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Training and Preparing Drummers to Excel On The Stage & Field, and In The Studio

Eric Anderson has a growing roster of private students as Visalia's Drum Coach. 

He uses the "Grid Grooves" and "Abacus" Systems when training musicians for live performances and studio work.  These systems improve sight reading ability, independence and dexterity, and grow the drummer's collection rhythm and beats.

Eric also stays busy as the drummer with the Tayters, and The Brad Wilson Band.

Buckets and Sticks is one thing Eric gives to his community.  He shares the fun at Visalia Montessori School each week and has led Bucket Sessions at Traver Elementary, Happy Trails Riding Academy, Villa de Guadalupe Apartments, and the occasional Rotary club meeting!  Please ask for more information about this fun experience!!!


"That's my rumor and I'm sticking to it"

Art of the Flip: You Only Need to be Wrong ONCE!!! 

The Art of the Flip is human interaction.  Humans are really cool to interact with… but not all of them.  Some are real turds.  You know; predators, perpetrators… PERPS!!!   

They’ll take advantage of you when given the chance.  

Sadly, you and I only need to be wrong once. 

Cuz of a few real TURDS out there, consider the following and make them a part of your daily activities and practices.  The following list is not all-inclusive. It is meant to spur you to think about such things as you get started. Most people think about such things AFTER they encountered a turd.   

Save yourself a lot of grief and misery… set up your daily habits and practices to address your safety and security.   

It can be the one thing that separates the practitioner from the victim. 

Physical Well Being - Think about your safety when you meet the person (people) on the other side of the deal.  (Unfortunately, large items make it difficult to apply some of the following suggestions) 

  • Do Not Get Caught Alone 
    • Meet in a public place that is well lit and has spectators 
    • Meet in a decent part of town 
    • Bring another person with you 
    • Do not seal the deal close to your car… this makes it easy for a turd to see your vehicle for future reference 
    • Pay attention to the other person’s car, and make sure it leaves before you do   
  • Think About Your Family… 
    • Meet at a neutral place instead of your home 
    • Set up a PO Box so you are not sharing your home address
  • When it is necessary to finish a deal at home 
    • Always have another person at home with you. (A big dog is a great deterrent too.  I prefer the big dog approach cuz he’ll be there to greet the turd when you are not at home.) 
    • Place the item you’re selling in the driveway and keep the garage door closed
    • Do not invite the person into your house 

Mental and Emotional Well Being 

  • Focus first on the issues pertaining to Physical Well Being… 
  • Develop the skills needed to respond to people instead of react to their emotions 
  • Get out of a deal when you realize the other person is a turd - there will always be a person you can do business with 
  • Do not given out contact information until it is necessary.  Most apps enable you to message people without share your personal information.  Take advantage of those services. 

Financial Well Being… this one will be addressed in greater detail in future blog posts 

TURDS are out there!!!  Save yourself a lot of grief and misery… set up your daily habits and practices to address your safety and security.   

Become the practitioner instead of the victim. 

In future posts, we’ll dig into the different apps and their pros and cons; and we’ll link them back to the issues in this blog.

Got more safety and security tips?  Share them in the comments.

Art of the Flip: Reacting verses Responding... 

Emotionally reacting to things people do when selling and buying is a fool's errand every time!  

Your intelligence goes down every time your emotions go up. 

The person on the other side of the deal is just like you.  You are both looking out for your best interests, and trying to get the most value out of the deal.  So the seller wants the highest price possible and the buyer wants the lowest price possible.  Somewhere between these two limits lies the agreed upon value of the item in question. 

Today, this is about buying and selling drum gear to add some extra income.  I have too much gear.  That is why I am selling cymbals right now.

Some prospective buyers like to barter... offer something different to swap for a cymbal instead of paying cash for it.  It is a legit thing to do.  Offer me something that solves my problems or is really coveted and I'll definitely make the deal happen.  Some buyers are very persistent about it cuz they're willing to wear you down to get what they want and not spend money to get it.  There is nothing wrong with that either.

Then there those who will "low ball" you: make an offer the sounds like an insult.  Do not react to the feeling of being insulted or disrespected.  The person is merely asking a question regarding what you are willing to accept in exchange for what you are selling.  Remember the phrase...

Your intelligence goes down every time your emotions go up. 

The vast majority of the time, people are asking questions that require a simple and convincing "Yes" or "No" answer.  Such an answer requires no emotional energy, especially when working a deal through text or messaging.  You are able to respond to offers when you...

  • Know the least amount you are willing to accept, or the most you are willing to pay.
  • Answer questions until the deal is done.
  • Do not let emotions (yours or the buyer/seller) overwhelm you.  Your reputation is at stake, and it is the one thing you have to live with.

Buying a house...

What does this have to do with buying and selling drum gear?

