Category: Drumming

Finding Simple Solutions To Everyday Problems

I’ve been chugging away at things over here, I know you were dying to know.  I struggled to come up with a title for this blog post, but there it is: finding simple solutions to everyday problem.

The shower rod in the bathroom kept falling down. Apparently the bar wasn’t long enough and the spring-loaded tension bar wasn’t holding it tight enough anymore, so simple solution: I crammed some paper towels in behind one of the non-skid pads, and popped it back up. It’s held pretty well so far.

My other problem that’s been bugging me — my new drummer’s gloves. Yea, they’re awesome, and they save my hands big time.  But I play along to my iPad.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to touch your iPad or iPhone screen with gloves on, but it doesn’t work.  The screens react to something in your fingers – electricity, oil, I don’t know, but something. So the problem arose when I wanted to change tracks.  I’d have to take my glove off, kind of a pain in the ass.

So I decided to find a solution, which I did — I’m bringing my laptop with me, and since there’s not a whole lot of space on the laptop for music, I put my Drum Time playlist on my iPhone, and then connect via a cable.  Apparently you can use the iPhone like a harddrive, which is what I’ve been doing.  When you step back and think about it, it’s kind of obvious.

Work continues on the book.  My buddy continues to edit chapters, and I continue to incorporate his feedback and correction of my overuse of commas. (Sorry, Austin!)  We’ll get through it eventually.

I don’t remember if I posted about it here or not, but I made the decision last week that I’ll be doing an audiobook version of the book as well.  I don’t know why, but it seems like a fun process to go through so why not?  The eBook process has been such a learning experience, I figure why not? Let’s do the whole shebang, right?

I’m having my very first surgery Friday morning, and I’m kind of freaking out about it.  I’ve never had any surgery before, so I’m probably overreacting to things, but that’s how my brain works.  Don’t worry, it’s not as major as the word “surgery” makes it sound.  In short, I’m having two sinus lifts on the upper left side of my jaw, and then they’ll be doing a bone graft.  Due to some freak act of nature part of my upper jaw has deteriorated over the years, and needs to be fixed.  Once that’s all done, they’ll be putting in two dental implants into the newly reconstructed bone.

It sounds a lot more serious than it is, and thanks to America’s crappy health and dental insurance that we have, it’s costing me around $18k out of pocket.  But it has to be done, so it has to be done.

Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. I have plenty of ice cream stock piled, and will be taking the weekend to relax.  I made a mistake in scheduling it, though.  Had I looked at a calendar, I’d have known that Iron Man 3 was coming out this weekend, and wouldn’t have booked the surgery for Friday.  Hopefully I’ll feel up to going to see the movie. I suppose time will tell.

Some new photos of my drums

As I wrote the title of this post just there, it occurred to me that I’ve never given my drums a name. Weird right? I’ve been playing for over half my life (got my first drums at the ripe ol’ age of 14, so it’s been nearly 20 years now), and I’ve never given a name to my drums.

Anyway, I went through the process of putting new drum heads on them about a month ago. For those that don’t know, the head is the thing you smash with the drumsticks.  Depending on the type of head, you get a different sound.  There’s hundreds of different varieties.  For the technical drummers that may be reading, I went from a coated Ambassador to a Clear Evans 360 on all my toms.

That process, along with doing a full tuning of everything, reinvigorated me to want to play a lot more, which is awesome. I go through these phases where I want to give it all up and stop playing. And then something happens and I’m in love with being a drummer again.

Anywho, here’s some photos that I took after that re-heading of everything for your viewing pleasure.  Click to enlarge any of ’em.

They’ve served me well over the last couple years since I bought these particular Pearl drums, that’s for sure.

It also occurred to me, just now, that you may have no idea what I look like whilst playing said drums. So here’s me in all my drumming glory: headband, wrist bands, and drummer headphones:

Lil' ol' me.

Lil’ ol’ me.

Drummer’s Gloves

In my recent effort to make myself healthier, you may recall that I’ve been playing my drums more often than I’d been playing them over the last year.  Instead of once per week, I’ve been going three times a week.

The downside there is that my hands have been hurting a lot, and I’ve been getting tons of blisters.  You’d think after nearly twenty years of playing that I’d have calluses on my hands, but I don’t.   So each time I’d play, I’d come home with gaping wounds on my hands, which was terrible.

I decided to try wrapping my fingers in medical tape, which worked fine for a few weeks but wasn’t a viable solution.  It ended up that the tape would fall off from the sweat after a while, even though it was “water proof.”

I had tried drummer’s gloves back when I was in my late teens, and I ended up shredding them to bits after just a week.  I either play too hard, or the gloves weren’t very good, and they ended up in pieces.

After ten plus years of thinking they wouldn’t work, I decided to give them another try.  They arrived on Thursday, and I brought them with me for Saturday’s session.  I may have gotta a size too small, but otherwise it worked out well.  The blisters that I developed Saturday were much smaller than the last time I played a week ago, and there was literally no pain at all in my hands.  Overall I was pretty satisfied.

The one downside was that because it was the first time I was using them, they left quite a mess on my hands.  See the before and after photos below:


With Glove – Before


Without Glove – After

You can see there that there’s a ton of leftover fuzzies on my hands. Not the end of the world, but it was a surprise to take the glove off and see that.

I also think I may need to re-order and get a large instead of the medium.  The medium was a bit tight and may have lead to the few little blisters that I did get.  They weren’t uncomfortable, but they were certainly tight.

Overall, worth the money. We’ll see how they hold up over the next few jam sessions. My gut tells me they probably won’t, but it’ll be nice to be surprised and have them just last.

While we’re talking about drumming (and by we, I mean me), I’m thinking I want to get some more cymbals.  Sure, I have plenty, but I’m thinking I’d like some more smaller ones.  When I first started playing 19 years ago, I found that I liked bigger crashes better — the 18″ ones were my favorite.  Now that I’m in my ’30s, I find myself preferring the 16″ ones, and am wanting to try out some 14″ ones, as well.  It’s nice to be able to afford the luxuries of just buying them for myself. I know many of the guys I chat with on the Pearl Drummer’s Forum have to work hard and save their money to afford a new cymbal.  I feel bad for them, and appreciate how lucky I’ve been.

I haven’t started losing any weight with the additional workouts, if you were wondering.  I feel skinnier, but I think the lack of weight loss is due to me gaining muscle in its place.  Not a bad thing, I suppose.  I haven’t changed my diet at all, either, because I’m terrible at being healthy.  But hey, I’m trying.