Ben Lauffer

Lessons. Studio. Live.

We're all musicians here...

I recently had a lesson with a student who got very frustrated with me over a specific assignment. We have been working on a drum cover of "You Are A Tourist" from Death Cab for Cutie. At the end of our second session with this tune, I asked him to record a video and post it to youtube at the end of the coming week. This idea was not well received!

My student is currently going through that "Jazz Snob" phase. I know this because I went through the exact same thing when I was his age. Jazz, Jazz, Jazz...Max Roach, Buddy Rich, Art Blakey. Now, I'm really glad that we have such a great relationship and I can call him out on this kind of stuff, and in his defense, he owned up to his jazz-snobbery. The first step is admitting you have a problem...

I'm not knocking jazz or any other genre that we want to dive into, but in today's music landscape, we can no longer just play a particular style. Everyone has a certain style that we are drawn to more than others, but it's the teachers or mentors responsibility to expose the next generation of musicians to several different styles of music. Working on funk and rock styles will ultimately cross genres and make us better musicians, not just jazz musicians.

I made a deal with my student that I would choose a different DCFC tune and upload a video as well. If I'm going to make my students record and publish videos for the world to see, I should hold myself to those same standards. The link below is my drum cover of Death Cab For Cutie's new single, Black Sun.

"Black Sun" drum cover

This is for you, James.