In today’s blog post I want to talk about the importance of a reading and writing music. As a worship drummer, I believe this is a highly underrated skill simply because you don’t see a lot of worship drummers reading off of charts on Sunday. When I say "reading and writing music" that’s not exactly what I’m talking about.
In my opinion reading and writing music goes so much deeper than just being able to read notes off of a page. I believe playing drums without being able to read music is kind of like trying to memorize words and what they mean without being able to write in the language you speak.
Many drummers, early on, exercise their ears because it’s much easier and more accessible compared to learning the language of reading music. Don’t get me wrong, being able to listen and play what you hear is very important, BUT if you combine that skill with reading and writing notation your ability to hear complex rhythms will skyrocket exponentially.
Let’s be honest, much of being a worship drummer entails learning new songs on a semi-regular basis (depending on how bored your worship leader gets). Once I went to college and practiced ear training AND reading rhythms I could not only hear and replicate what was being played, but I could now also visualize it in a language made specifically for music. This made the execution of actually playing what I’m hearing more accurate and clear.
I am not even talking about necessarily being the absolute best sight reader in the world, because, honestly, I never have been. Even if it takes me a little bit of time to decipher a measure of notes it helps me so much because, like many drummers, I am a visual learner. Seeing it is sometimes just as helpful as hearing it.
In this week’s youtube video I am playing The Great I Am by Jared Anderson. This song has always been so fun to play and at the end of the video I speak a little more on the benefits of reading music at the end of the video. My favorite line in the whole song is “there is no power in hell, or any who can stand”. This gives me great comfort because I know whatever hardships I am facing I know that God is bigger and He is going to see me through. The same goes for you and I hope the song blesses you as much as it does me.
Watch the video here
Your Brother in Christ,