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    Who Needs a Coach?

    John Melley - Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    Many of you know in addition to being a voice actor and producer that I have a passion for drumming and a big fan of the band RUSH from Canada.

    I think part of my interest in drumming comes from watching RUSH's drummer Neil Peart (Pronounced "Peert"). For those who don't know about Mr. Peart, he is considered one of, if not the best, rock drummers in the world.

     Neil Peart plays a drum solo during RUSH's 30th Anniversary Tour. It builds slowly and then really takes off at around 6:50. If you want to watch an artist in action. Take 8 minutes and 43 seconds and watch this. Very cool.

    Back in the 1990s Neil was stuck in his playing. He was amazing back then and a casual observer might ask "He's the best. Why does he need to get better"?

    But Neil felt his playing could improve, so he sought out a coach to help him with his playing. He found Jazz great Freddy Gruber who taught him a new way to hold his sticks, that the space between the hits on the drum head were just as important as the hits themselves.

    Freddy worked with Neil and he relearned his drumming from the ground up. His drum kit was set up differently. He re-learned the drums after 30 years of playing.

    What compels someone to do that? Excellence.

    Neil also did something interesting. He went outside his field to find a coach. It's no accident that Neil went to find a new way to improve his craft by asking a Jazz player instead of another rock drummer.

    Sometimes it's better to go outside your area of expertise to get a different perspective and achieve the most growth.

    Who needs a coach? In my opinion, anyone who wants to achieve excellence in what they're passionate about.

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