“Slow down. Do it again.” — Dave Elitch
Dave Elitch (IG: @daveelitch) first garnered attention with his band Daughters of Mara’s debut album I am Destroyer in 2007, but his time touring with the American progressive rock band The Mars Volta in 2009-2010 is what really put him on the map. He has since worked with Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, M83, The 1975, Juliette Lewis, Big Black Delta, as well as many others.
Dave conducts master-class lectures worldwide and is a regular in the L.A. session scene, including performing on film scores for many major motion pictures. As an educator for the last 20 years, Dave has developed a reputation as the technique/body mechanic specialist who has helped many of the world’s top players and educators overcome physical and mental plateaus at his private studio in Los Angeles. His brand new online course, Getting Out of Your Own Way, is available now at DaveElitch.com (use the code FERRISS at checkout for a 25% off discount).
Please enjoy this episode with Dave Elitch!
Listen to the interview on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or on your favorite podcast platform.
You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.
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Further curious about how drummers see the world? You’re not alone! — Make sure to listen to my conversation with Stewart Copeland, drummer for The Police and son of a bona fide CIA operative! (Stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
Connect with Dave Elitch:
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Dave’s Getting Out of Your Own Way Course (use the code FERRISS at checkout for a 25% off discount)
- I Am Destroyer by Daughters Of Mara
- The Mars Volta
- The 1975
- Big Black Delta
- Do Drummers Have Different Brains from the Rest of Us? by Richard Metzger, Dangerous Minds
- Dave’s Slow Down/Do It Again T-Shirt
- The Anatomy of a Drum Kit, Making Music
- Dave Elitch On Having Good Posture, DrumChannel.com
- Beginner Drum Lesson: The Money Beat by Chris Atchley
- The Mars Volta Goliath Dave Elitch Drum Cam Video
- How to Build a Memory Palace, ArtOfMemory.com
- Metronome Online
- Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month by Tim Ferriss, TED 2017
- Sam Harris, Ph.D. — How to Master Your Mind, The Tim Ferriss Show (with guided meditation bonus)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Killer Be Killed
- Kelly Starrett and Dr. Justin Mager, The Tim Ferriss Show
- The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by W. Timothy Gallwey
- The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green
- What is Zen? What is Buddhism?, zen-buddhism.net
- The Matrix
- 4 Ways to Hold a Drumstick, wikiHow
- Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love by Pia Mellody, Andrea Wells Miller, and J. Keith Miller
- The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore
- Believe by Cher
- The Gerbil’s Revenge: Auto-Tune Corrects a Singer’s Pitch. It Also Distorts — a Grand Tradition in Pop. by Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker
- Beat Detective, WikiAudio
- The Century of the Self
- Propaganda by Edward Bernays
- Sources of Existential Angst by Brett and Kate McKay, The Art of Manliness
- “Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve and from which he cannot escape.” — Erich Fromm
- The Smashing Pumpkins
- You Want to Climb Mount Everest? Here’s What It Takes by John Branch, The New York Times
- Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One by Dr. Joe Dispenza
- Mindfulness by Ellen J. Langer
- Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness with Ellen Langer and Krista Tippett, On Being
- The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- Zero by The Smashing Pumpkins
- Bullet with Butterfly Wings by The Smashing Pumpkins
- Topo Chico
- Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies, the Original Handwritten Cards by Martin Schneider, Dangerous Minds
- Do the Strand by Roxy Music
- Ambient 1/Music For Airports by Brian Eno
- The Space Between the Notes by Bruce Hembd, Horn Matters
- Taxi Driver
- Arnold Schwarzenegger — A Great Man by Bill Burr
- What Is Embouchure? Saxophone Lessons, Howcast
- Searching for Bobby Fischer: book and movie
- The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, The Tim Ferriss Experiment
- Led Zeppelin
- John Bonham’s Drum Set Up, JohnBonham.co.uk
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
- The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss
- Open by Andre Agassi
- The Book of Love
- St. Vincent
- Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
- Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss
- Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland
- Which Writer Coined the Phrase Generation X?, Fun Trivia
Book Recommendations by Dave’s Therapist:
- When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But) by Geneen Roth and Anne Lamott
- To Hell & Back: How to Have Feelings & Stay Sober at the Same Time by Jasmin Rogg
- Recovering Spirituality: Achieving Emotional Sobriety in Your Spiritual Practice by Ingrid Mathieu
- The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self, Third Edition by Alice Miller
- Alcoholics Anonymous by Bill W.
