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Monday, November 26, 2007

I practice daily in my room

In regards to the previous post (and Py's post on the same topic), I figured I'd share some more thoughts on the subject. Py mentioned how drum instructional videos "let you see superstar drummers break down complicated beats so you can feel like a talentless idiot." And I agree. But I think I've reached a point where my attitude about drumming has changed for the better.

Back when I was in middle school and high school, I had a desire for being a virtuoso on either guitar or drums. I chalk it up to getting into more technically proficient bands like Metallica, Rush and Dream Theater. Playing a lot of notes means you're a virtuoso, right? Well, that's one way of looking at it.

When I realized I didn't have the patience to learn guitar solos or complicated drumbeats, I forged ahead with a style that has been the style I like: simple, but not too simple or too unorthodox. Play for the song and don't over- or under-play. What all does that entail? Well, it varies from song to song. But I thought I had learned everything I wanted to learn and didn't think I had to learn anything new.

Well, after a few band practices spread out over a few months where I felt my playing wasn't up to snuff, I decided to focus on the basics of drumming. That meant getting out the old practice pad, doing some rolls and playing along with songs that I like. It's helped a ton when I get to sit behind my kit and I'd like to continue the woodshedding. This is not to dominate a jam session or show off. Rather, this is working up my skills already in place. That's what practice is, right?

I'm not interested in being an annoying drum nerd, but I'm not interested in being some lazy player. I've seen one too many guys play in the last few years who seem afraid to really play or just don't pay attention to the song they are playing. (And usually it's guys who think a ride cymbal is all you need to play with in a rock band.) Frankly, this has made me want to do something about it rather than sit back and complain.

Whether I like it or not, drumming is in my blood. Even when I'm not in front of a kit, I'm tapping along with something in my head. It explains the air-drumming that happens out of nowhere; often the amusement of those around me. I can't help it, but maybe this is something that's always been a part of me. I figure it all works with my attitude on life: there's a lot more to learn with stuff I've always been around.

1 comment:

Py Korry said...

I used to keep my drums in a practice space where there were many good players who also rented spaces there. When they started playing with their bands, the drumming was just a lot of busy/flashy stuff that didn't add much to the songs.