I did something I’d always been scared to do

Well, it’s not secret, and I’ve often said it when I’ve spoken or taught: If I could be a full time drummer, I would quit Flash in a second (ok millisecond). But apparently, I’m better at flash (which isn’t saying much) than I am at drums which is somewhat depressing actually 😉

on a total fluke, I ran across Guitar Center’s banner add for the annual Drum Off competition. I’ve been playing for over 25yrs now and NEVER entered a competition. To be honest, I was pretty well scared to do so. I’ve played in front of 3000 people before, but for some reason, sitting down infront of other drummers and trying to “impress” them…well, that was just nerve wracking.

[ Me, Riley and her friend ]

The drum off was the same day I’d read about it, and I’d mentioned it to my wife. She encouraged me to do it, and well, I sat down for an hour and hacked out an idea to play on and went to the store to sign in as an alternate. The signups had been available for weeks, so, there were only slots available if someone didn’t show up. I was thinking I might be safe and I wouldn’t make it in! “oh well, I tried” would have been my thought. As it turns out, there were spots available so I was able to get right in – yay. Then, we had to draw #’s to see who’d go first. You should have seen the blood leave my face as I picked… you guessed it …#1. Oye vey – what in the world had I gotten myself into?!?! no practice, first time ever and I’m first up. Murder me. Just bludgeon me to death.

Well, I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I thought I would be, and I got to meet the other guys and they were fantastic guys – so that was really encouraging. I really do think God heard my prayers and calmed me down a bit. I sat down, and had a really great time playing – I was pretty calm, not too nervous and I didn’t embarrass myself – which was my #1 goal – just don’t embarrass yourself!!. After it was over, I’d come in 2nd place and that means I go back in 2 weeks and repeat the craziness!! I could hardly believe my ears when they announced it. Anyway, it was a real moment for me and I broke through a major fear and wanted to share it with you guys.

I’m not kidding and I don’t really want to turn people off with “God talk” but, I prayed for calmness and a clear mind and I seriously think God stepped up for me in that moment and he deserves credit. I really expected to be nutty to be quite honest. I’m just so thankful that it wasn’t embarrassing.

Here’s the video – I doing a story with the drum solo, and the beginning of the story I said it was about “Riley and Luke, my kids who conspire to get to the candy…” – and no, that’s not my kit. They only allow you to bring your snare, kick pedals, sticks and throne.

  1. WOOOOW!

    • Trevor
    • October 2nd, 2008

    cheers dude, you rock!

  2. Congrats John! It’s awesome that you did this and more awesome that you placed 2nd. I’ve seen you drum, play guitar and code Flash. I’m pretty sure you have nothing to be nervous about any of them.

    • djmike
    • October 2nd, 2008

    rock on john! great solo man! i found myself nodding my head to the beat. congrats!

    • Matt
    • October 2nd, 2008

    Fantastic, John! I’m a drummer as well, and I must say that you’re a very good player!

    • Sam
    • October 2nd, 2008

    you are a better man sir. i don’t know if I have the guts to enter the Drum Off. Congrats!

  3. @Matt: thanks for that man, I really appreciate the encouragement!

  4. @Sam: Well, i’ve been chicken for some 25yrs now, so, I probably have a much wider yellow streak than most 😉

  5. John,

    You AMAZE me! Seriously, is there anything you can’t do? And you stay humble…you truly rock.

  6. Yeah I can’t balance a checkbook to save my life, it’s a total struggle to remember my wife’s schedule and remain “engaged” in her life, and I don’t pray enough. Even when I do, I think I pray about petty stuff, so there you go 😉 LOVE YOU PHIL!

    • Chad Mefferd
    • October 2nd, 2008

    Great playing. Thanks for sharing this.

    BTW- I think it’s AWESOME that you are giving God the credit!

    Rock on John!

  7. SWEET… Im not a drummer and know very little about it but that impressed me alot. Its not often you get to hear/see solos these days. Congrats on putting yourself out there… ROCKED

  8. Thanks Chad and Campbell – yeah I would agree about solo’s, it’s a shame!

  9. eh… i’ve seen better

    nice work john 😛

  10. @Andy: LOVE YOU

  11. nice finish!!!!

  12. that was rad. i remember seeing you drum at FITC Hollywood a couple years back demoing Red5. You da man!

  13. Whatever works for you man, if you think it’s God, then God it’s : )

    I don’t think so, but I’m happy you did something you dreamt about and you did it great!

  14. Aha, so that’s what you were doing while we were all in Brighton!

    Great job, the fact that you just did it and even got rewarded proofs you made the right choice. Good luck with the second round!

  15. What class did you extend for that performance?

  16. IPFreely class, which implements the Soiled interface.

    • Allan
    • October 3rd, 2008

    Way to give credit where credit is due!

  17. WOOHOOO!!!! Rock ON!

  18. Nice John and I appreciate you sharing about God as well. It’s nice go give credit where credit is due. Keep rockin’!

  19. Great playing and good praying ;).

  20. Congrats man! Proud of you for facing your fears and for not being afraid to give credit where you believe it is do. \m/

  21. Pray, play, and win the day – way to go John!!!

    • musicalinstrumentspercussion
    • February 16th, 2009

    Nice one, that was excellent. 🙂 This is the only blog post of your I have read, so now I’ll have to search away for the follow up. 🙂

    All the best from Scotland,
    Djembe Drum Shop

    • yeah I hadn’t posted a follow up or video – I need to do that!

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