- The 7 Systems of Balance: A Natural Prescription for Healthy Living in a Hectic World by Paul Sorgi
- Bradshaw On: The Family: A New Way of Creating Solid Self-Esteem by John Bradshaw
- Therapy with Single Parents: A Social Constructionist Approach by Joan D Atwood and Frank Genovese
- The Anxiety Book: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear by Jonathan Davidson and Henry Dreher
- Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell
- Becoming Your Own Parent: The Solution for Adult Children of Alcoholic and Other Dysfunctional Families by Dennis Wholey
Further Book Recommendations by Dave:
- A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance — Portrait of an Age by William Manchester
- Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- The Brutality of Fact: Interviews with Francis Bacon by David Sylvester
- Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord
- The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
- The Awakening of Intelligence by J. Krishnamurti
- The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America by Daniel J. Boorstin
- A Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber
- Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
- Ways of Seeing by John Berger
- Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver
- Who is Dave, and why is he in my house? [04:28]
- “Slow down. Do it again.” [08:49]
- How Dave quickly identified and alleviated one of my greatest sources of discomfort behind a drum kit. [10:48]
- My first introduction to Dave and his capacity for monster drumming in The Mars Volta, and why he’s known as a bit of a mercenary cleaner on the music industry tour circuit. [13:13]
- How does Dave prepare to tour with a band — often on last-minute notice? It’s actually not dissimilar to how I prepare for speeches. [18:55]
- What does the day of the first show of a mercenary tour look like for Dave? What advice or rituals does he suggest to others who find themselves facing a similarly stressful trial — musical or otherwise? [31:21]
- How mastering or understanding the inner workings of one discipline — whether it’s drumming, tennis, Zen Buddhism, or something else altogether — can extend to solving the problems posed by countless other disciplines. [39:03]
- A book exchange that took place between Dave and his therapist. [48:40]
- What Marshall McLuhan might have told us about the influence of Auto-Tune on modern music. [50:01]
- Who really sculpted our world’s love affair with consumerism: Sigmund Freud’s nephew or Edward Bernays’ uncle? These Adam Curtis documentaries should shed some light on the answer (while blowing a few minds in the process). [55:24]
- Visual art, coping with met expectations of success that lead to burnout, and microwave manifestation. [1:03:36]
- Oblique Strategies: how Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt can help us reconsider perspective and possibly course correct. [1:17:00]
- How has a failure set Dave up for later success — and how did he reframe this failure to recognize it as a runway to that success? [1:25:28]
- What makes Dave doubt the choices that led him to where he is today? [1:32:10]
- It’s been said by some of Dave’s most well-known students that he excels in teaching patience. Why might drums make this an easier feat than if he taught saxophone? [1:39:50]
- What would Dave’s billboard say? [1:44:46]
- If Bill Burr doesn’t approach comedy like Sam Kinison, why should he approach drumming like John Bonham? [1:48:11]
- Does Dave have any unusual habits or love of weird things — Himalayan or otherwise? [1:50:29]
- Dave didn’t begin therapy until he was in his thirties. What made him start, and what keeps him going? [1:52:31]
- Dave has contributed to quite a few film scores. What does that process look like from his perspective? [2:02:38]
- Book recommendations and final thoughts. [2:04:30]
- Jimmy Chamberlin
- Miley Cyrus
- Justin Timberlake
- Juliette Lewis
- Hermann Rorschach
- Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
- Bear Grylls
- Sam Harris
- Timothy Gallwey
- Gautama Buddha
- Cedric Bixler Zavala
- Kelly Starrett
- Pia Mellody
- Marshall McLuhan
- Quentin Fiore
- Jerome Agel
- Jack Johnson
- Adam Curtis
- Edward Bernays
- Sigmund Freud
- Slavoj Zizek
- Erich Fromm
- William J. Clinton
- Krista Tippett
- Ellen Langer
- Maria Bamford
- Janet Jackson
- Brian Eno
- Peter Schmidt
- Stacy Jones
- George Daniel
- Matty Healy
- Freddy Sheed
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Franco Columbu
- Al Pacino
- Robert De Niro
- Bill Burr
- Michael Jackson
- Josh Waitzkin
- Bobby Fischer
- John Bonham
- Sam Kinison
- Cheryl Strayed
- Andre Agassi
- Bill Murray
- Douglas Coupland
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18 Replies to “Dave Elitch — How to Get Out of Your Own Way (#348)”
I’m extremely glad that this episode gave notice to Jimmy Chamberlin. The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex “”Life Begins Again” is still up there for my top albums so many years later.
I’ve just added more books to my wishlist ☺ Really enjoyed this episode. Thank you Tim, thank you Dave!
