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A Musical Life

A Musical Life: Steve Hatfield

Courtesy photo

Steve Hatfield is a drummer/educator based in Wichita, Kan. He has shared the stage with artists such as Joe Williams, Martina McBride, Glenn Alexander, Bob Florence, and Jerry Hahn. He currently performs with The Bodo Ensemble, The Elemental Trio, Cabaret Oldtown, Music Theater of Wichita, and leads the aptly named Steve Hatfield's Band.

I’m Steve Hatfield. I’m a freelance musician in the Wichita area. I also teach at Wichita State [University] and I have my own private studio here in town.

I started composing about 10-12 years ago, just to see if I could do it. As a drummer you’re in the back of the band and I feel like you’re probably a better arranger. More than anything you get to see the whole picture. You get to see what works and what doesn’t work and you don’t have the distraction of trying to hold the audience. You’re just kind of there watching things and I wanted to see if I’d be able to use what I’ve seen over the years playing in countless cover bands and other projects.

Driving… I’m always thinking of some sort of rhythm or polyrhythm in my head and see if I can keep things straight while dodging traffic on Kellogg.

I’m really interested in melody. In trying to find a really catchy melody. I don’t write lyrics, so I want to make sure that the melodies are as easily heard and can grab you as much as much as possible.

As far as drums being melodic? You can hint at it. But drums are not really built to have true pitch. But there are some things you can do to hint at melodies and harmonies and that is something I’ve been exploring in my own playing lately.