Greetings everyone. Been a lurker for a bit, but finally decided to register.
I'm a new old guy (37 years old)
and have never touched the drums before. I have been a professional air drummer for quite a while, and did brass from 5th grade through marching/jazz in high school. I've always wanted to pick up the drums, but never quite had the guts to do it. I decided this year was the year... better late than never! I'm more into Jazz/Big Band, but enjoy plenty of rock as well; I'm all over the map. Hope to at one point get to gig with local bands, but to just enjoy myself. Not looking for a career... just a thing to have fun with other people once I can find them around here and have enough skill to not look like a total idiot.
So, I've been hitting the pad and kit since January, definitely a beginner. I've really tried to take the forums and instruction from several videos to heart about "perfect practice" and "start with technique, the rest will follow" I've got a video from Peter Erskine, Benny's Language of Drumming (he was one of my inspirations to finally get to it... love his sound), and Tommy's lifetime hands. I'm attempting to do a solid hour a day of practice, as that is all my life will allow right now (little kids, job, etc). Again, I'm doing technical so I'm doing Stick control 5-7 (one column per day), some 4-way coordination, and a little here and there of groove that I hear and trying to follow the video's.
With stick control I'm starting around 60 bpm and working my way a column per day and trying to up the tempo 2-4 bpm each week. I'm sure I'll get to a point where I'll plateau and will just have to try and break through. I haven't been able to up the speed on 4-way all that much, and have had to still between 40-50bpm just to get through (and even then, it's not clean on the first page). Be the turtle is what I hear, and speed will come.
I definitely have some beginner blues as I'd hoped I would be a little better than I am even after 3 months of solid practice. I'm anxious obviously to progress to at least something musical, but I have to understand I might take 1-2 years just to get up to speed with technical before I can progress any further. Sucks, but seem the general consensus that is how you get there.
My biggest beginner problems is my left hand. While it doesn't seem to be weak in strength, I cannot engage the fingers as I do on my right hand. I can really get the fulcrum going on the right hand and use the fingers, but for whatever reason my left doesn't want to cooperate. I'm just hoping time and patience with consistent movement will make him get in line... but I'm concerned. I have to almost hold it french style just to get the fingers to engage... which I don't want to get stuck with as it feels like I'll limit my speed. My other issue is independence. My hands and feet (and my voice it seems as well) are tied together. Right foot goes down, so does the hand. Try an 8th beat on right hand and 16th on the bass and you know the rest... hand does what the foot does. I so look forward to the day I can decouple, but I think that will be a long, looooong
time before that happens even trying to stick with the technical. It's funny, I sometimes get that little voice in my head of "you're probably one of those that will take 3 times as long as the others to get it" which I'm sure some of you got when starting out. I know it's not a race, but being 37 I want to maximize the time I have and get somewhere.
I'm grateful for this forum, and it's definitely a source of great info and motivation. I hope as a progress I can get more and more out of it as I can do more things (I hope).
I was able to get a really good deal on a Sonor Ascent kit from Sam (http://www.samiamstudios.com/
). I really love the sound of Sonor (tried out a bunch of brands... didn't like the maple sets as much). I have 10, 12, 14, 16, 14 snare and 22 bass. I really liked the sound of Meinl cymbals as well (German invasion), so I picked up a 14" sand hi-hat and the 20" sand ride. Love them both. Don't have a crash yet, but will at some point soon (and probably stick with the sand again). Now if I could only make them sound like Benny, I'd be all set. He's only got about 30 years on me, but I hope to come up fast ;)
Phew, I guess that's enough. Look forward to many years hanging out here!
Obligatory kit pics: