Sunday, September 25, 2011

A little 'timely' advice from an old pro!

Update 6-17-2012: The caller mentioned in this post is Sam Foster, former drummer for the Osmonds. I found out today that he passed away a few days ago. My condolences to his family for their loss. Sam was a kind, giving man and tried to help all that he came in contact with. My phone call from him is just one example of the way he lived his life, both personally and musically.

True story - I just got off the phone with a career musician, a drummer who studied at BYU, played in Synthesis, and toured and recorded with a very famous music group for over seven years.

Honestly, I didn't ask if I could quote him on my blog so I won't give you his name or more information, but he was really complimentary of my credentials and philosophy in my online ad (for teaching drum lessons) and - more importantly - asked that I teach my students two things:

1. "Make sure your students can read music very well." I completely agree! My caller said that one of the most important keys to his success as a pro was the ability to read drum music when it was given to him. It's common to have a short amount of time to prepare (especially on TV appearances) and that there was no way he could have survived without reading well.

2. This pro actually called me back after we had hung up to give this second piece of advice. Must be important, eh? He said to make sure that all of my students can play with a metronome. The first year he toured, he had a "really rough" time adjusting to playing with a metronome. It was the second most important skill he recommends to drummers who want to play professionally.

I was pretty happy to report to my caller that I teach both of these concepts religiously to my students (any of you want to comment below? Feel free!), but that I was grateful for the reminder and the endorsement of another professional, very accomplished musician.

So, to my caller: THANK YOU!! Your call made my night.

And, to my students: Read number 1 and 2 above again. Important reminders on two basic skills that will help to ensure your success as a musician.

Happy drumming!


  1. Two of the best pieces of advice any musician - not just drummers - can ever get.
    Thanks, Keith, you're the best. Period!

    1. Many thanks, Walter. Very kind of you to say so. Thank the late Sam Foster!

  2. Thanks for the piece, Keith. I, too, stress the importance of both of those philosophies when I teach.

    1. It's amazing how many students don't want to hear it, but chart reading and time keeping are what get you a job. In many cases, "chops" are a nice perk at best, and a total distraction at worst. Thanks for stopping by, Carl!


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