The Blindness of Inexperience

Just lately I had  a Deja’ Vu experience during drumming class. I witnessed  another percussion student  that was making progress in their drumming assume they now knew what they were doing more than they actually did. I happened to be sitting nearby and overheard some comments made about who was on the beat and who wasn’t which weren’t particularly  correct. I found myself starting to resent this, but stopped when I realized what I was doing.

I reflected back on how many times I have  made this very mistake: Probably hundreds in 12 years. It’s very easy to believe  that just because you are finally getting something, like the feel of a rhythm you’ve been grinding on for months, you are suddenly an expert on everything. I used to assume I knew more than I did  on a regular basis, only to get my comeuppance every time I started to get comfortable in my supposed drumming superiority.  More often than not, I’d be proved wrong quickly.

It’s taken me years to learn to  practice NOT making the assumption I know better  and NOT focusing on judging what others are doing, leaving that job to the master teacher. I’ve had to learn to be truly humble, because doing anything else always backfires and causes a whole lot of bullshit  I no longer want to put myself through.   This doesn’t mean I’m not aware of some of other people’s  mistakes here and there , but the real trick is being aware of and working on my own.  I don’t like being corrected or told how to drum by people I feel are unqualified to teach , so I try to not do the same to other drummers  unless they ask for my advice.

I don’t envy the master drumming teachers’  jobs of having to tolerate our ignorance, inexperience, lack of practice and skill at all. I’m now more patient and forgiving only because being anything else  wastes way too much energy and doesn’t change things or other peoples’ behavior  the least bit. I also don’t pretend to know anything unless I really do know it well, and that keeps me from putting my foot into my mouth 9 times out of 10.

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About Shirley

I started this blog to expand and explore my rhythm horizons as a hand drummer. That exploration includes touching on the rest of my life and inner world as authentically and truthfully as possible.
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