Montana’s Way of Drumming

Montana King Ramsey–my son’s drumming teacher here in Tokyo, was telling us today how he taught himself the drums. He was playing bongos in Philadelphia in the studio with some really great musicians. He watched them really closely from his stool by the bongo. He watched and listened, and followed those drum sticks until he just one day naturally got it.

Now and how he does make those drums sing! Seiji sat there enraptured. And me too. Montana said that everyone in his family – all eight brothers and sisters – taught themselves instruments, cooking, most everyone excelled in something that came from self-study. ‘That way, you learn so not to forget. You learn so you can teach. You learn a style fit just for you.’ This is the initiation Seiji is receiving right now. It’s the way I learned to do art too. I taught myself. Then I taught and what I hope I’m doing is teaching you how to teach yourselves.

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