ZORO the Drummer's New Book -- The Big Gig Review

Personal note from Jeff Patterson to Zoro Drummer

Hey Z, Your book arrived today. Thanks for the kind words you wrote inside the cover. This is a book I wish was available back 40 years ago when I was just starting out. You have created a great book that will surely be a source of help and inspiration to young and developing musicians for years to come. I believe this is a great contribution to the drumming and music community. Thanks for all your efforts. Also, thanks for the Compassion International Disk, they and several others like them are fantastic organizations and do great work. Together we can change the world.

November 2 at 2:29pm

Zoro Drummer: Thanks a lot Jeff for your kind words of affirmation! I was compelled to write the Big Gig in an effort to help others live out their dream and live a purposeful life. I am delighted that you feel the way you do about it. Please send my love to your parents for me! Z

November 4 at 8:45am


: Guest artical by Zoro as it appeared in Modern Drummer Magazine.

Zoro: Big-Picture Thinking for Success—the Power of Vision

My mom gave me my first drumset as a Christmas gift when I was nine years old. The cost of the kit was only $9.99, and it had paper heads. I was so excited to unleash the groove buried deep within me that I destroyed the kit by the end of Christmas evening. Sadly, that put an end to my drumming endeavors for several years—but not my dreams. Eight years later, I bought my first real drumset for $100. As I played those drums, I often visualized myself being a successful drummer. It was then that I first began to understand the power of vision.

We have all heard the adage “Seeing is believing.” I’ve always believed the opposite to be true: “Believing is seeing.” In other words, before something can come to pass in your life, you must first see it in your own heart, mind, and soul. Anyone who has ever accomplished something notable did so by first entertaining dreams no one else could see. Success stems first and foremost from your heartfelt desire to pursue a vision with all you’ve got. But you need to have a clear vision of what it is you are striving for in the first place. Helen Keller once asserted, “It’s a terrible thing to see and have no vision.” She was absolutely right!

When an architect designs a building, he or she has to draft out every detail of the structure before submitting the plans to the contractor to begin construction. Most of the work is preparation, planning, and designing. When the contractor finally begins the physical work of building, he or she simply follows the architect’s blueprints that have already been well laid out.

If you approach your career with the end in mind, you will be forced to devise a plan. By doing so, you will greatly increase your chances for success. It’s a complex task, however, and one that requires strategic effort.

As part of my career vision, I’ve always had a desire to inspire others and see them live out their dreams. From that place, I was compelled to write a book that would equip musicians with proven tools to succeed. This vision has been thirteen years in the making and now has come to life.

The Big Gig: Big-Picture Thinking for Success is a 440-page template detailing the vocational, personal, and spiritual aspects of achievement for your success. With twenty-two chapters, ranging from the art of practicing to marketing, my goal is to share my thirty-plus years of experience with those who are hungry for success.

Within the book is “The Big Gig Quiz: 50 Questions to Determine Your Chances of Scoring the Big Gig.” It is my hope the quiz and book will help you see the big picture and lead you toward fulfillment of your dreams. You can take the quiz now at thebiggigbook.com and www.alfred.com/TheBigGig.

Are jobs obsolete? - CNN.com

Here is a link to a quite interesting and thought provoking piece By Douglas Rushkoff for CNN. Are jobs obsolete? - CNN.com

And so the president goes on television telling us that the big issue of our time is jobs, jobs, jobs -- as if the reason to build high-speed rails and fix bridges is to put people back to work. But it seems to me there's something backwards in that logic. I find myself wondering if we may be accepting a premise that deserves to be questioned.

My Response: by Jeff Patterson

While there is no doubt that the idea of rebuilding the nation's infrastructure is a good and worthwhile idea, there seems to be more to think about here than simply continuing to borrow and spend our way into prosperity again. Once the infrastructure is rebuilt, what is our culture going to look like? What will the new digital technology require? More roads, more bridges? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly we can say we need better, more improved infrastructure. But once that is accomplished what then?

Think back a few years and remember Alvin Toffler's book Future Shock.

It has been in the back of my mind for quite some time that a lot of the social problems and social/economic upheaval we are experiencing might be due in large part to the dynamic changes brought on by new technology, and the ability and in some cases inability or trouble we have in adapting to the new digital world.

This, it seems to me may be what we are very much in the midst of today. We all in a sense are experiencing or trying to figure out how to cope with Future Shock. The Future has arrived and we are finding out that we are not as prepared for it as we thought.

God's Grace


Here's a tune I wrote several years ago that I call God's Grace.