 

EVERYTHING!!!

A transaction is a transaction!  The item, asset, or commodity is not relevant.  My wife and I recently bought our first house together.  I focused on staying in the logical and rational parts of the brain until the deal was done, and was all about the numbers.  The house became our home in my mind and heart once the deal was settled and we knew that we were the rightful owners.

The house (home) buying experience prepared me to get into flipping small things like cymbals and drums cuz of the principles mentioned earlier

  • Know the least amount you are willing to accept, or the most you are willing to pay. 
  • Answer questions until the deal is done. 
  • Do not let emotions (yours or the buyer/seller) overwhelm you.  Your reputation is at stake, and it is the one thing you have to live with.

Perhaps the essential thing needed to master the Art of the Flip is to remain in control of your thoughts and emotions.  You have NOOOOOOOO control over other people, and they have NOOOOOOOOOOO control over you while a deal is in work.

Surprisingly, self-control is essential for surviving in the world of music too... but we'll stay focused on the flip for now.

 

Got any hacks?  Got a stroy of success or the epic fail we all endure?  Please leave a comment.  I need a little inspiration too, cuz I am still hacking away at it.  

Art of the Flip: The First Sale 

It tweaked the brain whilst choosing the best price to put on a crash cymbal.  After all, cymbals appeal to a niche market.

I studied Amazon, Ebay, Reverb.com, Craigslist, Offerup, and LetGo to determine the going rate.  The prices were all over the place!  I realized that I could measure the value of cymbals when I applied a cost-per-inch gauge to each cymbal.  This made it a lot easier to measure the market's opinion of each cymbal class: rides, hi hats, crashes, effect cymbals, etc.  This also helps me see when a cymbal is under or over priced.  Here are a couple of things I discovered about the various selling sites.

Amazon, Ebay, and Reverb.com seem to get a better price per cymbal.  The trade-off is you need to ship to the buyer.  The buyer pays the shipping, but you do the work and front the money to ship the package.  Plus it is possible that you may get the item back from an unsatisfied costumer.  There additional fees these sites charge so they can stay in business.

Whereas Craigslist, LetGo, and Offerup give both the buyer and seller the opportunity to negotiate the price (more on that in the next blog post).  It is rare to get full asking price through these sites, but you can work with the buyer to get the item to move.  You also get paid at the point of sale and it is a done deal when you and the buyer part company.  I have not heard of someone returning an item.

Ultimately, you need to decide what is most important to you... top dollar, or moving an item quickly.

Remember that I am starting out with $0 of flip money?  

My first sale came through Offerup.  I like this site a lot.  Good pictures and a good description are up to you.  The platform lets you post up to five pics; add the title, description, and price; and lets you choose if you want to keep it local or ship nation wide.  As of today, I keep the offers local only.  The best part of this site (like many others) is you get to rate the person on the other side of each transaction.  This levels the playing and forces everyone to pay attention to their own actions.  Reputation is everything.  Uber and AirBnB do this too.  Simply stated... you will not survive long when you do not play well with others.  And there is the social media component and its impact on your rep, but we will not dig into that in this post.

The buyer contacted me about a crash cymbal.  I listed it for $110 ($6.47 per inch of cymbal) and reduced the price to $90 ($5.29 pic).  The buyer inquired about this cymbal plus another listed cymbal, asking if I'd be willing to part with both for $150.  I wanted flip money so I agreed to his offer.  The costs per cymbal were $4.41 and $4.17... more than $2.00 less than originally listed.  So... I came in to this local market kind of high.

Let's talk about "The Market."

The market is an equal opportunity abuser for all who choose not to pay attention.  It has NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO emotion whatsoever.  Please check all your emotions at the door when you play in any and every market.  What you paid for an item is irrelevant when you sell it.  To drive the point in a bit: a guy bartered with me about a pair of hi hats priced at $85.  He made the following offer: "Can I trade for a Royals authentic jersey I got for $120 with authentication tag?"  I checked his profile.  He is selling this same jersey for $50!  Each transaction measures the value of the two things being traded at that moment in time.  Those two things could easily change in value five minutes after the transaction is completed.  That is the market, and it care not about your opinions.

Following my budget and spending plan, the $150 was split out as follows

$30 into GOD Money

$30 into INVESTMENT Money

$90 in FLIP Money... now I have a little cash to work with on future deals.

Niche markets are a game of patience.  There are not a lot of people looking for cymbals.  Drummers are, and parents of kids who are getting their first drum sets.  Plus, most people want the full set with all the bells and whistles. 

Perhaps you are thinking, "I do not have cool things like cymbals..."

