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  #1  
Old 06-11-2012, 11:31 PM
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Default Old Ends, New Starts

Some of the people on this forum will be familiar with recent circumstances and I've shared some very moving correspondence on here from and hopefully with other members over the last few months. Some of you may also have been privy to the knowledge that I've been quite badly ill for several months with severe depression.

Well, the last few days have been very interesting.

Firstly, I'm sad to report that I have split up with my girlfriend of several years. We made a mutual decision and it ended about as well as is possible. I am obviously upset but I think the decision has been made for all the right reasons and I hope that we can both be happy with or without the company of each other. I know she'll do very well in her future and that to some extent I am not necessarily the right person given some of the circumstances that have been taking place.

So, a new start. Perhaps an opportunity. For the first time in my life I did something totally irrational and decided to drive an eight-hundred mile round trip to see a friend that I haven't seen in four years and that would be leaving the country to return home after travelling around Europe for several months. Irrationality is not something that I'm often akin to but it was a deeply liberating experience and acting on my impulses meant that I had a great time with a good friend, enjoyed the company of a fine human being and discovered a beautiful city.

Musical developments have also taken place. A few days ago, an old friend's Mother turned up at my door asking for my number. Apparently a friend of a friend of a friend was looking for a drummer for his new project. Today, whilst driving through Northumberland I got a text message and pulled over at the services to read it (and refuel physically and mechanically). After sending a message back, the gentleman in question sent me some examples of the music that the band has laid down (with some very convincing MIDI drum parts). Listening to the first few seconds I knew they were very serious and obviously have a lot of potential. Instantly I accepted his offer and we've agreed to meet (with the rest of the band) and see if I can fit into their plans musically and physically.

He mentioned promoter contacts, studio contacts, industry contacts, a website that is under construction and a number of songs that are 'better' than the ones I heard (which I thought were fantastic) as well as the financial backing to put together a very credible band. There were no issues with the fact that I cannot financially contribute (which I explained very clearly - I always think this is a very quick way for bands to fall out) and after the call I realised that I think this project has real commercial potential and some very serious talent behind it. I also gave the caller the option to really think about having me in the band only if I'm right for the project - I think they're so good that if I'm not the right person, I don't want them to feel as though I'm their only option if I'm not right. I would hate to be the 'wrong' player because I think that could hinder the potential. Listening to the music, though, it is definitely something I am interested in.

He also mentioned meeting in the pub. That's always a good start.

The last three days have seen some huge changes in my life. I'm sad about the relationship but I'm happy that there are some new starts that look promising.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

I will be very brief for a change. I have told you a few times that I have always found you wise beyond your years. Sorry to hear about the relationship but am confident that you will find your way through. As for the band, congrats on that, and I feel you have approached it in the best light. I wish you nothing but the best.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Thank you, J. That means an awful lot to me.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

C'est la vie! Turn the page and move on...In life - You must expect the unexpected.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Well Duncan, interesting times for you too. Loved what you said about feeling liberated by acting irrationally. I've had that feeling too at times. It's a good thing to jump out of your comfort zone now and then - to not be locked into a life formula.

Bummer about your partner but you have your reasons. Oh well, you're moving on, as we all do.

Whatever, I'm sure the try out with this band will be enjoyable and a learning experience at the very least. Hopefully, you're a good fit! Remember, the playing side can always be improved but the personal side is critical.

Don't be a martyr and rule yourself out if you think other drummers fit the role better. Maybe they could, but there are probably other issues with taste, temperament, musical understandings and values, ambitions and goals, stability (very good players tend to get tempting offers and do a runner - so I'm told :), availability, compatible insanities etc.

So if they choose you, trust their judgement, even if you think they could do better. If they are as good as you say then they know what they're doing.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

I'm sorry to hear of your challenges over the last few months & recent events. You seemed mostly chirpy when you came to visit me a few months ago, but I'm guessing that was the infectious nature of my awesome aura & the sound of duelling Gurus :) :) :)

Seriously, the band opportunity seems very promising indeed. I know you're a fussy little git when it comes to music choices, so the fact you've found something that interests you, is frankly, astounding. Cut the "I'm not good enough" crap & get on with it. If they choose you, then you're good enough = end of decision conflict. Roll with it, don't over analyse. You've got enough crud to be thinking of without worrying over something that's going well.

Now go out there & nail it!
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

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If they choose you, then you're good enough = end of decision conflict.
Yep. Others are more objective judges of the "package" we offer than we are.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:17 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

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Yep. Others are more objective judges of the "package" we offer than we are.
It's going to be a case of 'first rehearsal' to determine whether they're going to want me or not but so far I'm quite excited. It's better in my view to get an offer from people that you haven't previously known because it's easier to be professional in that situation and so far I have been left with an utterly professional impression of this band. They're a class act. I'm a victim of fortune - there aren't many reliable drummers around here. This isn't certain yet but in a few weeks I will know.

Andy, I certainly was chirpy when I visited you. You and your family were most accommodating and friendly. I learned a lot on that trip and you have my sincerest gratitude. I'm prone to appearing fine most of the time to other people but I genuinely was quite chipper at that point!

