Ahmir Questlove's Open Road
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Public Television: Season 3
AHMIR QUESTLOVE THOMPSON
anxiety, chess, drumming, end result, Juilliard, longevity, making history, motivation, parents, practice, strategy, vision
- Started drumming at the age of two, got his first drum set when he was eight.
- Would practice three to five hours every day as a kid.
- Heard Grammy-winner Wynton Marsalis say he practiced eight hours a day and knew he had to step it up.
- The Roots started out busking on the streets of Philadelphia, felt lucky if they made twenty dollars in a day.
- After signing their first contract, band moved to Europe to tour, spent nights in two-star hotels.
- Says he works an average of 18-20 hours a day—like a hamster, he’s always spinning his wheel.
- Treats each new year like a game of Russian Roulette: take a risk, see if you make it through, take another.
- Stresses the importance of “proper planning”—like a chess player, always be thinking 12 steps ahead.