Look around your house for the more common things people need and want: clothes, baby gear, toys, books, old phones and computers, Beats and Turtle Beach Headsets, etc.  Search out the markets for such items... they are out there.  Markets are fairly easy to find.  You must search them out cuz they usually will not just knock on your door and ask if they can stay awhile.  Find that market, learn how it values items, figure where things are under priced and over priced so you can capitalize on the difference, the "delta."  These are some fundamental ideas on how people play in all markets.

Got a hack you can share?  Love to hear about it.  

Art of the Flip: Ground Zero 

I decided not to put any lesson, gigging, or family money into the art of the flip.  My family and I survive on our income here in California, but there is not a lot of extra money to learn lessons with (that is a euphemism for losing money cuz of bad decisions).

This something worth paying attention too...

I have put no money into learning the art of the flip.

My immersion into the craft of the flip began when I sold some extra gear I have not used in a few years.  I sold the first cymbal in mid July, and have since received over $400 in exchange for crash cymbals. 

I'd love for you to get this important point!!!

There is a market for everything you no longer want.  Such items are begging you to convert them into money.  As a practitioner...

Do the work 

Get the results 

Gain the recognition 

That is the order of life

R l r r   L r l l   Remember? 

It is not enough to convert an item into cash... 

What are your plans for the cash that arrives?

Here is one approach to managing the extra cash today.  It will most likely get adjusted as I go along

 

There is no beer and pizza money, no new video game money, no new shoes and purse money in this system.  Just three categories...

  1. GOD MONEY (20%) - my wife and I created this category in October 2015.  We were very frustrated over our inability to give and help people with money and or gifts.  So we dedicated 10% of our income for that one purpose.  It has been amazing... liberating!  We spend this money on other people and never worry about where we'll take it from later on.
  2. FLIP MONEY (60%) - this is the money used to buy under-priced items to sell for a profit as well as pay for the logistics: shipping, packing materials, promotions, gas, etc
  3. INVESTMENT MONEY (20%) - I have not fully decided on this one yet.  It will most likely go into debt service first.

Create your own categories and percentage splits.  The point here is

  • Craft your plan for the new income
  • Faithfully execute your plan
  • Tweak it along the way to improve your performance.

Being a practitioner of a craft demands your commitment and discipline.  You're getting better at drums cuz you play every day, and focus your attention on skills you want to improve.

Mastering the Art of the Flip is no different: commitment, discipline, and focus are the first of the practitioner's tools you must learn to use.

A New Art Form... 

Yep... the drum coach is getting into a new art form.  Well... new to him!

It is the art of the flip: buying an under-priced item, and selling that same item in a market that is willing to pay more for it.

You see it on the grand scale in real estate. 

  • Buy house for $100,000
  • Dump $15,000 into improvements
  • Sell for $200,000
  • Walk away with $85,000 in profit.

The coach ain't going big like that.  He is a newbie to the art of the flip.  After all, he didn't decide to play drums one day and then go audition for Rush or Frank Zappa the following day.

What is the why?

STRAIGHT UP?

I suck at selling things.  It doesn't matter what the goods or services are... I suck.  It is like I cannot sell a glass of water to a thirsty person!  Well... I finally embraced this one truth:

"I must offer things of value to other people, and create an income stream while doing so."

It is time for me to become a practitioner of this newly discovered art form.  The art form is as old as music, perhaps older.  And, like music, I must learn, discover and master this art form as a daily practitioner.  There are some principles that equally apply to all the arts 

  • Study the theoretical ideas and the history of the art 
  • Do 10,000 hours... and then another 10,000 hours on skills development and mastery 
  • Exploration, creation, and innovation 
  • Share the art form with others (Like on this blog)

The 10,000 hours is where it is at.  Read all you want about paradiddles, but you wont get more gooder until you play    R l r r  L r l l    incessantly... 10,000 reps and then 10,000 more.  Buying and selling demand the same commitment... incessant reps to achieve flawless and effortless "execution."

I hear of others who support themselves and their families through the art of the flip.  Candidly, there is some debt to pay off, and it will take a long time and a lot of interest payments to clear the debt out.  So, for the drum coach, there is real motive to learn, practice, and master this art form.

Stay tuned to see what happens next.  

And please share any proven tips you have.

Teaching and Playing Are Not the Same Art Forms.... 

It is common to assume that a lady who plays her instrument well is an equally great teacher.

However, upon closer examination, it is quickly realized that playing an instrument and teaching another person how to play the same instrument are two completely different art forms.

There are some principles that equally apply to all the arts

  • Study the theoretical ideas and the history of the art
  • 10,000 hours... and then another 10,000 hours on skills development and mastery
  • Exploration, creation, and innovation
  • Sharing the art form with others (Cuz what good is a piece of hidden art?)

Such things are true for the practitioner of each art form.  These principles extend to athletes, accountants, doctors, mechanics, and any profession that enables a lady to devote years of study and practice to the development of her skills.  For the sake of brevity, let's focus on the art of teaching as it is an art form that's been fascinating the drummer for a few years now!

