—I’m going through those videos here and they’re practically titled to certainly get attention. One of the ones that stand out to me is the Five Epic Avengers theme songs. That’s the one you did with the cymbals. There was a couple. We did two for his channel and two for my channel. Did you do portals? I don’t want to spoil it for Rich because he’s one day going to watch all this too. He’s thinking I want to watch 33 movies. You’re going to do that . Are you a comic book fan that doesn’t like the movies or do you like them? I view them as a different medium so yes, I appreciate them for what they are but I do not appreciate them for a direct representation of what I know to be the truth. You’re Marvel over DC or are you embracing both? That’s like saying, “Are you Pearl Jam over Nirvana?” Get out of the room. “It’s Nirvana all the way.” Pearl Jam guys are blowing themselves. It has been forever since I listened to that track. I’ll never forget the discussions I had with that bass player. It’s nice to get you down to memory lane. That bass player and I had many discussions over that 1/8 note on the chorus. “Are we going to go goon, or are we going to go goongoon?” Was there a producer? There was but we were going round and round before we got in there with them. We worked with Mills Logan on the engineer and Mark Endert did the mixing. Stacy was taking the producer role on that. It was nice to have someone that has final power. “You’re doing this guys.” They both work great, but let’s pick one. I went into it thinking it would be the easiest recording session I ever had because we’ve been playing these on the road for a couple of years. Do you keep in touch with these guys? One of them is still good friends. We were still text. The other two live across Nashville. One of them said, “If the band doesn’t go, I’m going to travel.” Sure enough, he has done that. Stacy has his own projects now that she’s still doing. I haven’t kept in touch with them. There’s no bad blood. I love them to death, but Jason and I still play together occasionally. It was fun. One of the reasons I think that I signed was that I could tell my twelve-year-old self, “I did that. I was in a band and we got a record label.” “We took turns driving the van.” It was funny. After I did that, I thought, “Now, what?” I don’t think any band could rely on me to parallel park the van and trailer. That was not going to happen. They didn’t want me to backup. No way. You need me to get on forward in non-tight situations? Let’s do it. We have our strengths as drummers. We know what we bring to the table.
—We looked at the YouTube channel and there are tons of views. Jim was looking at the ones that have a little bit of a high view rate. I’m looking at the trends of 33,000 views 38,000, 23,000, 45,000. You’ve got one with almost 250,000. I have one that’s almost a million. If you’ll go to the channel, you can segment them by most popular and you’ll start seeing the one with 800,000 and 700,000 views. The one thing that stuck out to me is the thank you videos. They have the least amount. “I want to thank everybody. I’m feeling it from the heart.” Stewart Copeland drum solo has 875,000 views. That was one that I did. I love Stewart Copeland and that’s the one that Tim Buell, who does my editing, wants me to pull that one down because it’s not me playing. It’s the David Letterman Show when he was on there and I was like, “I love Stuart.” I recorded it and put it up there. That’s the only one that’s not my original content on the whole channel out of those 700, 800 videos. The thumbnails are colorful. There were two videos that you mentioned. 30 Fun/Easy Drum Songs and then 1 Drum Beat 100 Songs. My big thing is getting people to understand that the learning curve for any instrument is not that bad. You learn one chord progression, you can play 70% of popular music. You learn one drum beat and you can play so much. Whenever I’m starting someone out, I want to get them the first drum beats and the first drum fills. I want you to play music. My wife talked to me about this with our kids. She said, “Aren’t you going to make them learn instruments?” I said, “No, it’s called playing music.” I said, “It’s not called working music.” I told her, “The way that I get them to love music is to expose them to great music and they’ll find that themselves.” We go to some concerts, or just listen in the car. I’ll be like, “Let me play them some of this. What are they into?” I’ll curate the setlist and sure enough, my nine-year old’s now playing bass. My twelve-year old’s playing drums. It’s a matter of letting them understand that teachers don’t have to hook the student, the music will do that. Let the music do the heavy lifting. Find out what they’re into if you’re teaching kids especially, and then teach to that. Part of the channel is educating them on the learning curve is not that big. It’s not as big as you think there are a lot of late lifers that are starting 45, 50 years old. They go, “Am I too old?” “No, you’re not too old, watch. I can have you up and playing a song in one lesson.” “Come watch one lesson and I’ll have you up and playing music.” Once you do that, they’re hooked. 