up lessons because he was tired his stagnant and stale rhythms (sound familiar).  I saw the most inspiring thing of all just recently.  I was talking with the mother of a nine-year-old student, specifically describing the color coded system.  Her daughter chimed in and stated that the rhythm changes with every color.  This occurred after our second lesson together and our first session of actually learning about the Grid Grooves color coded system!  That is all the reason I need for continuing forward with this book writing project.

I love a systematic approach, especially one that a nine-year-old can understand at the conceptual level.  I hate stagnant and stale rhythms when I play and know that I am not the only one.  I sooooo love having fun and getting excited about learning rhythms on the drum set.  But, perhaps the best part of this Grid Grooves experience is seeing students smile when they discover that learning to play drums is not that difficult once they see the color of the rhythms.  Students of all ages smile while they learn and “get more gooder” with Grid Grooves.  And that is why you will see one more drumming book cast into the sea of material!!!

P.S. Please check out the
Drum Lessons page to see some samples and hear their related audio tracks

P.S.S. Add your email address to the list so you can stay up to date on the Grid Grooves Project and other exciting things in the world of drum instruction and gigging!!!

 

Why Another Drum Book - Part 1 

Have you seen all of the drum set material out there today?  There are You Tube channels, videos, DVDs, and books galore.  So why should I cast more content into that sea of material?  I ask myself that a lot and end up returning to these three answers: my students want a fun way to learn rhythms, my collection of rhythms became very stagnant and stale, and I love a systematic approach which is where this whole thing got started.

I love a systematic approach to developing skills.  I looked for an instructor who has a systematic approach to developing skills and found that in
Bill Bachman.  He and I spent the first five months of 2012 improving my hand technique specifically to eliminate some self-inflicted injuries.  He took me all the way back to the basics: the eight-on-a-hand exercise for the first three weeks.  Then, I could advance to diddles, then triple strokes using just the velocity technique.  He would continue to build on the foundation once I convinced him the foundation was secure.  Bill’s approach made a lot of sense to me and it paid off.  I feel so much more comfortable when playing and do not suffer with self-inflicted injuries any longer.  The lessons with Bill stopped when I moved to California.  However, I kept improving my technique using Bill’s approach and began to modify it and come up with my own ideas.  It was at this time that my next great deficiency started to emerge.

I quickly noticed that my rhythmic vocabulary on the drum set felt stagnant and stale.  I played with a house band that supported an open mic night in Three Rivers, California each week, and used a “core drum set” consisting of a snare & bass drum and hi hat & ride cymbals.  I became frustrated when I felt that I had little to offer.  I wanted to change the feel of a song to give all the musicians a different way of playing as the song progressed, thus the Grid Grooves series came to life.

I wanted a systematic approach for growing my rhythmic vocabulary.  Bill and I played around with the 4-2-1 Grid system a little bit during our time together so I revisited the Grid.  It did not take long to realize that this excellent system for developing chops would work equally well for growing rhythmic vocabulary and four-way independence on the drum set.  I’d take four basic rhythms, run them through the Grid, and see how things sounded at the end.  Then I’d pick for more rhythms: wash, rinse, repeat.  As you can imagine, there are only so many basic rhythms.  I started running more complex rhythms through the Grid.  Then it became fun and exciting… almost addicting because I wanted to hear how the next four rhythms would sound as they were put through the Grid!!!

Using a more purposeful approach, as experienced with
Bill Bachman, focused my attention on my stagnant and stale rhythmic vocabulary.  I started running rhythms through the Grid and my playing with the House Band began to improve.  Musicians from the jam sessions invited me to sit in when their drummers were not available and I like to think it was because of the time I spent on the Grid.  My rhythmic vocabulary grew and my drumming became more and more expressive.  My next challenge was now exposed: How can I help my students grow their rhythmic vocabulary?  Believe me, it was much easier said than done!

Tune in tomorrow to find out how students have influenced this book writing adventure….

Please join the APS email list to keep up on the Grid Grooves Series development process and to learn more about one musician’s daily life.

Progress Is Happening 

It's been quite the week of working on the Grid Grooves series!

Students are sight reading some of the basic Grid Grooves, and are showing noticeable improvement with every passing week.  Next week I expect to introduce Grid Grooves with 16th note bass drum patterns to some students.  The best part of it all is that I see smiles on their faces when they discover a lot more than four "simple" rhythms.  Their eyes and minds are opening up to a lot more possibilities... at that is what Grid Grooves is all about!!!!

On the Tech Front, audio files are coming together nicely.  Any person who purchases an Ebook from the series will have direct access to all the Grid Grooves audio files in that book.  So... with the improved method of presentation and the audio files, growing your rhythmic vocabulary will become a lot easier. You can check out some sample Grid Grooves on the lesson page. 

Stay tuned for the first book's release date.  The goal is to make it available by the end of 2015.  Other books will follow shortly afterwards.

Keep drumming, my friends... and get more gooder with Grid Grooves


 

Grid Grooves are in the Works 

2015 has been a very busy year and we're still in the first month!  The Grace Note roster of students continues to grow, Andrew Kenefick invited me to sit in for an all-original set of music at the Cellar Door on Jan 30, Last Chance Saloon is preparing to return to the local gigging scene in February.  Along with all this activity, I am very excited about putting together a series of instructional books specifically designed to help drummers improve their rhythmic vocabulary.

The series, "Grid Grooves" is derived from the Grid system (also referred to as "4-2-1").  Each Grid Groove enables each person to learn four rhythms at a time and run them through the Grid. It is really cool to hear these ideas take on a life of their own.  I'll admit that I wind up exploring the new ideas that I hear because of the Grid Grooves.  Check out the
 lessons page to see a few examples of the Grid Grooves.  There are MP3s for download so you can play along. 

I watch my student get more gooder as they play the different Grid Grooves: some even sight read the music because they can see the Grid pattern in motion.

More updates as things progress...!!!

"That's My Rumor and I'm Sticking To It"