Props to my pops here: he shared the following

 

"When a student does not understand the concept you are teaching, it is not the student's fault."

 

This one liner offers massive insight into the true art of teaching.  It is the fine art of making information fit for another person's consumption AND practical application!

The coach has a vast array of knowledge and skills cuz the coach is a life-long practitioner of the craft.  What value does that offer a student when those concepts and skills are not broken down into digestible chunks of knowledge and information a student can use to improve her skills?

Teaching music is the multi-faceted art of communicating, demonstrating, analyzing, judging, problem solving, and inspiring and motivating.  It demands the following...

  • The ability to adapt to the way each student absorbs and processes information
  • The ability to convert abstract concepts into concrete ideas so a student appreciates the value of the concept and its application
  • The ability to read a student's response and adjust your approach quickly
  • The ability to grow and foster a relationship
  • The ability to guide your student through those times of frustration and self-doubt.
  • The ability to be critical of your student's performance (cuz you want your student to get more gooder) without destroying your student's character.
  • Oh yeah... and then there is the ability to keep it engaging, inspiring, and or entertaining each week too.

Some of these skills may be picked up as a musician, like the ability to read an audience and adapt the performance to better fit the audience.  Most of these attributes require the willing participation of both the student and the coach.  Thus it becomes a dance of knowledge, where one leads and the other WILLINGLY follows.  Trust must be built cuz this a relationship... it is a dialogue that is sustained with words and actions from both participants.

What would you add to this list of attributes a teacher, instructor, and or coach should strive to master as a true practitioner of the art of teaching?

Resolutions Vs. Goals 

So… the drummer was listening to some Portnoy-Era Dream Theater as the year rapidly comes to a close.  He pondered the aged custom of making New Year’s resolutions.  They’re a topic of chatter, but rarely a serious conversation.  Resolutions have little value for musicians.  But goals are a different story… 

Herm Edwards, one of the drummer’s favorite coaches, once said, “A goal without a plan is a wish.”  You can safely say a goal without a plan is a resolution to be broken in short order too. 

You can find tons of instruction about goal setting on the interweb.  And planning? There is an abundance of knowledge to pick through too.   

The point is to find or develop your system for setting goals, and craft a plan to help you reach your goals!!!  And here is an inescapable truth about goal-setting and planning in the world of music… 

Both activities are a huge waste of time and brain cells when you do nothing afterwards.   

Action is the most important part of reaching your goals! 

Ideally, daily action (practice) that is focused on and governed by that goal.  There is no substitute for getting more gooder as a musician.   

Do you want some help setting goals and creating the way to reach those goals?  The drummer will gladly share simple things that make a huge difference when reaching his goals. 

Share your goal-setting and planning hacks too.  Nobody has a monopoly on this stuff.  Put your trusted tips and hacks out here so all can get more gooder. 

As always, launch this out to musicians, friends and family who enjoy music and want to learn a little more each week.  See what the drummer is up to and to join his email list while you are here. 

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

P.S.  The drummer wasn’t joking about offering ideas on goal-setting and planning.  Hit him when you have a few minutes

Preparing For an Audition... and "That Guy"!!! 

One unavoidable experience in the life of a musician is the dreaded audition.  Auditions can be nerve-wracking for novice and professional musician alike.  What can do you do reduce your stress levels before and during the audition?  First… discover why auditions are so nerve-wracking.   “That Guy” is why! 

You know: the decision maker… the picker!!! 

“That Guy” who will say “Yes, you’re in.” or “Nope: Not this year.” 

  

“That Guy” is in the room for one purpose.  To evaluate YOU: how well you present yourself and the assigned music, and your command and mastery of your chosen instrument.  The following video is a short story about the worst of the “That Guy”s --- Frank Zappa!  Steve Vai (one amazing guitar player) shares his story of being in the room with “That Guy”…. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx1RguHA4XE 

Candidly… Frank Zappa was a very unique specimen: very demanding, both in the music and beyond the music.  Most auditions will be fairly tame in comparison to Steve’s story.   

  

So what can you do to survive and thrive while “That Guy” is evaluating you?    

  

1) Exceed the Expectations 

To exceed the expectations, you first must know them.  Ask questions and get those answers so you know what is expected of you and what to expect during the audition.  Plan audition day out and follow the plan to guarantee you exceed those expectations... 

Date, time (always arrive at least 15 minutes early), and location of the audition?  How will you feel when you’re standing outside a locked door with others who did not plan their day out well enough? 
Music used for the audition? 
Is Sight Reading a part of the audition? 

