=126= Worship on/off Stage: Metronome

I never realised how this platform got attention. Recently when I check my stats there are actually readers of my blog! O_O some views are from US as well! That really surprised me! Thank you for bearing with my extremely emo posts. 🙂 Well, I am extremely depressed now, so please bear with me again. I have to get this off my chest.

I can’t keep time.

My timing is horrible.

I keep speeding up.

I am not trying my best.

Except, I am. I am trying my best. I really want to be a better drummer so I can serve God and play better hence give a better offering to God. That was why I agreed to using the metronome in rehearsals and services. I knew that my timing and tempo was not the best, so when Leb started using metronome in rehearsals, I thought it might help me. I just underestimated how difficult it was or how out of tempo I have been.

I tried using the metronome for the second time in rehearsals. It was horrible. I thought that the problem was with me being unable to hear the metronome properly. Hence I used the stereo mix to my advantage. I panned everyone off center except vocals and bass. So the metronome would be clearer. It was clearer, but the problem was not the volume of the click, the problem was with me. It was when Isaac said, “don’t follow the vocals, make the vocals follow you” that I realised where the problem was. The problem was how I keep time.

For this whole time, the way I kept time was I would sing to myself. It was what helped me keep time over the past one year and a half of serving. I was following the singers, not the metronome. So basically, in my entire journey of serving, I actually never knew what tempo to play, what speed it was; everything was based on approximation.

I remember reading on Leb’s blog that he felt horrible when he was recording drums for No One Else because he could not keep time with the metronome. Let me borrow a phrase from him, “can you imagine what is it like to be a drummer that can’t keep time?” Can you imagine how horrible it feels to be a drummer who can’t do his job properly? I felt so useless in the third song today. I am trying. I am. There is a reason why I hate the phrase “do, don’t try”. I mean, come on, how can I do without trying? I am giving my best, but it does not seem enough. Perhaps I am wrong, maybe my best is not not enough, my best is wrong. Now I am trying to make my best right, please bear with me in this period. I will have to try over and over until I get it.

This feels like probation once again. Foreign to the language that the band speaks, I am simply doing what I do; I simply play what I think is correct. Along the way, you know what to work on—right timing to do fills, dynamics—but you struggle to be able to do those things. Everyone around a you know that you are not playing the right thing, you know you are not, but you have no idea how to play the right thing because you feel overwhelmed with so many things at hand. You walk out of rehearsals with so much to work on. So you struggle. You struggle until you are able to do it. I may be foreign to the language of the metronome, but you are going to bet I am going to work the crap out of it. I am frustrated. I am not going to let it end like this.

Wrong motivation can be deadly. If I am working on this so I can be a better musician, I miss the whole point and should not be leading worship on stage. I should be motivated to do this because I want to offer a better offering to the Lord or to be able to lead people to worship smoother.

I guess the fact that I am playing drums is a huge fact that keeps me humble. I am always so loud, any mistakes, big or small, will be heard. So I have to strive for excellence. When I finally managed to do it, if I am arrogant again, I simply have to play a new song and be horrible at it, that will remind me to be humble. l am constantly reminded of how much there is to learn and how far off I am from perfection. If I settle, that is stupid, I may be at level 20 but I need to be at least level 60 to be able to (pardon the Pokemon reference) defeat Elite Four.

I remember of how Dr Paul Brand wrote in his book that the Skeleton has to be hard to be useful. If not you will cripple the body from being able to run, jump or even walk. A skeleton is hard so it can free the body. Same way, I have to be hard as the skeleton of the song so that people can be free to worship.

Lord, be my comfort and assurance. Be my wisdom and strength as I prepare for this set and for other sets to come. Give me the power and confidence to be solid and steady. So that everyone can follow me as we lead worship.
Thank you Lord!

Sorry about this extremely emotional post. Thank you for being patient with me.