Drumming has been my constant companion for some 35 years. Drums and rhythm have seen me through many different situations, providing excitement, fun, stress relief, companionship, money, traveling, and, overall, a good life. My musical career has followed the ups and downs of many, who, are engaged in, well, life.
You’ve got to survive, provide food, shelter, and all the other basic necessities. And you also must take the time to enjoy what life can offer. I’ve had the opportunity to develop techniques and ideas, which have helped me to live a good life. At times it’s been easy and at others, a challenge.
Those are the “ups and downs”. What I’ve found out is that I need to develop many aspects of my musical self. Those aspects are Chuck Silverman as musician, communicator, educator, businessman, teacher and decent human being.
As a musician I believe that one must realize that this is communication field. Whether in a band and communicating on stage or at rehearsal, or on the phone looking for work, being understood is so important. Sounds basic, right?
But it isn’t! It’s an art that has to be developed, constantly sharpened and re-focused. And the art of communication stretches over your whole life as a drummer and musician, worker and player, lover and friend. You can use techniques from one area of your life to improve others.
Learning how to express your needs, from your heart, to band members, will give you the strength to speak this way with others. Knowing how to talk with respect to your significant other will help you to express yourself in other area. Respecting others, ah…a major key in the music of life.
Developing your drumming chops and developing your communication skills should go hand in hand. I am very fortunate to have great relationships with many top pros in the percussion products industry. It’s taken years to carefully cultivate these relationships. It’s not about putting your portfolio and 8×12 in somebody’s hand during a trade show.
It’s about remembering their name without looking at a badge, about knowing their wife’s name and sending thank you notes, sincerely. Sure, you’ve got to be able to play and play well in order to “get in the door”. But once in it’s so important to respectively use communication tools and techniques to the best of your abilities.
I believe that if you have something to offer, something that is unique and musical, you have to give it away, share it, with others. This can be done in many ways. The most obvious is to perform with as many musicians, in as many situations, as possible. You will quickly find out if what you feel so confident about really works, grooves, and feels good to others. What sounds great in the practice room…well you know the rest!
Get out and play!
There’s another way, which I have found to be a very effective way of sharing my drumming and music. I write. And write. And then I write some more. I get my ideas in print all over the world. Sure. it’s taken time to develop the network of magazines and web sites where my work can be read and studied. This only means that you can do it also.
Teaching is another wonderful way to develop everything we’ve been talking about. You almost have to be a very effective communicator to teach effectively.
You will learn almost immediately if you can teach. Your students will either come back or they won’t. That’s pretty basic but in many cases it is the barometer that you can count on. In order to teach well, I believe that you have to have creative and personal solutions to common drumming questions and problems. (Technique, grooves, balance questions, creative fills, soloing, etc.) So, you will be called upon to write and create. And your writing must be legible and intelligent, musical and grooving. It’s quite a challenge.
You want to be known, get your name out there, be called upon by other musicians, companies, magazines, and stores. You want to work internationally. Perform in countries like Japan, Holland, England, and Spain. See what you can provide to the drumming community that is unique, that hasn’t been examined before. Start writing it down.
Develop it into a method. Use it with some friends to see if it works. Start thinking in terms of a method book. Make sure that you’re not re-hashing drumming concepts already written about. Develop it thinking in terms of turning it into a publisher. Write that book. (You know, the one you know will sell all over the world!) Believe in it. Give it away to some stores and ask that the teachers there use it.
From my own personal experience, this is an amazing way to get your name out there. Hey, like Art Blakey once said, “If you’re not appearing, you’re disappearing!” Use every tool in your disposal to get and keep your name on other people’s lips.
What I have done with my music career is develop it in such a way as that in encompasses all of the above concepts.
I perform. I play drums and percussion all over the world. I play drums in the US, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, France, Cuba, Brasil, England, Canada, Mexico, Japan… the list goes on and on. I love playing drums. Maybe that’s why I have the opportunities I have.
I write. Name a magazine around the world and I’ve likely appeared in it as a contributor in some way. I write articles, columns, interviews and product reviews. I enjoy this part of the business. Why? It’s another part of the business and my name is attached to everything I write!
I create. Perhaps you’ve seen my books and videos. Much of the information found in my books, specifically my Practical Applications series, comes from my creative spirit. I respectfully develop ideas; which have their roots in deep rhythmic roots. Once again, my writing is a springboard to my performing. If I could not communicate effectively, writing or performing would not happen as much as it does.
Information is the key to almost everything about which I’ve been writing. You need to know where the gigs are. Who to call. Check out contact services in your area. The Musicians Union can sometimes be of assistance. Going to drum and music stores and getting to know the salespeople can help. Clubs, concerts, anywhere there’s music happening.
Get out and get noticed. Sit in. Groove and be confident.
Looking for that endorsement? Have a professional package ready to send to manufacturers, magazines, universities, free standing music schools. By professional, I mean not photocopies of a newspaper clipping. A professionally designed portfolio does not have to cost a lot of money. Learn about computers, desktop design, and graphics. (So much to do, so little time!!)
Find the tools that contain the information you need to get ahead!
You’ve got to groove. Playing drums is a groove. So are other forms of creativity. Ever heard of getting in a groove when you’re writing? Or surfing? Or biking? You’ve got to be confident that what you bring, whatever it is, is great! Sure, there will be all the ups and downs that life can and will bring. Knowing how to handle these situations with grace and strength, with confidence and personal power, is one of the keys to a long and successful music career.
We Do Events Too!
Want a very exciting, memorable party or corporate event?
Have a drum jam party for your guests.
We provide the percussion toys and together we will play incredible, organic rhythms and music.
Tapping toes & clapping hands welcomed !
Ages 10 – 99
Or, want to dance & clap your hands?
…… our performing percussion ensemble is always ready
to play for you.
Pfound Sound Pfunshops ™
HappyShel creates music with children and adults alike utilizing the three R’s of recycling: recycle, reduce and reuse.
Using throwaways like water bottles, plastic pails, brake drums, metal objects, plastic bottles, dowel rods, mop handles, mini M&M vials, plastic soda bottles, a little elbow grease, paper rolls, wood and assorted other “things,” HappyShel shares his knowledge on how to turn these objects into Pfound Sound musical instruments, sharing rhythms in community drumcircles with Pfound Sound or hand drums.
Benefit? Everyone makes a musical instrument, plays and keeps it. Making your own musical instrument creates sense of pride and accomplishment for each person.
HappyShel is available for birthday parties, after-school programs, Pfound Sound Pfunshops™ Pfundrumcircles™ for children and adults, corporate parties, team building, etc.
Fees & References upon request.