Are there other non-music expectation to exceed?     This may sound a little ridiculous BUT……….. bring a NO. 2 pencil when the instructions tell you to bring a No. 2 pencil.  Why?  You’re equally being evaluated on your ability to follow simple instructions (like arrive on time), and that pen, marker, or Crayon could be the one reason you hear, “Nope. Not this year.” 

Word to the Wise: no two auditions and evaluators are the same.  Never assume certain things can be ignored.  You most likely will not know what is most valuable to “That Guy.” 

  

2) Know the Material 

Know and play every dynamic marking, every tempo change, every time and key signature change: everything on that sheet of music.  Know it and play it with confidence; own it.  You have 1 chance to convince “That Guy” that you know the material inside and out, forwards and backwards.   

Hoping “That Guy” doesn’t ask you to play measures 23  - 26 is a painfully obvious sign that you do not know the material as well as you know you should!   

  

3) Be Over Qualified 

Now that you know the music and own it, find different ways to play the music: change the tempo, play it all staccato, play it at different dynamic levels, etc.  A student brought a double beat exercise to the woodshed last week.  The exercise is the basis for his audition for his school’s snare line, and has 12 measures of 8th notes and 16th notes and a time signature.  That is all the information the sheet music offers.  We added different dynamic variations to the music: play through at PP, MF, and FF (various stick heights); FF > PP, PP < FF > PP, etc.  Why?   

Because “That Guy” could easily ask him or you to play it through at PP or FF,  or perhaps a crescendo from PP to FF over the 12 measures.  These are not unreasonable requests; and definitely more reasonable than Frank Zappa’s requests of little Stevie Vai (Did you watch the video yet?  Watch it now 

Being overqualified also means doing your time with the fundamentals on the nome in the Wood Shed.  Remember, “That Guy” is evaluate your musicianship, technique, and expressiveness along with your ability to play the selected piece of music.  In one sense, you can say that every day of growth in the Wood Shed is preparing you for an audition that isn’t on your calendar… yet!!!  Do not wait for the audition announcement to start preparing.   

  

Today, while it is called “Today”, prepare yourself for tomorrow’s opportunity cuz nobody knows on which tomorrow the opportunity will present itself! 

  

Exceeding the expectations, knowing the material, and becoming overqualified are three things you should be doing if you want to survive and thrive when “That Guy” is evaluating you.   These are not the only three things to consider.   

What else do you think is important when preparing for auditions? 

Send them back to the drummer when you can.  He’d love to hear your thoughts.  Such ideas could be the basis for more stuff about surviving the audition process. 

Launch this out to musicians, friends and family who enjoy music and want to learn a little more each week.  As always, check outwww.apsdrums.com to see what the drummer is up to and to join his email list. 

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

An Incredible Journey 

This was one incredible experience for the drummer!!!

However, before sharing some of the highlights... 

The drummer is eternally appreciative and forever indebted to those who were kind enough to bless him with a lot of prayers and a little lunch money that supported the missionary work.  The drummer's role (both in the music and beyond the music) was to be a solid foundation others could stand upon as they carried out their responsibilities.  He provided support and stability for all on the team, from the tour leaders to those on their first trip with Celebrant Singers.  You who shared your prayers and lunch money are the reason the drummer could travel with the team, be a good foundation for the team, and share God's word through beautiful music with the people of Peru.  

So here are some highlights from the Peruvian mission fields...

The team was composed of great people unified around a common goal: to share God's love and His beautiful message through music.  It was truly amazing to see how God brings together people from the United States, Slovenia, and Guatemala and turns them loose in Peru to carry out His mission as a united team.  Here are two things that left a lasting impression on the drummer.  

Let's talk about the kids...

Audra, Rebekah, and Ana have a true gift that seemed to escape the rest of the team.  These three always loved the kids the team encountered in Peru.  The ladies played with the kids and showed them the love of God by accepting them as they are while playing games and laughing with them.  One young lady became so attached to Ana... she fell asleep in Ana's arms and stayed there for more than an hour.  When she awoke, she chose to stay in Ana's lap for at least another 45 minutes or so.  Other team members connected with kids as the trip went on, but Audra, Rebekah, and Ana were the three who consistently spent time with the kids and loved them without reservation...  kinda like the way God has done for each of us.  Within the music, the drummer was excited and eager to see and hear one part of every performance!!!

Rudolfina and Ana's violin duets...

Barry, the tour director, would talk with each audience about how God can be praised with stringed instruments.  As he talked, "Ruda" and Ana would take center stage.  Sadly, mere words cannot "splain" what happened next, but the drummer will try all the same.

The two sisters from Slovenia would launch into the most amazing expressions of love and adoration for the God who blessed them with the ability to draw such beautiful sound from their violins.  Add their elegant expressiveness to the beauty of their music and you'll have a unique and captivating experience every time.  The drummer sure did!!!  They did not play their violins or music.  They conveyed the sincerest emotions of love and awe for God the drummer has ever seen.  God creates a new level of INCREDIBLE each time Rudolfina and Ana place their hands on bows and strings.

