LoginCreate ProfileSubscribe


The Importance of Sharing

Article by Jayson Brinkworth // April 02 2011
The Importance of Sharing

In this day and age of information being at our fingertips, I am finding it really easy for students to take it for granted. I mean, if we wanted to see our favourite player or findout about a certain band, we can just click on YouTube or Wikipedia and BAM, there it is.

As much as this is very convenient, and frankly still blows my mind, nothing will replace sitting down with a group of musicians and engaging in conversation. Just like music, sitting and conversing with people creates an emotional experience that we hang on to for a long time.

Well this was the case when I asked a friend of mine to take time out of his very busy schedule to sit with some students and chat. The friend I speak of is Dave McAfee from Toby Keith’s band. Dave is no stranger to The Black Page as he was one of the drummers in our Nashville Roundtable from June and July 2009.

I had found out in December that Toby Keith was playing here in February and was excited to see Dave and the band again, as we had toured with them in 2008. As I was writing Dave to say we needed to hangout when he was here, I realized that Dave had a ton of information that other drummers could benefit from. It was at this point that the email went from me hanging out with him to us drummers hanging out with him. I pitched him the idea of a very informal clinic, no playing, just sitting in a room with a bunch of musicians, answering questions and sharing information.

Dave was very open to the idea, but was being realistic at the same time. He didn’t know when they were headed up from the US and didn’t want to guarantee 100% just in case they had a delay at the border or any of the other 100 things that could stall their travel.

So in January I sent out an email to all musicians I thought would be interested in this event and stated that it may not happen and we wouldn’t know until possibly the day of. The response was positive so I started putting the event together, knowing full well that it may not happen.

Dave kept me updated on travel plans and I kept everyone in the loop. It was all looking great until the day before the event and Dave calls. They are stuck in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and he isn’t sure if they are even going to make it for the show as the highway is closed for 120 miles! He says he will keep me posted but it doesn’t look good. But, after a while, Dave sends me more messages later in the day saying they are on their way and all will workout.

The next day, I pick Dave up at the venue and we head to Music In The House for our “Drums at Lunch” get together. We have some prizes sent from Vic Firth and Aquarian, so as we get setup people start arriving. In total, the event was attended by 17 musicians of all ages and skill levels.

We start off by chatting about Dave’s current gig with Toby Keith and get in to sessions he has worked on and gigs from the past. Dave’s down to earth personality comes through in all of his comments and answers, and the students feel comfortable asking all sorts of great questions.

Dave really stresses the idea of being a team player, and that you don’t have to be the best player, you just have to be the right one for a given situation. He also talks about himself playing drums because he absolutely loves it—and this really comes through honestly if you have ever heard him play. Dave also downplays his drumming, as many of us do, but don’t be fooled. Dave can rock as hard as anyone, has a ton of chops you don’t see on the Toby Keith gig, and is an encyclopedia of grooves.

He talks about being diverse as a drummer and learning about the business side of things to have a career in the industry. One of the best quotes of the day was Dave explaining playing live with a click and the band pushing and pulling once in a while. He said, “At this point you could focus on being technically correct, but it could lead to being realistically unemployed.” We also had planned on the session running from noon till 1pm, but wrapped up around 2:15! Don’t forget that this was a show day for Dave, and they had just travelled through some brutal weather to make it here.

Dave also shared information on working in the studio. (Check out the last two Jamey Johnson albums) We also talked about gear and why he uses and endorses the products he does. We heard stories of the video and pyro side of a live Toby Keith show, and a few funny things that have happened over the years on stage.

I have been involved in many drum clinics, as either the clinician, the host, the promoter or a helper. I do like the clinic aspect of drumming in the performance and technical lessons learned. I do really like this “Drums at Lunch” idea and being able to interact with a great player in conversation as we can learn a lot this way. It is almost becoming a lost part of our learning process as players.

My friend Dave taught me a great deal at this event. First, about his experience and the information he shared on drumming. Second, and probably most importantly, that we as musicians have a responsibility to share our information and music with others. Music, just like life, should not be a selfish venture. The biggest rewards are returned when we allow ourselves to be selfless.

I am really hoping that I can hook up with other players coming through our area to do more of the “Drums at Lunch” sessions. Thank you to Dave McAfee for his time, information and inspiration.



Login to view comments and join the discussion.

About the Author
Jayson  Brinkworth

Jayson Brinkworth is an accomplished drummer, percussionist, vocalist, educator and writer based out of Canada. He is co-owner of the Saskatchewan music school Music In The House, as well as the founder of both the Regina Drum Festival and The Stickman Drum Experience.

Jayson proudly endorses Yamaha drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Evans heads, Impact cases, Kickport, Flix, Future Sonics and Mountain Rhythm. Visit Jayson online at www.jaysonbrinkworth.com.

Editor's Choice
  • For Your Ears Only

    For Your Ears Only
    Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably well aware of the dangers we as drummers face... (more)
  • 7 Must-Have Drum Toys For 2017

    7 Must-Have Drum Toys For 2017
    Tax season is soon upon us, and for those of us getting a return it's time to start thinking about that... (more)
  • Billy Cobham

    Billy Cobham
      It is incedibly humbling to talk to someone you respect and admire. And when that person can also... (more)