THE DRUMMER YOU SHOULD FOLLOW (EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT A DRUMMER)

By Jeb Bohn

el estepario siberiano

el estepario siberiano

Influencers.

Just typing that word makes me feel like I need a shower.

I feel completely validated in my—we’ll call it distaste—of the lifestyle propped up by such people. Now, I have no problem with anyone working to build up an audience and make a living. Hell, that’s what creative types have done since the beginning of time.

However, when someone gains clout (Jesus, just fucking shoot me now) for immutable traits without putting forth something of value, my stomach turns. To be completely fair, it really depends on how the person comports themself; if they’re honest and humble, no harm. If they’re a conceited narcissist, then they can fuck off as far as I’m concerned.

Yes, I realize this carries the smell of “Old Man Yells at Cloud,” but it goes much deeper than that, and has much darker implications.

The Toxic Cesspool

It’s no secret to anyone that social media can be an absolute shit-show, rife with dimwits and dipshits. For many people, image is all that matters, their sense of self-worth dictated by likes. 

Then you get younger generations who see this type of behavior and emulate it. Kids see the perception of success, and they flock to it, never really knowing who the person they idolize is. They could be a con artist or a killer, both of which have happened more than once with people either chasing fame or desperately trying to cling to its last remaining threads.

Now, you get a younger crop of people on social media who judge their own value based on social media interactions. It’s ingrained in many of them and, sadly, the people they look up to are not worthy of the adoration.

I don’t want to get bogged down in the negatives, we’ve all seen the stories. Instead, I want to talk about someone who busts his ass—and continues to do so—to not only better himself but his audience as well.

Sanctuary

As I’ve talked about before, music is a huge part of my life, and a lot of what I consume online is related to music. Thankfully, there are an abundance of musicians online who cultivate audiences via their talents and serve as the counter to the avalanche of tripe that often consumes internet discourse.

Being a drummer, I’m always on the lookout for drum-related content. Be it a drum cover, a kid with the chops of a seasoned pro, or just a drummer jamming, I’m down.

A while back, I came across a bearded drummer displaying talent so well-honed, I was convinced it was fake. No, I wasn’t actively hoping it was, I just couldn’t believe what I saw.

Then, I ventured into the comments. Good God.

Some praised the ridiculous talent; others were skeptical. Nothing out of the ordinary there. What took me aback were the derisive, sometimes hateful comments. Okay, that’s not that surprising; this is the internet, after all.

I followed him, watching every video I could find, and it became obvious that no, this guy isn’t faking, he’s just that damned good.

That was my introduction to Jorge Garrido, better known as El Estepario Siberiano.

El Estepario Siberiano - Not an Influencer

Garrido—in this interview with Bateristas Magazine—doesn’t consider himself an influencer. I still think he is, though one without all of the bullshit I mentioned earlier.

What I love most about the theme of his content isn’t the awe-inspiring drum covers, many of which are performed with one hand. No, the most impressive thing to me is his mindset.

When I got into drumming, YouTube didn’t exist. My best outside resource, aside from a teacher, were instructional videos on DVD and VHS (yes, VHS). I would see this phenomenal drummers play mind-boggling fills, try to mimic them, and get frustrated when I couldn’t replicate them after ten minutes.

Of course, that’s not a realistic expectation, to believe that watching a video and playing for a few minutes will grant you the skill gained by years of practice. Still, I sabotaged myself that way too many times, all in the belief that a good drummer could do it, regardless.

I outgrew those notions, but there are countless kids out there now learning an art form, and most—if not all—of them have access to the internet. It would be easy for them to fall into the same trap I once found myself in. If you’re a creative of any type, chances are you’ve been there too.

It can be crippling. Worse, it can turn someone off of a passion before they’ve had an honest chance to push themself and see what they’re capable of. It’s tragic, but it doesn’t have to be that way (nor should it).

The Power of the Right Mindset

For all the skill Garrido puts on display, he never treats it as some divine gift; he’s not there trying to show off. Instead, he makes it clear what got him to where he is: practice.

For those addicted to instant gratification, this is a four-letter word, but he’s absolutely right. Excelling at everything doesn’t take time alone, it takes dedication and practice. I think seeing his ability as a drummer really hammers that home.

His videos don’t say “Hey, look what I can do that you can’t,” and, if that’s the message you get, I think you’re looking at it wrong. The message I get is “Look at what I’m doing. No, you probably can’t do it right now but, with work, you can get there.” 

Adding to this is the fact that he’ll sometimes spend hours filming dozens of takes just to capture a clip that may last less than a minute. On top of that, he’s not afraid to share his frustrations, showing that he’s just a man trying to get better, failing, and trying again. The practice and dedication doesn’t just stop with the drumming; it carries into everything he does because that’s his mindset. 

Do the work. Don’t shortchange yourself.

I think that’s something we can all take to heart, hence the tile of this entry. No matter what you do, you can reach your goals if you can identify the price to get there and are willing to pay it.

No, it’s not a groundbreaking message, but it’s one that a lot of people need to hear. More than that, he backs it up with his ability, showing tangible proof of the message. If you set yourself on a path and put in the work required, you will get there. Work takes time and success doesn’t come overnight.

el estepario siberiano

Where to Follow El Estepario Siberiano:

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