1 Drum Beat 100 Songs, you talk about the money beat. You speed it up and slow it down. Focus is the number one practice killer when it comes to any instrument. Click To Tweet I found 100 songs that use that beat and then we clip them out. We did a couple of hits upfront and then I memorized the whole 16, 17 minutes track and then do it live to show them that you can take this drum beat. Some of them had some variations in the song later, but it was all the songs you can play with this drumbeat. Another one was 30 Fun/Easy Songs to Drum To. A lot of times teachers get bogged down in the weeds of teaching anything, math, or whatever. It’s like, “What makes this fun? Geometry makes math fun, that’s awesome. Look at this cool thing you can do.” Whenever you sit there and you go, “Look at these awesome songs that you can play. Do you know that drumbeat? Watch.” You go and play it. That’s fun. They can get in and they can play that. I memorized that whole track. I paid Jason who was in Lovers and Liars with me. We sat down, mapped out the track, the segues and all that stuff. I would have read every bit of that, but you’ve memorized it. It’s awesome. I read it to a point enough to get me like, “There I am,” I tried to memorize it, because I wanted to show them having fun. It’s hard for me to do that while I’m in the music. Those are mainly to show people like, “This instrument is fun.” It’s not that hard to get up and run it. You and I both know, we can nerd out on something and I can get implied metric modulation and I can lose the bass player. We can do that all day, but the core essence of it, to play popular music and to sit down and play with friends. To do it like I did, my fifteenth birthday party, we had all these people over. I locked the door, me and a guy named Eric Jamison. We knew the whole Green Day album Dookie, and we played it. I remember at fifteen, locking my entire party out and the party was in the room where I was. He and I were playing punk rock. To me, that’s the essence of music, that energy, that emotion. I love big crowds. They’re great, but if I can get a small club with twenty people that love what we’re doing and I got positions that are on fire, I want people to experience that. I like that concept. That’s like what I did with the little FUNdamentals of Drumming for Kids book was the idea of like, “Let’s get these kids hooked on playing these money beats. If they fall in love with it, we can go back and do all the pedagogy of single strokes, double strokes, accents, five-stroke, roll paradiddles, which is opposite of everything that we were brought up. It was. I use my teaching a lot too. I will let them fail and then I’ll say, “Come here. That’s a teachable mistake. Let me show you.” “I can’t play double stroke rolls.” “Do you know why? Your technique sucks.” “What do you mean?” “I told you earlier about technique. Do you remember that?” “Yeah.” “The reason you can’t play double stroke rolls is because of bad technique.” “Can you show me?” “Absolutely.” You need thousands of hours of practice to even it out. As soon as they hear a part that they want to play, they’re able to attach that goal. They go, “I have to do this.” It’s the cookie. It’s a reward system. It absolutely is. One of the things I do with my teaching is say, “We’re not going to get crazy here with patterns between the kick drum and snare drum. We’re going to play this basic kick drum and snare drum pattern that you’re going to be paying your mortgage with for the rest of your life. Look at all these other thousand variations that you could do on top to change the percolation, focus, subdivision, swing, and the colors.” They go, “I never thought about that.” I said, “That’s the stuff that separates the men from the boys.” It is. Getting them to engage the music for what it is and also teaching them once they get to a higher level of, “This is how we let go and create ourselves. This is how we create within music.” You create something that is left of center, but you feel it’s your art. It’s all about the balance of having good fundamentals but also being able to let go and play what comes out of you. You can’t do that until you spend all the time on the technique and get that out of the way. You have to be able to walk before you can run. What am I looking at here, Rich? You’re looking at my discombobulated website, my YouTube channel . I sort it by most popular. I have to say that of the top five videos, four are mine that I produced for you. Everything that I have done between 2010 and 2020, the majority of it produced by you. What are the titles of those videos? I’m interested in what the titles are. There are no thumbnails. The first one is Drummer Rich Redmond Performs “Crazy Town ”. You’ve got to go to the video to get the rest. Yeah, by Jason Aldean. We have a Gear Overview for 2012 , Rich Redmond Records Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” , an in-studio shoot, Rich Redmond Tracks Jason Aldean’s “Flyover States” and then Working the Dream: A Documentary About the Working Nashville Musician . Do you