“If you can’t breathe in that position you haven’t earned that position.”
I was really enjoying this episode until I reached the end. With only 13 minutes left of the podcast, I lost all respect for both the interviewer and the interviewee.
Please consider how insulting it is to the people who work hard for TSA to keep our flights safe when two people, Dave Elitch and Tim Ferris thoroughly insult them. Dave directly insults them with his words:
“TSA employees drive me bananas. I travel a lot. A lot of them are totally incompetent. Going to anything where you have to deal with someone in that type of a job, you go wait, why would this person be competent. A competent person wouldn’t have this job in the first place so why am I expecting that to begin with, I’m setting myself up to get angry.”
These words make Dave sound like an out-of-touch elitist. These people are working hard to pay their bills, buy food, and live their lives.
Tim, you indirectly insult them by not editing this comment out of the podcast.
These people work very hard to earn an honest living. I find it incredibly ignorant, especially for someone Tim calls “one of the most well-read people he knows” to degrade people who are working hard. I would HIGHLY recommend this so-called well-read guy to revisit The Four Agreements and to be a bit more impeccable with his word.
The show notes include listings of every person mentioned. How was THIS comment that is so insulting left on the aired podcast?
I would like to request that this part of the interview be removed from the show immediately.
great comment – agree 100 per cent. I was so shocked when Dave made the derogatory comments and very disappointed when Tim did not pull him up.
Tim, Thank you so much for another amazing podcast! I feel you were very relaxed during this interview and it came through with your humour and the rapport you shared with Dave. I enjoyed this immensely, Thank you.
I’m ashamed I had no clue who Dave was prior to this podcast. I am as far from a drummer as can be and this is exactly what I love about the show, Tim. 2 hours of listening in and learning from someone off the grid of my experience – loved it. Have just watched 52 mins of Dave drumming, cut & pasted the book recos to my Evernote list, and will re-read Open.
That existential quote is by Erich Fromm (See: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Erich_Fromm#Man_for_Himself_(1947), but he’s really just channeling Heidegger.
Tim, in your discussion with Dave Elitch the films of Adam Curtis are discussed. I have copies of Adam’s complete film work that a friend at the BBC provided for me. If you like, I can provide you with a .zip file to download and view them. Eminently worth watching, and interesting views on society.
My favorite interviews are the surprises when people I’ve admired for their talent completely (seemingly) unrelated to the podcast’s themes of personal development turn up and change my view of them for the better. Elitch’s contribution to the Mars Volta got me through tough times, and I had no idea you were involved with that scene in any way, Tim.
Speaking of drum videos: [Moderator: very funny nyangostar 2017 drum video on YouTube removed.]
I have to admit, after reading this, I am now officially a fan! 🙂
This is one of my absolute favorite episodes. I loved all the great deep learning advice, the banter (as always), the book recommendations, and the obscure trivia. Thanks Tim and Dave!
“Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve and from which he cannot escape.
Here it is 4:30 in the morning and I’ve been up since 2 a.m. I listen to your entire talk with Dave and enjoyed it immensely while I worked on my guitar playing and did yoga and deep breathing. After the show I went through all the notes and the books and the people’s names that had been mentioned and I was really amazed at all the work that had been done and shared so freely with people like me!
Oh, and I recommend the Natural Grocers location Guadalupe and 39th Street! See you there.
Again, thanks for all you do, tribe of mentors, and everything else!
The episode was great and pretty mind blowing. Thank you Dave for the recommendation of Edward Bernays. After reading Propaganda I read Crystallizing Public Opinion. Considered the decision passed down by the The Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling impacts on civil rights, and emphasis on free market it had me thinking. In your belief structure previously you relayed a concern about people being easily offended, and less resilient. I was interested based on Edward Bernays work if you have had any change in insight. It has been interesting in talking people who feel that strong in the free market ideals, but marginalize people who advocate LGBT, Minorities, Immigrants, Medical, or Psychological as easily offended, or snow flakes. Under the popular understanding of free market it seems like advocacy of allies is simply participation of the individuals values that they bring to the market. Marginalizing people as easily offended instead of participating in the discussion seems to be oppositional to a free market and those who prefer it over government regulation. Considering my current understanding of the reading and the political landscape I’ve just found this concept really interesting. It was a great episode and after all the works you have put out that I listened to or recommended I just really wanted to get your perspective. It’s been a very interest thought exercise to contribute to discussions I have had with people of opposing views.
What was the name of the cards they were talking about?
Great post, interesting how he prepare for touring!
Thanks for sharing!