=710= Reflections: Rest

I probably have quite a few posts on rest. From the top of my head I can remember a protected post named, “Sleepless Rest.”

I probably posted quite a few more on how I probably need more rest or how thankful I am for rest etc etc. Today I want to post on my one year break from ministry.

I remember talking to DL during one rehearsal, he asked if I have been practicing. I answered that I have been working on quite a lot of different things from before.

When I was serving twice a month in R-AGE, the things I had to work on was drastically different. I had to work on click discipline and being in the pocket a lot more. I had to prepare for sets during my practice time. I almost never ever worked on drum fills or chops because I knew that it was secondary to nailing the groove and beats down. Besides, after playing for so many years, certain fill-ins are so ingrained in me that I play without thinking about it.

This year, I had quite a lot of freedom. I was at most serving once a month. The rest of the time I had to practice, I spent on working on things that I never had the time to. Things like sextuplet chops, quintuplet chops, 32 note fills, odd time signatures, buzz rolls, push-pull technique, groups of 3/5 in a 16th note fill, open hand technique and basic polyrhythms are just a few things I worked on this year.

I must admit that not all will be used in a song. I mean, I have yet to find a song situation that would require me to pull out a quintuplet fill. There was once JK asked me what should he teach someone under him. I told him certain things and techniques that I thought was cool and useful. He then made a statement, “I want to teach what is needed.”

Kinda like I don’t want to teach something that is unnecessary. It kinda thrown me off a bit. I think that if you have been playing long enough, you will reach a point where you think you are pretty stable. You are able to keep time effectively, you are able to play and lead the band. Your grooves and fills are stable enough to get you by. Once you reach this point, if you are satisfied with your playing, you will stop trying to be better and I find that as a musician, that will be the start of the end as a musician. A musician should always want to improve. If you manage to be stable in one instrument, why not try another one? If you manage to play triplets, why not try developing a triplet fill that is usable in a song?

How are certain techniques unnecessary? Just because 80% of the songs you play don’t need you to use this certain pattern or technique doesn’t mean you don’t need it. What about the other 20%? Are you just going to stay there and be unable to play these songs properly?

And seriously, I never thought that playing an eighth note and eighth note triplet polyrhythm will be so useful in my playing for worship songs! Or more recently, I noticed with a cleaner buzz rolls technique, I am able to give nicer ghost notes feel.

I may not be as accurate and tight as when I was playing regularly, but I can safely say that I sound better now. Sometimes a perspective shift can help a lot in playing. I now don’t worry as much about being totally on time because I realised that you don’t have to be. Sometimes it is the flaws and out of time bits that makes it nice and beautiful. Certain things just works. You don’t have to be the best musician to play music. You just need to be playing until you improve.

As a result of the break, I was also involved in a lot more projects. Things like the Christmas marching band piece. It really forced me to practice certain things that I never would. Man, I really do love buzz rolls. HAHA

Thank you God for making me a better musician every year. Help me to continue to grow! Thank you Lord!


=709= Words of Melancholy: Being Slow

It has been quite a long while since I wrote a post with this sub title. HAHA, eventually all my thoughts became “Word” because I felt that it conveyed what I felt. Like you know when you agree with something and you say “Word!”

Recently my buddy irritated me. I love my buddy to bits, he constantly watches out for me and gives me advice and teaches me stuff, but he sometimes like to tell me things that I clearly know.

For example, once we were talking about tonality, and how my tone changes with what I feel. He couldn’t tell the difference and told me that there is no difference. I told him that I have a good ear. He then told me that I think I do, but I really don’t.

Well, just a bit irritated because I clearly have a trained ear you see. Perhaps, there is a certain pride in me about having a good ear because I am a sound engineer. I know that he meant I am not attentive to hear things most of the time; which I totally agree by the way. I don’t really bother being attentive all the time, but when I do pay attention, I hear it. Being attentive has nothing to do with having a good ear you see, it irritates me when he tells me that I don’t have it when I clearly do.

This time, he told me to do move off first without making sure that everyone has their weapon. After hearing it, I thought about it and I really don’t think waiting for 6 other guys to go through scan will take up that much time! So I continued to do so. After I did it another time, he told me again. Which I then told him, “how much time will it take?”

He then shot back, “can you just listen?”

We both then clammed up like the Asians we are, only talking about it after duty. I explained myself and he revealed that people have been saying that I am too slow and he only told me to do so because he did not want them to speak of me that way. I am once again in love with my buddy. AHAHAHA.

It was really disappointing though. I mean seriously, it was like my first 2 times doing such duties and they whine and complain that I am late? It isn’t that I am not doing my job properly man, I probably did my job better than quite a few people. On my first duty I already cleaned more than most of them.

