In these past couple weeks I have seen a huge improvement in my drumming. In this past week in particular, I think I have taken a big leap in skill level from when I first started off banging away at Tim’s drum set. I have finally reached a point in my practicing where I much more confident on comfortable with the drum set and I look forward to playing it, or, as some would say, “making loud rhythms for the whole world to hear on it.” I’m afraid my garage doesn’t have very good insulation.
My progress on our first piece, ‘Today’ by The Smashing Pumpkins, has been going very smoothly. I have now upped the tempo a bit more, and while I would still say I am playing slowly, I wouldn’t go as far as to say I am playing “VERY slowly” like I did in my last post. I am also starting to get the rhythms in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana; however, that piece I am playing EXTREMELY slowly. Not only does it consist of harder rhythms and patterns than ‘Today’, but I’m also singing that song which adds another level of difficulty to the peice. Overall the hardest part of both the pieces has definitely been reading the sheet music. Drum notation is the most inconsistent component in drumming, each artist and composer uses their own methods of writing the music, which causes a lot of difficulty to beginners like myself. I have spent countless hours googling different drum notation and watching YouTube videos to make sure I am playing the correct drum and/or symbol at the correct time. I have been writing down all my questions and anything I was unsure about, mainly with drum notation, so that I can bring it up at my first meeting with my mentor.
I guess I kind of spoiled the biggest plus of this past week in the last sentence of the paragraph above, but I finally found a mentor! As I mentioned in my last post, my sister’s piano teach had contacted a drummer she knew to see if he would be available to be my mentor and he wrote back this week and agreed to meet with me for the first time this upcoming Monday (Feb. 9th). His name is Mike Edin and he was the drummer in the band Amusia. They post all their music on Sound Cloud (https://soundcloud.com/amusiamusic) and I have already had the opportunity to listen to most of it. I really started to feel the beat of their music and hear the drumming, which has made me even more excited to finally meet and learn from Mike. I also found their lead singer very impressive. He has amazing vocals and I think my favourite pieces would have to be ‘War Machine’ and ‘The Final Cry’. I have now downloaded the Sound Cloud app specifically for their music.
In the end, I think these past few weeks have been very productive and I proud of what I have accomplished. Hopefully, in my next post, two weeks from now, I will have more to say about my mentor and I will be able to share the details of our first meeting. I’m also hoping to be able to make more connections to the part from How to Have a Beautiful Mind in my last post about agreeing, disagreeing, and differing and how those really did occur in our sessions, rather than what I assume will happen. I’m really stoked about what is still to come and also I can’t wait to finally complete our first piece as a band.