The missus sent me a link to her niece’s boyfriend’s website. “An incredible guitarist”, she said. So of course I had to go online and check out both his and his band’s websites. In mere minutes I was able to get an idea of what they were all about. Pretty cool!This level of convenience is truly astounding. There was a time when the only way to see someone play was to get your butt out to a club or concert. And if that artist had a habit of avoiding your neighbourhood, then you had to make do with the occasional TV appearance or a road trip.
Now we just have to 'Google it' and voilà -- gobs of good stuff that might have taken years to discover in olden times!
I like to stay informed, or I should say I really hate being out of touch or behind the times. So if I hear about an interesting drummer, I often will look them up online. I like to look for a live performance. It’s the best way to get the full story and it's almost always entertaining. And seeing a performance -- even on grainy video -- is educational and inspirational.
While I’m investigating contemporary music, I'm also checking up on the competition. It's good to know what others in your field are up to so you can stay both up-to-date and relevant. So naturally I always investigate what other drum teachers are doing online. It can be a good source of ideas for what to do and what not to do as a teacher.
But there’s dark side to this abundance. We can too easily take things for granted. If I can see it any time, then why hurry? It'll be there tomorrow. True, it likely will be there, but it won't be where it counts: as part of your experience.
Conversely, it's easy to overload ourselves with information. For example, after a day of watching drums solos on YouTube you'll likely be more confused about soloing than before. Also, don't mistake idly watching videos for actual research.
So don't put it off. Go online and find out what other people are up to ... and then get out and see some live music.