think thumbnails will drive numbers up or not, if they’re colorful and sexy? I do not think, I know. I spend a lot of my time looking at demographics. Do you know the Stewart Copeland video you showed me? Tim and I have a lot of discussions. We have a production call every Friday. He said, “At least let me change the thumbnail. It’s just a Screengrab and it’s awful.” I said, “Fine, change the thumbnail.” He did a little Photoshop and we instantly saw a boost in views. It’s getting higher views every day than it has over the past year and a half since it was posted. Thumbnails and titles are huge. It’s the same way with a newspaper. Would you read a newspaper with a thumbnail of that light? No, it’s headlines. I don’t do things by chance anymore on my YouTube channel. We experiment all the time but I know for a fact that thumbnails and titles are a huge thing. I can show you exactly where we change certain thumbnails on certain videos that made them skyrocket. I’ll tell you about one. I put out 20 Greatest Jazz Drummers of All Time. It turns out that no one wanted to see that video. What they did want to see was a thumbnail that was better and then 20 Jazz Drummers You’re Wrong for Not Knowing We changed that and within the same hour, boom. “What am I wrong about, Rich? I’m not wrong about anything. Let me click on this video.” As soon as we did that, it went from getting a couple of hundred views every 48 hours to getting 7,000 to 8,000 views. It continued on up. It was great for channel velocity and all that stuff. It came from me sitting down with Tim. I told him, “We made a great video but the thumbnail and title suck. Let’s fix it.” We did and within the hour, it changed. A lot of times your content can be fantastic but it’s all of the framing. It’s the same thing that we’re talking about with the students. It’s how you frame the lesson. If I have a six-year-old come in and I’m like, “We’re going to work on this drum beat and you’re going to get it right,” he’s zero enthused. If I say, “We’re going to work on this drum beat. If you get it at the end, I have a Tootsie Pop,” he’s like, “I’m in.” If I give him a Tootsie Roll for every beat he learns, you’ll be amazed at how fast a six-year-old can learn. I think a good motivation for a teenager would be like, “Do you want to get laid? Learn these beats.” “The Five Beats That Will Get You Laid.” There you go. I guarantee, if you put that out and do a decent thumbnail. We’re doing it. You’ll be sure to bury that bass drum beater and play that rim shot. We should experiment with that. I know world-class drummers with amazing content that have recorded hit records that have videos on YouTube. It’s crickets because they don’t do the thumbnail and don’t do the titling. A lot of people think that content is the video itself. Content is four different things on YouTube. Content is the video. That’s got to be good. That’s a given. It’s got to be the description. That’s the least important of the content. That’s for keywords and all that stuff for the back end of YouTube. Your content is your video, thumbnail, title, description, and the pinned comment as well. If you get any of those first three wrong, your video is not going to go. We have videos that have Trello cards and work boards that we go on. We’ll put those titles up and then we’ll delete them. We’ll talk about them. We’ll stress over one word and we’ll flip the meaning. “What if we did this?” “How many characters is that?” We spend as much time on that. A lot of times, I will not record a video until I have a title in mind. I’ll start with, “That would be a cool title. What can I do about that? How can I spend that?” We do our content a disservice. It’s all marketing. Marketing is ethical. People look at marketing as a bad thing. When I was a kid, my mom bought a table. I remember her going down there and talking to the guy. He made the table for her. I remember thinking, “Could we get the stupid table at the house?” We get that table there. For all the years growing up, my family ate around that table. Now, my sister has that table and her family eats at that table. Fast forward, we get a table. We go there and the guy is like, “This is a great table.” A year after we have the table, the chairs start falling apart. Every time I sit down at that table, I’m like, “This guy sold me this table. It’s a piece of crap. I hate this table.” I think about how long it took that guy to spin the money that he made off that table that he made my family and how many years of enjoyment did we get. That’s marketing. If he wouldn’t have done a good job marketing and selling that product, I wouldn’t have all those memories of those family meals around that. That’s how I view my drum lessons. If I can’t get into their psyche and convince them of, “This is fun. This is awesome. You want to play the drums, you want to play music. This is amazing.” If I can’t get in there and tell them that and I don’t learn how to do that, then I failed my job. It doesn’t matter how good my lessons are. It doesn’t matter how good of a teacher I am. If I don’t hook them, then that’s all for naught. I’m exhausted. I’m