As a drummer, keeping time is my job. As I write that it seems to me that ‘keeping time’ is a bizarre phrase. How are you supposed to keep it? In music, it makes perfect sense and is an amalgamation of staying in time and keeping everyone else in time. We have natural pushes and pulls in the timing, especially when playing live but when everyone goes together and ‘feels it’ (what have I told you before about the cheap jokes) then it just works.
In every other aspect of life, we, of course, can’t keep time. It passes by relentlessly. We often complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day and lament that time is of the essence. In the band, we often tell ourselves that the time is now. We have to remind ourselves that we are not just musicians, we are our own record label, manager, promoter, merchandiser, marketer, producer, booking agent, A&R and all the other things that come along with being independent musicians. The time to do all the things we need to do is now, otherwise they won’t get done.
When it comes to doing things that we want to do its easy to say “I don’t have time”. I was having a conversation with my brother recently, as my youngest son was bashing and strumming on the acoustic guitar in my living room, he said (my brother, not my son) I’d love to learn the guitar – but I don’t have time. My answer to him was one I had thought about quite a lot recently after telling myself I’d love to learn to play the piano. You do have time, if you really want to do it. If you want it enough, you will just do it. Time is not a factor in doing the things we want to do, its not that we find or even make the time (how would you even do that) its just we dedicate the time to do it. Just like me writing this, I want to do it so I’m doing it. I want to go to band rehearsal even though I’m working a night shift afterwards so I’m going to go and do it. It turns out that I don’t really want to learn piano and my brother doesn’t really want to learn guitar and that’s fine. Let us just be honest with ourselves, we do have time. We’d just rather be doing something else.
While I’m talking about doing things we want to do, I had another conversation recently with someone via Facebook who has recently left his steady job and moved up to the most northern part of the British mainland to set up a campsite (that doesn’t do it justice and I hope he forgives me if it sounds underwhelming). His journey is amazing, no I’m not talking about the drive up there although I have visited that part of the world and it is stunning. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading his blogs and Facebook posts. His humour and delivery are right up my street but more than that I have found his journey to be quite inspirational. I am someone, as we have established previously, who has chosen to do things I want to do, rather than sticking myself in a job where I have to grind and be unhappy – been there, not anymore thanks – Anyway, I’m in danger of rambling off in a different direction (camping/outdoors theme). We were messaging back and forth about how lucky we are to have found something that we want to dedicate our time to but he wished it had been sooner than when he was in his 40’s. It’s easy to look at things and say I wish I’d have done this years ago, but I believe there is a time for everything and as we like to say in our band – The time is now, yours is too.