I'm just going to do what I can to make sure I land this gig. Hard practice to a metronome and sorting my act out. There's a lot of space in the music that I've heard so far so it's crucial that I can nail the time first take. I also need to work on making sure my snare tone is consistent and my right foot is planted well. Nothing I can't do but there's now some impetus!

Thank you all for your thoughts.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
I'm just going to do what I can to make sure I land this gig. Hard practice to a metronome and sorting my act out. There's a lot of space in the music that I've heard so far so it's crucial that I can nail the time first take. I also need to work on making sure my snare tone is consistent and my right foot is planted well. Nothing I can't do but there's now some impetus!
What genre/s are they playing?

I've been trying to get more consistency in snare tone too. I often play about 2" from the rim and small shifts can make a big difference.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

They describe themselves as 'Alternative'. Piano, bass, (mainly) acoustic guitar but there's something I hear that I like a lot more than I usually would from that kind of combination. It's very spacious music and really nailing the timing is critical. I know I can but I have to just work on absolute consistency because they're talking about studio time fairly soon.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

As the old cliche says...a door closes and a window opens :) Sounds like things are working out just the way they should be for you. I'm so very happy for you and wish you the best of luck in both personal and musical endeavors!

MaryO
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Sometimes things are so clear...this is obviously a new chapter in your life Duncan. Here's hoping it's a good one!
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

I'm glad to hear things are moving forward for you. In my experience, change that appears disruptive at the time is normally the beginning of new opportunities I may not have foreseen.
This sounds like it could be a similar thing for you. I wish you the very best! Keep us all posted!
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Praying for great things in your future and for doors to open!
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:40 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Hmmm. Break-up with a girlfriend and all the sudden you're enjoying life again. That's not so bad. I was married for a few years. It was nice, but she was so dull and boring. Now my life is loco and I'm having a great time. Sure I miss her in a way, but, in a way I don't. I can do whatever I want now. And I do, because I can.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Well, I'm late in this thread Duncan, somehow, with the events of the last couple days, I missed it, sorry...

Sorry to hear about your health and relationship too, but you seems to have found a new path, and hopefully, a great new band, I have absolute faith in your drumming, you're going to nail it.

Wonderful vibe about the spur of the moment to go and see your friend, just like that, I can relate to that, in certain circumstances, I could do the same thing :)

I wish you every success in your "New Starts", good luck and keep us to date with the new band.

Cheers

Henri
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Peaks and valleys. What life is all about.
Break-ups hurt, but usually save us from more hurt, down the road. Self preservation kicking in.
Good luck with this new music adventure. Certainly sounds like a potentially awesome gig. And you bring to the table a lot more than "just being a drummer". You have a few aces in your hand. Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Chin up, Dunc.

New gig sounds like something to immerse the soul in for a bit anyway. Hopefully you find new inspiration there. Good luck mate.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Thank you for all your kind words.

I'm upset about the relationship - it was very good but it ended amicably. It's just going to take time as all things like this do. There's a gap there that's not going to go away soon.

I've been practicing the last couple of days and trying to work out some of the microtiming issues with my playing. I'm still very excited about all of this and just hope it works out!

'New chapter' just about covers it, I think. Maybe I'll even shift a few pounds and perfect my Leg Break bowling. Miracles do sometimes happen!
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
They describe themselves as 'Alternative'. Piano, bass, (mainly) acoustic guitar but there's something I hear that I like a lot more than I usually would from that kind of combination. It's very spacious music and really nailing the timing is critical. I know I can but I have to just work on absolute consistency because they're talking about studio time fairly soon.
Sounds promising, Duncan. Chances to use brushes and mallets? Sounds like you'll be hearing a lot of metronome in the next little period ...
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:24 AM
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Sounds promising, Duncan. Chances to use brushes and mallets? Sounds like you'll be hearing a lot of metronome in the next little period ...
Not so much brushes but possibly mallets! Good thing I made a few different pairs the other week.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:32 AM
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Not so much brushes but possibly mallets! Good thing I made a few different pairs the other week.
You're making your own mallets? Good idea. They always seem highly priced for what they are.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:40 AM
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It's really not difficult at all. Total cost is probably about 15 for a pair and that includes the price of the timbale rods that I used, had I paid for them (actually got free from Pete Lockett when I met him a few years back). All you need is wool, some kind of core material, some glue and a large needle on top of the handles.

It also means you can play with different core materials. I've got a pair with very soft heads and a lot of winds and one with very hard heads and fewer winds. Quite a lot of contrast and I've barely spent anything.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:32 AM
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... "a large needle on top of the handles" ... I don't understand this - it sounds dangerous :)

Good idea to make your mallets, though. You can customise them to get exactly the effect you want. I only get to use mallets in two songs so far so I don't need to be fussy at this stage.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:34 AM
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Default Re: Old Ends, New Starts

Ambiguous word choice, my bad.

'A large needle as well as the handles'.

Not on my best form today. A long and complicated week...
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