glad that you exist in this world and you’re taking care of this because I don’t think I could sweat over, “How am I going to title this video?” “How to Make the Bass Player Hate You.” That was a fun one. I view it as part of my creative outlet. Instead of thinking about it as, “I have to come up with a title,” I get in my creative space. I’m like, “What if I did that? I could do this or I could do that.” The thumbnail is the same thing. Tim, Joshua, and I try to stress that, “You’re not just a drummer, you’re creative.” When you’re creative, I can take this and I can have fun with it. What sounds could come up? You could start hitting it. As a creative, you would figure out 50 different sounds for that one thing. You could come up with all these sounds but you have to view yourself as a creative, not just a drummer. There are many different ways to be creative. My thing is I’m wearing too many hats. You have focused on this thing and it is killing it. It’s awesome. How real drum practice sounds in the thumbnail that says, “Not good.” I did one where I played the same beat for five hours in the practice room to emphasize that they don’t need to do this. I live-streamed it, took that, and put it on the channel. Obviously, I wouldn’t do this for five hours. I would lose my focus. I said, “This is how you work through a pattern.” I showed myself learning it from the front and slowly starting to take it around the kit and using a basic drum fill. That took hours of evolving. The point was that this takes time. This is what you don’t see from your favorite Instagram drummers. Those that are the elite in any of their field, you don’t see them posting a bunch of fifteen-second clips of the slick licks they can do. That’s counterproductive. When you find something that doesn’t work and you’re an elite in your field, you don’t want to try to make it sound cool. You want to fix the problem. You don’t see a bunch of surfers that are big wave surfers showing tricks. It’s over and over and it’s not fun to watch, them falling down and going, “I’ve got to readjust this.” That failing is not fun to watch. Them winning championships off is awesome. That’s why you don’t see these big players on social media showing you all their hip tricks. It’s because it’s not part of the elite process. I don’t want anybody watching. I sound bad when I practice. As a matter of fact, I sounded so bad that I got concerned because Jackson’s learning the drums. I thought, “He’s going to think. He knows.” The gig is up. Do you have a funny random question? I’m looking at his videos. You’re going down the hole. I’m intrigued. What are the two drum movies that every drummer must-see? Birdman, for the score. Isn’t it the first movie where a drummer did the complete soundtrack? It couldn’t get a Grammy or an Oscar. He used too many pre-recorded clips or something. It has an amazing soundtrack. Listen to that for the soundtrack, Antonio Sanchez on that. Whiplash. People say it’s an unrealistic view and they should have done better with the technique. We can get to the core of the story. In college, I had a graduate assistant from Russia. We called him Cold War. I remember sitting in big band and he would say over and over, “Do it again for Steve. Let’s do it again for Steve.” I remember wearing three shirts to those rehearsals because I would sweat so much I couldn’t read. He was calling me out on not reading. Do you know what made me get my act together? It was him saying, “Do it again for Steve.” No amount of them saying, “You shouldn’t learn to read.” It was, “If I go in there and I can’t read this, they’re going to have to do it again for Steve.” While I don’t approve of abusing students, it’s that relationship that can be overbearing. I could relate. I thought that as a story, he’s triumphant in the end. Did I think the drum solo was trashed? Yes. It was not good. You would have been laughed off the stage at the Jazz Fest. Marvel movies versus DC or comic books versus movies, do I think it’s a good representation? I think it’s a great look into the world of being a musician and how much work goes into that. You sat there for five hours. I did. You must have had the worst case of swamp ass by the time you finished. It was not good. Even when you’re playing live, you at least get up and have a break. I did take short bathroom breaks. I would run out, go to the restroom, and come back. I did that maybe 2 or 3 times. I got some comments. “Next time, lick the drum for five hours straight.” That’s one comment. I love these comments. The thing is all these folks could be practicing right now. That’s one of the things. How do you balance making that content and then getting them to practice? It’s a constant push and pull. Here’s a story that I’ve never told anybody in public. I’ve told it to friends. It’s somewhat of an embarrassing story. I get married. When I’m getting married, I’m playing on Bourbon Street. I’m paying for living on my own so I needed some extra work. My neighbor had a landscaping company. I said, “I’ll work during the days for you and at night, I’ll play the drums.” I did that. The problem