RULE 12: Relax... 'Cuz Drums!




Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
— Chinese Proverb


This week's video comes straight from my friend Ryan Knudsen, host of the Ryan Is Super Strong Podcast. Anyone who knows Ryan will tell you that besides being a great drummer, he's a happy, fun, and hilarious guy. 

In the video above, you'll see that Ryan sent me some silly 3-word phrases for 100 Rules For Drummers, but he actually also sends an important message to all of us which is, at the end of the day, we're just playing music! Relax everybody!! We can get so caught up in making progress, being perfect, achieving more, gigging more, making more money, etc. that sometimes we forget to just have fun!

When I was a student in high school, I'd sit in class and think about drumming all day long. As soon as I got home from school, I'd race to the drum set and play until my mom got home from work. I did this every day, and I was just having fun! I wasn't thinking about improving myself necessarily, I was just drumming because it was FUN!

As we get older, we can sometimes get bogged down with "real life", and many of us forget what that feeling we had when we were children. That innocence, that joy in just doing what makes us happy.



This week, your assignment is...  to have no assignment. For just one week, I want you to abandon the goal-driven mindset that you've probably been developing your whole life. I want you to abandon the pressures of feeling like you aren't good enough. Don't try to be perfect... don't try to "improve"... just relax, enjoy what you're doing and have fun!

I challenge you this week to reconnect with what it is that drew you to your instrument in the first place... Remember, you're playing MUSIC!! 



How can you apply this concept beyond the drums and into the rest of your life? Reply with your answer in the comments section of this post!




Thank you to Ryan Knudsen for providing this week's 3-word tip: RELAX... CUZ DRUMS! 

Ryan is a professional drummer and host of the podcast "Ryan Is Super Strong". Born in Wichita, KS, Ryan Knudsen picked up his first set of drumsticks while in 5th grade, and hasn’t stopped playing since. 
After performing and teaching throughout his high school years, in the fall of 2006, Ryan was awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship and began his college career at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. At KU, he studied solo marimba and orchestral percussion with Kevin Bobo, while performing locally in Lawrence, Kansas City and Wichita. 
In the fall of 2007, Knudsen transferred to the prestigious Jacob’s School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. There he continued his studies under Kevin Bobo and John Tafoya, but quickly made the transition to studying drum set and world percussion full time with professors Steve Houghton and Michael Spiro. During his time at IU, Ryan was an active performer, recording artist, and educator throughout southern Indiana, including a two-day lecture series on Afro-Cuban and Brazilian Percussion at Indiana University for the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble.

As an artist and musician, Knudsen has worked with renowned teachers and gifted performers such as David Baker, Jeremy Allen, Mike Clark, Steve Hatfield, Valerie Lippoldt Mack, Bernard Woma, Corey Christiansen, Sandy Perez, Dr. Djo Bi, and Jesus Diaz. 
Ryan has performed at the 2006 national ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) National Convention, attended the Explorations in Afro-Cuban Dance and Drum workshop at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA in July of 2010, and performed at the 2009 and 2010 PAS (Percussive Arts Society) International Convention; earning first place honors in the World Drum Set Category of the 2010 PAS Drum Set Competition. He also helped lead the Hunter Diamond and Ryan Knudsen Sextet to Second Place honors in the 13th Annual Latin American Music Recording Competition in Bloomington, IN. 
Ryan was proud to work with his mentor Michael Spiro as a founding member of the IU Latin Jazz Ensemble (aka: The Latin Jazz Collective). Ryan also performed on and managed the production/release of the Latin Jazz Collective’s latest album “¡Que Sorpresa!”.

As a performing artist, Knudsen has performed in several musical productions under the direction of Terry LaBolt, including “The 24th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, “Anything Goes”, “Music Man”, and “RENT.” He also provided back-up for the legendary vocalist Sylvia McNair. 
Knudsen graduated from Indiana University at the end of 2010 with his Bachelor’s in Music Performance; but his research continued on a two week trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to study with multiple Samba Escolas under the guidance of master drummer, Jorge Alabe.

As a band leader, Knudsen is perhaps best known for his popular, eight-piece Latin Jazz band, El Fuego Lento, and his highly acclaimed group, The Media Noche Trio with Coleman Cook and Max Marshall. 2011 has proven to be an amazingly busy and fruitful year, beginning with his studies in Rio de Janeiro, the release of the album “MNT” with The Media Noche Trio, followed immediately with an extensive, 10-week tour with the group through the Midwest and South East Coast, performing at a variety of venues, presenting master classes and giving private lessons to young musicians, students and teachers at universities and public schools throughout the region.

In August of 2011, Ryan relocated to Los Angeles to continue pursuing his career goals in that environment. Since being there, he has been studying with Fausto Cuevas (Stevie Wonder, Santana, Etc), performing regularly as a freelance performer (with groups like the Los Alamitos Show Choir, Martin Luther McCoy, Rudy Love Jr., and Afro-Cuban dance instructor, Kati Hernandez), and recording artist (including finishing tracks on Sylvia McNair’s upcoming Latin Love Song Album, “Romance”).

Ryan Knudsen endorses Remo drumheads and LP Percussion products.

Steve SuchComment