It also irritates me when people demand me to do stuff. Things like taking out their uniform from their locker so that I would clean their locker. Or telling me to take out the sling when like I wasn’t even supposed to be in the room. TSK. Like, I seriously did my job already, will it seriously kill you to clean yourself or like take the sling out?

Come on man, you JUST came in. Have some sense.

Perhaps it is just a work ethic thing, but I think that I have already done plenty. I am just a bit disappointed. For the platoon that I have been loving and fighting for, I even cleaned for, they sure don’t know how to be appreciative. Perhaps only when I am out of the platoon will they feel the difference. -sigh- Lord, help me to love these people.

Father, encourage me again. Give me strength to move on.

Help me O Lord.



=708= Word: New Chapter

It is a nice time, these few days, really nice!

It seems like a new chapter is starting. Thank you God for giving me a chance!

May I not make mistakes that I have made before!

On another pojnt, after sharing about C to A, he kinda affirmed what ZQ said. It of course felt sour, but somehow it was kinda like a confidence booster for me! Kinda like I actually could have done it! However, may I have the wisdom that God has given me.

At your timing O Lord! At your timing!

Teach me more O Lord!


=707= Reflections: Value

I have been raving about this series that I started watching; Terrace House. It is a Japanese reality TV show where they put 6 strangers—3 men and 3 women—in a beautiful house with automobiles. It is unique because you get to watch the shows with commentators! Kinda like a react on a TV show. They would watch one segment and the commentators would dissect certain scenes, etc etc! It is pretty good! I really enjoy watching for the commentators! AHAHA!

So in the Boy And Girls In The City series of terrace house, there was an incident known as the meat incident.

Uchi, a hair dresser, had received expensive steaks from a client. The client was really happy with the service that his company had given and actually sent meat all the way down from Nagoya to Tokyo to them. Uchi having told his girlfriend that it was from a client, assumed that she knew that the meat was important to him.

However, Minori, Uchi’s girlfriend, decided to use the fancy meat for dinner one night. There were no other groceries at the house, so she just decided to use it, leaving none for Uchi. When Uchi came back and realised that there weren’t any of his meat left, he was furious!

Another member who ate the meat apologised to him. He explained that he did not like that something so precious to him was handled so easily without any thought. It may just be meat to them, but it meant a whole lot more than that to him. It meant that the client was appreciative of his work. He really worked very hard, so having received a gift like that meant a lot to him. Having it handled like that made him feel that they just wasted his hard work. He also gave an example. How would you like if someone handled something that someone special gave that easily?

It just proves to say that the value of something is what one puts to it.

Let us think of something mundane, perhaps paper! On surface, a piece of paper is what it is, paper. In fact to someone buying paper, it may be better to have it plain. Plain paper may have more value! However, now think of a contract, a driving license slip or a result slip or perhaps even a receipt, I am sure all these paper have greater value than plain paper. Be it practical(eg, warranty) or sentimental.

Let us think of music! To a normal person, a song may just be what it is, a song. To a musician, it may be the first song that they ever played on their instrument. To a Husband, perhaps it was the first song that the couple had danced to. To the person who recorded the track, it may be their first record that they put out. Surely the song is worth more than $0.99 to them.

Imagine you receiving a gift from someone you like, perhaps some food, I am sure you would want to at least have a bit of the food, even if you are willing to share.

May we understand value in things!


=706= Word: Never Give Up On Me

Yesterday during CAMY center stage, we were asked to share our thanksgiving. Almost immediately, I thought of my answer, thank you God for not giving up on me.

Through the years, God has never stopped pursuing me. Even though I sin. Even though I hurt Him. Even though I ran away, God still loved me. He never did give up on me. Even on the days that I wallow in self pity, God was there to comfort me. Even though I found it so hard to move forward. Even though I say that I love Him, my actions speaks otherwise.

Through the years, I have grown bitter, envious and cynical. Perpetually tired, I demanded answers from God. I have became envious of the people around me. Having things that I wanted and living the lives that I gave up on. I must have been so blinded then. I stopped praising God. I stopped loving Him.

Even this year when I took this year off ministry, I continued to struggle. I continued to be bitter. If you have ever tried to talk to someone that refuses to talk to you, you will know how bad it felt. You feel like giving up. You don’t know if constant pursuit may be worse than a period of silence. Despite of that, God never stopped loving me. Showing me grace whenever I needed it. Even though I cringe at every mistake I made. Even though I regret so many things I have done. God forgave me.

Oh Praise The Lord!

He has never forgotten me! He has never given up on me! Father, you are amazing! Thank you so much!