is that nobody tells you about the sweating that goes on when you play for that long in those regions. Things start itching. It’s months of itching. Months go by. I’m a newlywed. This is not a good problem to have when you’re newlywed. After 6 or 7 months, I finally booked an appointment with a specialist. I’m like, “I’ve got some issues.” He says, “Actually, you don’t have anything. What you have is a nerve issue.” The nerve endings on the top of my skin had become so sensitive that if they brushed against them, it fired them up like there was something wrong. They started freaking out. It simulated jock itch. I didn’t have a jock itch but I had the symptoms of it. He said, “Unfortunately, it’s going to take you as long to get rid of this since you had it.” For a year and a half, I had a jock itch. Here’s my PSA. Take a shower after the gig, always. Talk about a disorder you don’t want in the first year of your marriage. I’m still reading comments. “When you realize after five hours of drumming, you never hit record.” Can you imagine that? That’s bad . You’re a practical drum lesson type of guru out there amongst all the other ones that show flashy fills and all that. Yes, I am. You get in, decide where we’re going, and we stay on that. I like practical stuff. I like the fact that you’re local. You’re a guy I can hang with and have a beer with that. These are pre-recorded things. You can’t do one-on-one. There’s a whole library of them and you decide the topics we need to work on. We have an onboarding process. Past that, it’s a matter of you staying the course and doing that. We did live streaming lessons but that didn’t go to the business model. If you’re working on whatever you’re working on and then I live stream a random lesson on Afro 6/8 with the backbeat, why are you watching that? We do student live Q&As where I take submitted questions and then I answer them live in the chat. Other than that, they’re going through the courses. They’re hanging out in the forums. They’re asking me questions in the comments, emailing in videos for student reviews where I give them feedback on what they’re playing. That’s part of what they get for their monthly course. Absolutely. What did you learn, Jim? I learned a lot. It reaffirmed everything I’ve been saying to different people that getting the attention that you’re getting on the internet on YouTube, number one, takes time and consistency. I’m sure that you started putting out videos and wasn’t an overnight success, right? It took me eight years to get to 100,000 followers and then we doubled that in one year. We were at 233,000 by mid-2020. Did you get the big old YouTube award? I got the Play Button. I was finally cool with my kids. It takes consistency. I have to walk that line of not uploading clickbait type. There’s a lick you can do. I don’t believe that that promotes good, solid players. I don’t want to be the teacher that just taught you licks. I want to be the teacher that taught. I may name something that way and then I’m going to spin it. We’re definitely going to do “Five Beats That Will Get You Laid.” What I learned is that if I ever want to have those numbers, I have to put in the time. I don’t know if I’m going to do that. I like the idea that I could get more colorful thumbnails. Let’s do the top ten. You’ve got to come up with a headline. Get better titles, better thumbnails, and upload consistently so that your audience knows. You can be like a TV show. Look at your top videos and figure out what is the common theme among them, and then deliver the buckets. Those buckets would be 2, 3, or 4 categories that you know will get consistent views. If you do that, you don’t have to think about your content so much. You just think about the creation of it. You can do that on the road. You can create the content as you’re going. It doesn’t change anything you just change the framing, What I’ve been telling you to do is to do more behind the scenes stuff. Are you getting a lot of responses? I have. People love it but it goes away. It does but you’re at least engaging and showing. People love it. Instead of uploading all in one timeframe, you space those out and be consistent. One a week for however long. You can upload them all and then set them to publish on different days. One day uploading but you have six months of content that’ll leak out. You can forget about it. No, I can’t handle that for you. That was insightful. I’m impressed. I’m glad to hear from someone who can walk the walk and is educating the future musicians and drummers of America and the world. You’re doing it in a super positive way. I love it. Keep it up. We enjoyed meeting you. A crazy disaster can turn into a blessing. Click To Tweet Jim, thanks for your time and talent. You’re welcome. We appreciate you reading. Be sure to subscribe, share, rate, and review. Leave us a five-star rating. Tell a friend. If you’ve got questions and concerns, we have an email address at TheRichRedmondShow@Gmail.com . Thank you to the School of Rock for sponsoring this show. Keep coming back to the good stuff. See you next time. Follow us at richredmond.com/listen .