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I recently attended the NAMM convention in Los Angeles. Ever since I was 10 years old, I've been watching and following pro drummers and idolizing them for their incredible skill. The chance to meet a few of my drum heroes this weekend made attending the convention a really special experience. I got to meet Kenny Aronoff, known as one of the very best drummers in the world. He has shared the stage with countless A-List artists like Adele, The Smashing Pumpkins, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Elton John, and the list goes on and on. He has played on albums that have collectively sold 300 Million copies. I had the chance to attend a lecture by Kenny that gave a brief synopsis of the book that he just had published. I've heard it is getting rave reviews. In his lecture Kenny explained the 7 keys to success in life or in any pursuit. He was also completely hilarious- so full of vitality, humor, and positivity. I think his advice is really fantastic for any musician who is serious about their craft, or for anyone who wants to be successful in their career.
Kenny Aronoff's 7 tips to be successful and stay successful in your career:
- Self-discipline: make yourself do something you don't necessarily want to do. Put in the work to be great. Once you learn self-discipline in one thing you can apply it to everything else in life. Stay on it. You will get further.
- Hard work fueled by passion and dedication, keep learning and educating yourself. This is the gasoline to drive you forward.
- Create a plan that you execute to reach your goal. Lots of people have ideas but don't do anything with them. 0=0. If you haven't applied yourself and put the time in you're not gonna make/sustain it. Think like a running back. You're gonna get hit, you need to focus on getting to the end zone. Don't feel you have to make it in one day or week or year. There are no shortcuts.
- Teamwork/Communication skills: make the sessions or the work better that you're involved with, it's about the attitude that you bring.
- RPS: Repetition of anything you do is the Preparation for Success. He does 30 min warm up techniques for every show before and after. He's always so vigilant to repeat his warm-ups and prepare to play his absolute best at every gig.
- A healthy life is a wealthy life. Mentally physically and emotionally. Even if you just regularly do Push-ups or Planks, you need to stay physically strong and fit. It keeps your hormone levels up. This fights off cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Cardio- it exercises the most important muscle in your body- your heart. Stretching. Diet is about what you DON'T eat. Stay away from sugar and processed foods. Eat fruit, more veggies, less meat. Multivitamin. Vitamin D are great for immune system. Fish oil. B complex. Water. You should drink ounces of water every day that are equal to half of your weight. So if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day. Get enough sleep. Practice meditation- it reduces stress.
- Today: Stay focused to be relevant. Don't worry about what you've done in the past.
The past is the past. Focus on what you're working on today. Always focus to the future.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. They have clearly worked incredibly well for Kenny.