New JGC Feature: Shed Talk
(Techniques, Practice, Resources, Theory & More...)
"For the Serious Musician, Why "Shed?"

By Terrence Richburg © 2010

The first time I ever heard the term, "shed" or "sheddin" was when I first started playing guitar and bass. My brother, Dehrric, was the first one who exposed me to the term. When we first set out on our mutual journey of musical interests finally developing into a career, we were in the shed constantly working on our craft individually and corporately. The meaning hasn't changed much over the years. However, as a concept it has expanded to an even more collective setting.

Sheddin' has increased in popularity among musicians, especially drummers and bass players as a joint activity of sharing and fellowship. But guitarists, keyboardists, saxophonists and other musicians now see the value of putting aside egos, meeting, learning and experiencing the essence of musical expression together--not reliant upon an audience, except one of mutual respect as peers. It is a time of encouragement, motivation and celebration of each player's gift on an even playing field. And when we shed, it's an opportunity to affirm the value of all musical styles and levels of musicianship--so that we may all grow from each other.

That's when musicians meet to shed. But as an individual activity each player is devoted to shutting themselves away in their own shed to shed, whether it's a basement, bedroom, studio, closet, garage, church, practice room, rehearsal space, dressing room, you name it. Musicians spend time alone with themselves, their instrument, their gift and their music. It's a place where we learn who we are as musicians and confront who we are as people. When we shed we better define our purpose and our ambition toward the limits of our musicianship and the meaning of our songs.

It's a place where we lock ourselves down, beat ourselves up for our mistakes and failures and then teach ourselves to overcome them to become the very best we can be. We watch videos of other musicians we respect, admire and those who inspire us. We try out new stuff, maybe even things only we know about as evolving players. We do this while nobody's looking or critiquing us to see just how far we can push ourselves to produce and innovate. We work real hard to study all that is available to us to make ourselves proficient and comfortable with who we are and all that we want to become in front of an audience. But most of all when we shed, we labor long hours to perfect what God has given us so as not to waste the priceless, divine investment He has made in each of us.

I'm led to believe that it's not an option, but rather a necessity for any musician serious about a professional career in music or music ministry to shed and not to come out until they're ready. Shed and sharpen your tools through technique-focused exercises, prayer and a renewed commitment to the art and excellence of your craft and ability as a musician.

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