I played and sang most of the parts, with a little help from Doug Barnes on Bass, and Ozell C Large adding some extra vocals as well.


I had just bought a new laptop and loaded some recording software onto it and the words and the melody just came to me one morning as the sun was just rising in the east.


I sang the first lyric recordings into the tiny built in mic on the laptop and it didn't sound to bad. I then re-recorded the piece a number of times adding and changing things as I went along.


I have done further mixes and changes since this one, and will post at least one of those up in the near future. I hope you like it.


Jon Anderson and the the Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra

Tonight I watched Jon Anderson on HDNET's Concert Series with the Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra and was moved to tears by the beauty of the music they were performing.

If you haven't had a chance to see and listen to this concert by Jon Anderson and the Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra, you really should. The 112 member Orchestra together with their Choir combined with Jon Anderson's music is a joy to behold. Some of these songs date back to his days writing and performing with the progressive rock band YES. Performed by this youthful group, these songs have new life in the orchestral sense, and a magnified by the vitality provided by these young musicians. Jon Anderson noted that the Harpist, who does and exceptionally fine job, is only ten years old. Most, if not all of the players appear to be approximately 18 years old or younger. At any rate, the concert provides some beautiful music and moments.

All this got me curious about Jon Anderson, and what he's been doing over the last many years, and it appears that he has been quite busy. Even after some serious health problems that brought him close to death, his writing and performing is still in fine form, although he rarely appears with YES the group who helped put him on the map, still he stands alone with the strength of his musical vision, much of which he provided to YES and had a lot to do with their success.

Several years ago I had heard this song "The Only Thing I Need" by the Christian Vocal Group 4Him on the Radio, and recorded back in 1999. But I noticed the distinctive vocals and style that could only be Jon Anderson, and sure enough Jon had both written and performed the song with 4Him.



I just love the song, and the distinctive Jon Anderson / YES style of the Vocals. I hope you enjoy it also.

Script Frenzy Project Completed

I recently completed work on the screenplay version of my Nanowrimo 2010 novel: Voices - Book One. A Psychological Drama / Mystery about the voices that people hear in their heads, and what happens to them when they choose to respond, or not to respond to them. The choices made may be deadly or result in unintended consequences.

Log Line: In a dangerous and sometimes violent world, one man must choose between the two women he loves and the unpredictable consequences of his choices.

Having completed the first draft of the screen play based on the book there is still much re-writing and editing to do. The ongoing work will be sceduled in with the other wrting project still in progress, along with new projects currently in development.

Another novel, started in July is about half way done, but is currently in a holding pattern due to other important life events happening in this same time period. Life is sometimes complicated. But on we go, can't wait until the next project is ready for completion.

Writing Faster and More Efficiently


I've found this to be true that writing faster can give you a better sense of focus and help generate more creative ideas. I put this into practice on my most recent writing project and finished the whole 1st draft of the novel in approximately 25 days. 

Sure the story required some re-writing and a little tweaking, but now that the story ideas are down, and the basic writing is complete, now I have only to make corrections, polish, and improve the final product. 


Looking forward, the challange is to repeat the same process again, and again, improving with each successive project. I've found a formula that works for me, and has made the whole writing process more of a joy, and an exploration rather than a task.



More later . . .

Walking Backwards May be Good for Your Brain



I've always believed that this was true. I remember back in my early days of Jogging and Running, we would frequently walk or run backwards and talk with one another as we took our backward steps down the road. It was always a relaxing break from the running in that it used different muscles and skills. Who knew that it might actually be good for you. Leave it to the backward asian countries to make it a common practice. Well I'm off for a backward walk.

Walking Backwards May be Good for Your Brain


Be seeing you . . .

20-year-old's unique approach to keeping kids in school. [VIDEO]


This is very similar to the kinds of things we used to do with our bicycles when I was growing up. 

One of our favorite things was to inflate balloons and attach them to the spokes of the bike wheels to make them sound like motorcycles. This worked great until the balloons would pop, and then we would just put another one on. 

You could hear us rolling down the street as a group, it was great fun and helped keep us all out of trouble.

20-year-old's unique approach to keeping kids in school. [VIDEO]

The other thing we liked doing would be to set up slalom courses for either bikes or skateboards and see who could do the best at zig-zagging around the obstacles. 

We made some day long bike rides to a nearby town, and then ride back in the same day. It helped that we also had some long hills, and that always made the return trip fast and fun.

The video shows a great idea for inner city kids to help them focus on something positive and help them create something of value for themselves. I hope this young man can realize his dream and build a thriving business with Scraperbikes. Very cool!