Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Charles Dowd aphorisms - part 2

More of the in-your-face wisdom of the late Charles Dowd:

You're not a PERSON, you're a SOOOUND!

Learn LOTS of notes. And play the RIGHT notes.

The only way to learn your scales is to PLAY your scales.

I can't play your lesson FOR you.

You don't pay me to listen to you PRACTICE... you pay me to teach you to make MUSIC... don't PRACTICE in your lessons... PERFORM in your lessons.

ALWAYS come to your lesson, ALWAYS prepare, ALWAYS...SOUND great. ALWAYS.

To a percussion major: "...pretend it's your major..."

Don't NOT practice.

Don't be a stuuuuuuuudent!

I invite you to stand behind me and watch the score.

Sound like your teacher!

Write down EVERYTHING I say, DO NOT LOOK at me, write down what I am saying.

I'm not yelling. I'm just excited to hear you play!

To a freshman spinning his sticks: "You SOUND great..."

Your hands are really fast! They're faster than MINE! But your brain is REALLY SLOW!

Bring ALL of your sticks and mallets and books to EVERY lesson.

Unprepared lesson: You are going to end up PUMPING GAS for a living. (long pause, then, unconvincingly) I'm only kidding.

LISTEN to the recording. Practice WITH the recording. DON'T SUCK. you need TWO black towels for your stick trays. BRING A PENCIL. Get the SCORE!. This piece is about SEX. Play LOUD. And TOGETHER. Don't get LOST. Play this piece like it is the last f**king piece you will EVER PLAY. Don't be a DRUMMER, be an ARTIST.

Oh goody, I get to play Snare Drum today!!!

The secret to a good snare drum roll is to roll a lot.

...more bubbly, zitszy........make your roll more rolly!

Like the tearing of silk.

Like an ORGAN.

Your rolls should sound dark, round, warm, meaty, full, dark, rich, warm, dark, warm, thick, fat, dark, round, warm, meeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaty!

Um, this piece is in three foooour. It needs to feel like three foour. I'd like to dance with you in three four right now but I just had a tuna fish sandwich.

No pinkie-winkies.

The key to a flam is... little note, big note.

Said while setting a cup of coffee on a snare drum: "Don't EVER do this!"


Don't play "Practice Room Dynamics", play "Carnegie Hall" dynamics. That is a very nice soft roll, there, umm, but, umm NO ONE IS GOING TO FUCKING HEAR YOU!!!!!

After the final note of ANY piece in a lesson, percussion ensemble, orchestra: FREEZE. DON'T MOVE. DON'T. MOVE.

Gentlemen, please don't fuck up.

Umm, gentlemen, DON"T SUCK.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Todd These are great.

I talked to Chas Holmes about the memorial and he said they all were doing spot-on 1-word impressions of Dowd.

One time Bobby Hutcherson was playing at Beall Hall and he came over and told Dowd he better fuckin' turn-DOWN & it kinda took the wind out of his sails.