It is important to read books if you are a professional musician. I’m not talking about drum methods or books about music. I’m talking about all sorts of books: novels, biography, history, etc… whatever tickles your fancy. It’s good for your brain.

When we sit down and are about to play, we need some references. If the song we are about to embark on is about a stormy afternoon, we have a better chance to play it “in the mood” if we actually have experienced a stormy afternoon. That’s pretty obvious.

Only, we cannot experience everything. Not enough time, not enough energy. That’s where reading comes in. The author, if any good, will make you feel what it was like to be in the heart of the Cold War for example (A John Le Carré book could have inspired a song by Sting called “Russians”). Or you can read up on medieval time and compose a song called “Scarborough Fair” by Simon and Garfunkel. Many, many songs have been written in reference to a book.

And that’s great.

But that’s not the purpose of this blog. The purpose of this blog is to tell you that books will help us understand what to do when we listen to music and we have to give an opinion, a filter, a sensitivity to the tune. Books give us an emotional reference. It activates the cogs inside our brain and our hearts. And these are the same cogs as the one we use in music, that’s the point of this blog.