I have, of late, had a bit of a drummer's resurgence. I have been a drummer since the age of fifteen. I have been in a working band since the age of twenty-ish. I have always enjoyed going out to play drums. But, somewhere between the ages of, say, thirty-ish and forty-ish, I started to put my songwriting and composition first and I started seeing drums as a small part of the big puzzle.
|The new drums, on a gig.|
But here's the weird thing: I have been practicing poorly. I just realized it the other day. You know what I have been doing? I've been playing stuff that is easy for me. Any novice musician knows that is no way to grow. I know it full well. Still...
...the other day, I tried something: playing patterns over a steady 3/4 (waltz) rhythm. (Inspired by Max Roach's "The Drum Also Waltzes", but with a slightly more complicated foot pattern.) Anyway, whatever level your musical knowledge is, let it suffice to say that doing this is more difficult than it sounds and, most importantly for this piece, much more difficult than I thought it would be.
I tried it a few times and just quit. Just stopped and moved onto something simpler. Today, driving in the car, it occurred to me why that was. I wasn't conscious of it, but I was saving face.
|The old kit, home sweet home.|
I was quitting because I was embarrassed to be heard playing badly, whether I knew it or not. Stupid.
I'm going back to it this weekend. No more dumbness.