Friday, November 25, 2016

Drumming, Trading, and Greatness of Performance

Thanks to an unusually creative and savvy trader for recommending the movie "A Drummer's Dream".  The movie, available via Netflix, takes place at a camp for young drummers in Canada.  The instructors at the camp are some of the world's most talented drummers.  The movie interviews the drummers and shows them in action, both as performers and teachers.

A few fascinating takeaways from the movie:

Many of the drumming greats started at an early age and practiced intensively, reaching a high level of talent early in life.  Watching someone like Mike Mangini, it's clear, per the Seykota quote in Market Wizards, he doesn't have talent; the talent has him.

Several of the drummers talk about being in a zone when they are performing at their best.  They also talk about drumming as fun.  There is an exuberance to their performance that suggests that immersing oneself in the fun of exercising a talent is essential to reaching and staying in that zone.

The learning process for the young drummers was one of observing the greats in action, having the great drummers explain and model techniques, copying those techniques under the watchful eye of the instructors, and repeating skills until they are familiar.  

There is an unusual bond among the drumming legends based upon respect for one another and a sharing of a common passion.  Many of the legends have performed with one another and value that collaboration.

Now think about the learning process for most traders:

*  Do most traders begin early in life and engage in intensive deliberate practice before actually performing in real life settings?

*  Do most traders find a zone of performance based upon love of what they do or does P/L emphasis and pressure make that zone difficult to find?

*  Do most traders truly learn by observing and copying masters and intensively repeating techniques and skills?

*  Do most traders find a collaborative bond with peers and mentors that sustains their passion and learning?

It is not surprising that there is a very high failure rate among new traders.  What other field features people trying to make a living from performance before they've truly learned how to perform?  How many traders, per Lionel Hampton, experience their work as a path to the divine?

Further Reading:  What It Takes to Trade in the Zone