The team did 15 performances in seven days; the first two days were loaded with three performances each day and every performance was at a different venue.  The mornings started with loading up the bus with the instruments, sound gear, and the people; and ended every night with unloading that same bus.  It truly was a labor of love.  The team was supported and blessed by...

Martin Reeves: a gentleman that personifies "labor of love"...

Martin has been in Trujillo, Peru for 13 years and has established four churches in that time.  He is the reason our team went to Trujillo.  He worked with Celebrant Singers back in the day (like, waaaaaaaaaaay back in the day).  He hosted the team, provided food and shelter, arranged the performances, served as the team's interpreter and translator, and who knows the other things he and his family did for the team.  His mild and sincere demeanor was amazing as he pointed the team in the right direction.  

The team shared God's message and music; prayed over people who sought out Jesus Christ; and worshiped the Lord God Almighty in Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, and various other churches.  The team did the same in schools and orphanages throughout the city... even on a soccer field in the middle of the city.  Martin set each service up, and the team faithfully did the things God trained and prepared it do do.  

Like the Celebrant Singers, Martin's efforts are supported through donations and contributions from those who believe in the missions work Martin and his family accomplish in Trujillo.  U.S. Dollars stretch a long way in Trujillo's economy.  The drummer will be sending some drachma to Martin each month to continue supporting his efforts in Peru.  You can do the same by checking out the following site

https://www.tms-global.org/give

Under the "Give To A Missionary" Heading, Enter:

  • Amount you wish to bless Martin and Family's Efforts
  • 0266 (The Reeves' four-digit Missionary ID)
  • "Give"... it is that quick and easy

Each person on the Celebrant Singers Reprise team was affected in ways we did not expect.  The drummer is VERY glad he took part in this labor of love.  He has been looking for a way to merge two parts of his life that are very important to him: his relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit; and the joy that music provides to all people, whether they listen or perform.  Do not be surprised when you see the drummer journey into the fields with Celebrant Singers in 2018!!!

 

That's His Rumor and He's Sticking To It!  

 

 

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!”

Healthy Information? Really!!!! 

Information is EVERYWHERE!!!

We are surrounded by, smothered in, immersed in, engulfed in, and enveloped by information every day.  It is somewhat difficult to escape.  It does not sound like anything important until you try to escape it or hide from it.  That's when information makes its dominant position in society known.

This past week was an "information fast" for me with Sunday being a Low Tech day.  What was missed during the fast?  Absolutely nothing.

Depressing news wasn't missed at all.  The hard to find feel-good story gets buried under countless articles that all point out how bad things are.  A lot of good things happened during last week's fast.  I know... cuz I watched them happen.  Replace the news with your own eye-witness accounts of the things that are happening around you.  Decide for yourself how good or how bad life is.

Social Media's absence wasn't missed either.  Many people rail against Facebook while posting rants about politics, religion, sports, foods, pop stars, and recreational drama.  It was nice to be ignorant of such "information."  I'll check Facebook occasionally, and that is about it.  The app is not on my phone; and it is the first of a few social media apps to go.

In this data vacuum, focused attention was directed towards information that can be immediately used to achieve some of this year's goals.  A Yes or No answer to the following question is now an effective data discriminator:

"Will I immediately use this information for something important, something that builds my foundation?"  

A simple Yes or No is all it takes to determine if it is worth consuming or absorbing the information

Everyone is susceptible to information overload, which can cause both mental and emotional health issues.  Cut the useless, depressing information.  Replace it with more relevant information: better yet, build relationships with family and friends, get into a hobby, or find a creative outlet.  My wife and I spent Lo Tech Sunday cleaning out the cars: deep cleaning like removing the seats, and shampooing the carpet and seats (Remember that feeling you get when yours or your loved one's car breaks down?).  

Putting time into yourself, your loved ones and the things you possess will alter your quality of life more than the vast majority of information you can absorb.

Information directly affects mental and emotional health.  Be a data discriminator.  Filter out the useless and depressing.  There are more than enough good things in life to replace no-value information with.

Share your thoughts below, especially if you've found a creative way to cut the useless information from your life.

That My Rumor and I'm Sticking To It!

Sometimes.... Life Makes the Decision Easy! 

God, Health, or Wealth?  Which part of the Foundation should be addressed first?

It was time to decide.  Life crept in and made it an easy answer... Health.  But in a rather unexpected way.

My wife's car had coolant problems.  Our son and I spent a day in the garage with the car.  We learned some cool stuff and fixed the car: harmony restored.  The following day, my wife called because the car would not start.  Our son and I trouble shot it down to a defective battery.  Battery replaced: harmony restored once again.  

