Thursday, August 28, 2008

Working My Notice

I think I've already mentioned it but I'm currently "working my notice" so to speak with Mimosa, the funksters.

I've never been through this before and it's an interesting experience. I decided to leave them because of various things, most of which I don't want to go into any great detail about. But, at the time I decided, the band had a couple of pending gigs in the diary. I told them I was leaving and said that I'd be happy to do the gigs that I'd committed to and come to band practices as required. I also said that I'd be happy to jump now if they had another drummer lined up.

They asked me to stay for the gigs and here I am, going to band practices every week, a gig on Saturday, then my last one with them about a month later. I'd quite like to tell you that I'm going to concentrate on my solo career or something and, in a funny way, that is my plan.

I've got the covers band, which I'm enjoying immensely. The music in a covers band isn't as challenging as playing originals but it's often more fun to play live. The guys are fun and interesting, with little band politics or "issues". It's also more relaxed in terms of commitment, which suits me too.

In the short term my plan is to just play in the one band and do some woodshedding. I know the term woodshedding sounds like something one of Soixante Neuf's boyfriends would do about twenty minutes before she's due to arrive at his place, but that's not what it means in drummer language. No, it means serious practice on one's own, not necessarily in a shed but I guess that would be the proper definition.

I intend to use much of my freed up time to improve my playing and go back to some more studying of the drums. Since I started playing I've strongly believed in the value of getting out there and playing with others. There's no substitute, you can be the best drummer, or the best on any instrument, in the world, if you play alone in your bedroom. It's only when you go out and play with others that you move up some notches and learn certain things.

For the last couple of years I've been doing so much band playing that I haven't had much practice time, nor much desire to practice. It's ironic. I was talking to a creative friend the other day who told me that he spends so much energy on being creative in his job during the day that, when he goes home, he's kind of spent. He can't write a book because his creativity is used up by being creative during the day.

It's like that. I spend so much time going to band practices that I often don't feel like practicing. My playing still improves and moves on from the practice I get in band practices, but it's only certain aspects of my playing. The improvements are in very specific areas. I might be able to play half decent funk or sound like Taylor Hawkins (neither of which I can do) but I won't learn how to play jazz from the bands I'm in. Sometimes the only way one can find out what's over the edge is to jump, or be pushed of course.

I think that with the covers band will satisfy my need to play with others and the practice will help me improve and learn new things, until I start to yearn for more.

That's where I'm at now and the thing is this working my notice business is quite hard to deal with at times. I've never done it before to be honest. All the other times I've left bands it's been a sudden thing, either me leaving or the unit disbanding.

The biggest challenge is that the guys' hunt for a new drummer really tests my sense of abundance. Mimosa is a really fantastic band and I've been involved since day one. The drum parts on each of our original songs are mine, written and thought up by me, played by me and sometimes developed by me or all of the band. They're not complicated or technically challenging but they are mine, like little babies that I've had and nurtured.

And now I'm half in and half out. I'm trying to be open and abundant and interested in how their drummer hunt is going, yet a part of me feels pretty damn scarce about it.

Abundant Rhythmic is all adult and sensible. Abundant Rhythmic wants them to find a drummer who's much better than me, who might come in and have his (or her) own ideas and might make them sound better. Abundant Rhythmic wants them to find someone who improves the band. Abundant Rhythmic wants to watch them with the new improved drummer and to enjoy it and feel good about it.

In the other corner Scarce Rhythmic feels a bit differently. He wants them to struggle to find a replacement, or to get a crap one. He wants them to audition loads of hopefuls and turn them all down because they're not up to the high standard set by the master (that's me in case you hadn't realised). He wants to go to a gig and watch them crash and burn with the new pillock, the total idiot who they don't even like. He wants to hear the audience say that the band is good but the new drummer lets them down.

For the past weeks I've been there at band practice as always, playing the songs we've done for the past three years and getting them wrong in the same place as ever. Abundant me has been asking how the recruitment drive is going, while Scarce me has been all angsty and narky to hear that there are now three people interested and they might be auditioning next week.

Abundant me tells them that they should just let me know and I'll make myself scarce on that day. Scarce me feels that I'd love to suggest I sit in to give them my "expert" opinion on the hopefuls. Scarce me knows what I'd tell them anyway.

A band practice tonight and the last but one gig is on Saturday night. And I finally think I've found my perfect balance of scarcity and abundance. I know exactly what I want them to do.

They need to find a brilliant drummer, one who I think is fantastic, who I think makes them sound better. Then they need to tell me that they think he's fantastic and brilliant, only not as good as me.

That'll suit me.

After all they're my drum parts.

11 comments:

FINroD said...

mate dont u have lyk a DAY JOB??? :S

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

finrod - Yes I do. All the drumming stuff is done outside of work.

themissingsandwich said...

Scarce you is only feeling those things that make you human right? I think he actually sounds like the more believeable half of you. Abundant you is just what you want everyone to think of you after all right? ;-)
Fear not, I'm intuitive about this things, the new drummer will be ok. But he won't be you, just like you wanted.

Soixante Neuf said...

I agree with TMS. He may be good but he will certainly lack your fabulousness.

See?

If you ever need an ego-boost, your blog fans will never fail to make you feel better :D Especially the ones of the stalker variety.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

TMS - thanks. I think abundant me looms quite large in my overall personality to be honest. I do really want them to find a great replacement, just not too great!

6 - Aaah thanks, have a look at the myspace for the band if yuo want to hear some songs. You'll want to kidnap me even more then!

FINroD said...

mate wats ur myspace page then.. wud love to check out ur music.. :D

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

finrod - It's www.myspace.com/mimosaband

keep it to yourself though!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

finrod - no worries, I didn't publish that last comment of your's because of the name thing. Hope you enjoy it!

FINroD said...

hahahaha ok ok no name calling then hehehe.... DUDE thts brilliant!! Funk & Jazz!! WOAH!!! its all about the funk baby!!! absolutely looooove it... avid fan man... of music hehehe in general... btw... ur drummings snazzy man!! thts brilliant btw if u dint get the lingo :P lol

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Ermmm thanks finrod. Or perhaps I should call you dude. Man.

Confab said...

hey buddy,
i've not had a chance to catch up on ur blog, what with blogger being blocked at work, and then moving back fromr sg.

kudos to ur efforts to learning ur instrument. i'm sure u'll find many more mimosas when ur good and ready.