This year I’ve declared war on certain aspects of who I am. One of which is procrastination (read this blog’s title). The other is mediocrity. The former covers many aspects of my life, but the latter, at this point refers specifically to my drums. I play drums for my Church. I’ve played for bands and choirs for almost 20 years now. I think I do quite a good job, but happy I’m not!
There was a time when I used to practice a lot; in the beginning I guess, when you’re hungry and sponge-like. Then once I found I could hold a few beats in varying styles, true to form, I became lazy and coasted, watching as my skill level meandered its way upwards. Enough however is enough! I’m getting reacquainted with my old friends ‘Paradiddle’ and ‘Double Stroke’ and actually downloaded a tuition app. The rudiments are boring and monotonous, but they are the meat and veg of any drummer’s repertoire. What I am enjoying though is the improvement I am noticing in my speed and control. And as these guys begin to creep their way into your everyday playing, they open an almost infinite array of rhythmic choices.
Playing regularly for my church has definitely given rise to my new zeal. The guys I play with are so good at what they do. Classically trained string musicians, guitarists, flutists, pianists. I have no choice but to step up my musical chops! I have to also lay some blame at the feet of Chris Daddy Dave. I’ve admired many drummers over the years, and of course still do, but Chris for me is the freshest out there right now! He plays with a freedom, that for me tends to become somewhat lost or perhaps a little more regimented in drummers of his ilk. He intersperses his playing with whimsical notes and phrases, that almost shouldn’t work, but do! Plus there’s his snare drum fetish (no toms, only snare drums) and his obsession with only playing on cracked cymbals. The guy’s killing me right now!