Okay... this is cute... but where is the Health, Mr. Drummer Man?

The Health is in harmony restored!

We did not fight throughout this little detour.  However, tension built up all the same because my wife had been stranded by her car.  This issue evoked insecurity and frustration for us both.  Feelings of insecurity and frustration are health issues brought on by a malfunctioning car.

The "Health" part of the Foundation has different components.  The people and relationships in our lives are one of those health components.  My wife is one of my most important people.  I suffer when she suffers.  I get frustrated when she feels insecure.  I am sure the feeling would've intensified if the situation did not resolved quickly.

Cars malfunction.  Fecal matter occurs!  It's no big deal... until one of the most important people in your life is stranded by the malfunctioning car.  Then, the situation becomes a mental and emotional health issue, one to remedy as soon as possible.

Who are the important people in your life?       They are components of the Health part of your foundation

How does disharmony in their lives affect your mental and emotional health?

The well being of those you love impacts your health for the better or the worse every day.  

Fortunately, this time, a new battery restored harmony for us both.  It is not always that easy!

Take the time to share some thoughts on this issue; either in the comments section below, or send an email.

That's My Rumor, and I'm Sticking To It.

 

The Elements of the Foundation 

You ever learn about foundations?  There is a lot that goes into them: engineering, time, materials, man-hours, etc.  Why all the effort?  Because it is a one-and-done project, and it must remain solid and reliable for decades to come.  

Ponder the critical elements of your life's foundation. Is your foundation solid and reliable?

Don't be surprised when you discover the elements are interwoven and inseparable... like the elements of a concrete slab!

The three elements of my life's foundation are God, Health, and Wealth.  They support my life; both enabling and inspiring me to forge ahead.  They are truly interwoven and inseparable, and work together, in unison, to form a solid base that is very comfortable to stand on.

Please join in:  Ponder... Discover... Decide...  Design a foundation to stand firmly on as you forge ahead in life.


Which element should we dig into first?

Share the elements of your foundation in the comments, and share this with those who are interested in such stuff.

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


 

What Is Your Foundation 

Most of my students hear a version of the following:

"The drummer is the foundation of the ensemble.  The other band members play with a lot more confidence and comfort when the drummer is rock-solid.  Like a house's foundation, nobody pays a lot of attention to the drummer unless there are problems in the drummer's playing."

January is usually a month of reflection for this drummer.  Sometimes it is a month of frustration.  As the January 2017 progresses, "The Foundation" seems to become a more prevalent concept to apply to life.

So... What Foundation is your life built upon?

Think about it and answer the question for yourself.

Future blog entries will reveal the different aspects of the drummer's foundation.  It's been an exciting endeavor thus far. 

Have fun with this one.  

Leave your answer in the comments.  Let us conversate!!!

Share with your friends.  

Let's see where this takes us!

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

 

Open Letter to an Average Drummer 

Dear Average Drummer,

I've watched you long enough to know there is one thing you lack... the one thing that propels great musicians to their levels of greatness

Deliberate, Purpose-filled Playing Every Day!

Great musicians make the conscious decision to grab the sticks instead of the cell phone or Xbox controller.  This is the most important reason for your lack of progress.  

Do you pick up the sticks every day?
"No," you say?  
Why not?       Cuz you're too busy?

 
Here is an inescapable fact...

Every person gets the same 24 hours on the globe.  Are you deliberate about the way you use your 24 hours?

If  not, make the change today, while it is called "Today."  Put that time on your calendar and live up to the commitment you made to yourself.  It is that simple: make the commitment, keep the commitment!

Will you commit yourself to your growth and development?  

 
"No," you say?  

Then stop reading this and go back posting pics on Facebook and Instagram, or playing "Call of Duty."
 
If "Yes," keep reading.

Know this for true... focused, purposeful attention to the art of playing the sticks makes playing your favorite songs a lot more enjoyable.  You think less and struggle less as your technique improves.  Drum tracks require less effort to play which leads to much more satisfaction from your playing and the music you're playing.  Let's take it up a notch!

See yourself in your own band that is putting original music together.  This is where the fun is really at... CREATIVITY!!!!.  Imagine yourself adding the perfect drum track to the music that is going on around you.  Fortunately, someone is recording the session and captures the moment the song comes to life!  Is that the time you want to be asking yourself, "Should I use the Moelher or Velocity approach?"

So, back to purpose-filled playing...

Work on your pad to improve hand and stick technique.  Work out rhythmic ideas on your drum set.  Surround yourself with musicians who are getting better.  Focus on those areas that need attention and improve your playing every "Today" you get.  This is how the greats became "The Greats."

