Editor's Note: This post was composed on my iPad. Please excuse any typos, grammatical errors, or just general stupidity.
Ever since I moved in May of last year, my drums have been at a music complex about half an hour from my apartment. Not ideal, and certainly not as cushy as I had it when I lived in my house. But it is what t is, and that’s the best I’ve got for right now.
Up until this week, I’d only been going there once a week, usually on Friday nights after work. They recently changed their hours, so they’re open much earlier all the time, so it’s slightly easier to go on Saturday morning. It’s also a lot quieter on Saturday mornings, too. Friday nights are hit or miss. Since there’s close to 100 rooms in the place, sometimes I get there and there’s no bands rehearsing. Sometimes there’s a bunch. And as soundproof as they built the place, it’s still pretty loud. Thankfully once I put my headphones in and start playing, it’s tough to hear any other musicians, so that’s okay. I think, but haven’t confirmed, that I’m l the only musician there that’s not in a band and just plays for fun. That’s probably because of the fact that the place is kind of pricey if you’re by yourself. Since most of the other renters are in bands, they get to split the costs between them, whereas I’m by myself.
Starting this week, I’m going three times a week. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. Not only does this make financial sense, but it’s good for my mentality and physicality, as well. It’s no secret that I’m out of shape, and have been for years. And it’s also me secret that I can’t go to the gym consistently. The only form of exercise over the years that I’ve ever been able to manage has been my drums. So why not take advantage of it?
I got myself an iPad mount a few weeks ago, which has worked wonders. I used to,play along to my iPhone in my pocket, but that wasn’t working out so well. If a song came on that I didn’t want to play, I’d have to reach into my pocket and take the iPhone and change the track. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you’re trying to play along to songs that may start instantly, it’s too to get the iPhone back in your pocket before the song starts. Now the iPad sits gingerly to to the left of my hi-hats at a height that I can not only always see what’s playing, but I can reach over and swipe to the left or right to change tracks. It works out way better this way.
Here’s a gallery of my drums. Because this post is really long right now, and your eyes could use a break from reading. And because you’re probably curious about what it looks like if you haven’t seen it before.
I’ve also been experimenting trying to play some songs that I’ve never tried before. I’ve always tried to stick to albums and songs that I was confident I could play, but that’s getting kind of boring. So why not try new stuff? I’ve got a playlist on the iPad that’s just called Drums, with tons of songs that I either know I can play, or that I want to try to play.
People often ask “Can you learn to play this song?” And drumming isn’t really something that you can learn. Either you hear what the drummer in the song is doing, or you don’t. Granted, you could read the sheet music, and play it note for note the way the composer did, but that’s usually not likely. More often than not, you just play along to what you hear. You may get to a part that’s hard to hear or too complex, and you improvise. Most of drumming is improvising. At least the way I play it is.
I’ve had this particular drum kit for almost a year and a half now. I bought it for myself in September of 2011, as a birthday gift to myself. It’s my dream color, Pearl’s Ocean Sparkle. I’m a hit miffed that there’s two different shades of blue, but it happens. I got such a good deal on Craigslist, I couldn’t really complain. Perhaps some day I’ll replace the mismatched drums wit matching ones. The issue is that they don’t make this particular line or color anymore, so I’d have to custom order them. Price isn’t a big deal, but there’s around an 8 month wait for custom ordered drums from Pearl.
In short, or to sum this whole thing up rather, I’m going to start playing more. Not just because it makes me feel good, but because its good for me. I love drums.