The pressure of mistakes



Yesterday I felt the pressure of performance. Once a week I rehearse with Batala London: a samba reggae drum group that I’ve been a part of since moving to London. Numbers were low at yesterday’s session so as one of only two ‘hep’ (repinique) players, the pressure was on to hit every beat on time, in tempo.

Now, the leader of our group yesterday was certainly nothing like Whiplash’s Terrance Fletcher, which, as an aside, is a great film – one I’d certainly recommend. Instead, the pressure came from me.

Making mistakes is a crucial part of learning and certainly I’ve made many in terms of my journey into drumming. Yet making mistakes in front of others feels different. Making mistakes so publicly, when so exposed, feels highly pressurised.

Alongside playing, yesterday I led the band for the second time. Being stood in front of around…

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