Tony Williams was a beast of a drummer.  Listen to his thoughts on practicing.  
"PRACTICING: When I was practicing every day, I was doing nothing else but that. I'd get up in the morning and not even bother getting dressed. I'd just move to the drums in my pajamas. I would be playing on the pad while I watched TV, and I'd go over another drummer's house and play with him. All drumming - all day. I practiced on the pad to develop my hands. I started reading when I began studying with Alan. I feel that my hands are the most important thing. But I also liked to practice for at least an hour on the drums. No routines, no books."
 
Tony was so committed to getting more gooder... he did not need a calendar.  It seems like you do!
 
The time you set on your calendar is a vow you make and must keep every day.  

Design your improvement plan. Execute that plan.  

See and enjoy the improvements every time you play at jam sessions, rehearsals, and live performances.  This is what makes music enjoyable for you, the musicians you're performing with, and the audience that is listening to your music. You, the other musicians, and the audience ARE the reason for spending so much time in the wood shed improving your skills, talent, and craft.  They deserve greatness, and you can deliver... 

OOOORRRRRRRR.........

You can go back to Facebook, Instagram, or "Call of Duty!"

That is My Rumor, and I'm Sticking To It

Love,
A Drum Instructor That Knows You Can Reach Greatness

 

What Do Tech and Music Instruments Have in Common? 

You gotta play with them both REPEATEDLY if you expect to get better at using them!

There is no "Easy" button or Matrix scenario for musicians.  You don't hit a switch or plug in to a computer and become an innovator on your instrument of choice.  Nope... you spend your 10,000 hours in the wood shed, discovering both your instrument and your creativity.

Monty Oum is a Gamer equivalent to Les Paul and Steve Vai.  Monty spent hours learning how to create "Haloid" and "Dead Fantasy" videos he posted on You Tube. He discovered how to merge aspects of two well-known franchises into fight sequences between Spartan from Halo and Samus from the Metroid franchise.  Those in the gaming community consider Monty's work to be revolutionary and bad ass!  Those on the outside just don't get it.  Some may say that Monty had the advantage of going college but that isn't the case... he dropped out of high school, did his 10,000 hours in the wood shed discovering his "instrument" and his creativity, and took gaming and video production in a whole new direction.

Do you want to be known as "Revolutionary" and "Bad Ass" in music?  Follow the path of the revolutionary bad asses that proceeded you: do your 10,000 hours in the wood shed, discover your instrument and your creativity, and take music in a whole new direction.

That's My Rumor, and I'm Sticking To It.


 

Stage FRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Who would've thunk it?  A musician who gets stage fright after so many years of playing?  Yep! It happened this weekend.  Why?  Cuz the drummer said he would start doing some lead vocals with the Last Chance Saloon.  Why was this so frightening?  Because he was completely out of his element.

A seasoned drummer knows the little tricks used to "hide" his mistakes during a gig.  The drums, like a house's foundation, often get overlooked because most songs are built on top of the drums.  The melody and the words are the parts of the song everyone listens to and remembers.  People expect and want to hear such things.  This drummer hasn't shouldered the responsibility of sharing the melody and the message of the song with the audience.  That is the lead singer's job!!!!  The drummer's lead singing "debut" felt dismal.  Twas not an enjoyable experience.  But hope sprang eternal...

In the car, while driving away from the gig, the voice of reason (and years of drum instruction) chimed in. 

"First off, you were not prepared!"

He had a point.  I thought I was... but I wasn't.  I did not know the words with absolute certainty.  The instructor would not allow a student to walk into an audition with inadequate preparation.  So why did I do that to myself?  I give up... why?  There was another comment the instructor has shared along the way, during lessons and rehearsals

"You cannot sell something you do not own!"

And this is true in music.  I had not fully "bought" both the words and melody so it was very difficult to "sell" them with any real conviction.  People respond to confidence, not timidity. 

While driving to the following night's show, I devoted efforts to buying into the lyrics and their meaning while getting more comfortable with the melody.  And God bless cruise control too!!!  I lightly played the rhythms on the steering and floor board while mastering the melody and words.  The lead singing was better this time around. 

Phil Collins, Levon Helm, Don Henley, and The Rev are great lead singing drummers (and you gotta check out Bernard Purdie as he "Splains the Purdie Shuffle").  Perhaps I'll reach such levels of ability.  I know one thing for true...

I took one big step in the right direction towards over coming my lead singing fears.  More steps must be taken, and each will be a lot easier than this last weekend.

Prepare yourself, and "own it," and you to WILL over come your fears!!!!

That's My Rumor, and I'm Sticking To It!

P.S. Add yourself to my email list if you are interested in some of the behind-the-scenes activities.  This week's email will tell the tale of how duct tape save the gig!!!!

P.S.S  I know Bernard wasn't singing, but listen to the way he throws a little scattin' into the Purdie Shuffle.  It's just cool to listen to and watch

Tootles