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  #1  
Old 03-24-2017, 04:51 AM
kbuhagiar kbuhagiar is offline
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Location: Northern California
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Default Shaking Off the Rust

Hello Drummerworld,

I need some friendly advice.

I'm sure this a familiar story...I started playing the drums at the age of 12. Although I only had 6 months of formal drum lessons I am fortunate to have a natural rhythm. By the time I was 15 I was first chair in our high school jazz-rock ensemble. In my early 20s I spent 4 years in a cover/bar band, doing the day job thing while gigging three nights a week. Although certainly no virtuoso, I was pretty good, and so was our band. Then my day job career took off, I moved up through the ranks...and the music fell by the wayside.

Through the ensuing years I would occasionally sit in with musician friends and jam a bit, but never re-established that music 'muscle' that regular playing had developed.

So hear I am, 32 years later, successfully retired from my day job. I still have the same 5-piece Pearl Export set I gigged with back in the Crazy Eighties. Although I have kept it set up and tuned all these years, the lack of practice has had the expected effects. I can still keep a solid beat and I am still in excellent health, in fact probably better that before, but my skills have eroded. I would like to get back to where I was in my prime.

My first instinct is to get back to what helped me when I was a teenager - putting the headphones on and playing to my favorite songs.

Any other suggestions for a practice routine to clean the rust and put the edge back into my skills?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2017, 02:17 PM
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Superman Superman is offline
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

Welcome. Normally I would suggest finding a good instructor to assist you, but it seems you already know what you are doing. I think you should put the headphones on and just start playing again. It will be rough and frustrating but you will see gains. If there comes a point where that just isn't working, then you should consider going for some refresher lessons just to get back on track.

There is no right or wrong way. I took 4 years off once and it was very hard getting back, my hands would not do what my brain was telling them to. You will get there, good luck.
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Old 03-24-2017, 02:47 PM
Chollyred Chollyred is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Loganville, Ga.
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

I did basically the same thing (although not retired yet). I played along with records for a while, but it just wasn't the same until I found some guys to jam with. Once I started playing with people again, the rust fell away pretty quickly.

Look around in your area for guys in a similar situation. There are lots of us out there! One of the sites that has been good for me to find folks is Bandmix. You can build a profile with your skill levels, interests, commitments, etc. and search for other players with similar tastes.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:24 PM
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drummer-russ drummer-russ is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: St. Peters Mo
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

Welcome.

Nearly the same story for me. Your ideas are good but please also look at some instructional videos to make sure you still have sound technique so that you don't cause any injuries. We don't heal as well as we did back in the day.

I am 4 1/2 years into my renaissance and my only regret is that I didn't start back sooner. I have played in about 35 gigs in the last 2 1/2 years and there is simply nothing like playing in front of people again.

The other thing is that since we stopped playing the resources available to us are mind boggling. Internet: youtube, sheet music and tabs, and this forum!

But do look to play with people as soon as you can keep time!

These people here have helped me so much!
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:58 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

When I got back into music after a 20 year break, it was playing at the open mic jams that opened up all the opportunities for me. So my suggestion is to attend open mic jams around you. Find a good one and attend. If your playing is good enough, people will ask you to play. Just play well, be respectful, that's it.

Don't show off, play so the others have a nice solid foundation to work from. Don't be a moving target, give them what they want/need, a good solid confident beat. Make it easy for them to latch on to your time. That's all there is. There's lots of drummers, but not many that truly "get it". Meaning that a lot of amateurs play "lead drums" and don't understand the actual function of the drumset in an ensemble situation. Drums are a support instrument mainly. If you can't support well and must blow chops, the drums are the wrong instrument to be playing. (Not pointing out you personally, I'm just speaking generally)

Get out and play with people just as soon as you feel you can. Being sequestered in a basement with a pad and a metronome are good, but it can't compare to driving an actual band. Two completely different skillsets IMO.
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:38 PM
60's Drummer 60's Drummer is offline
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummer-russ View Post
Your ideas are good but please also look at some instructional videos to make sure you still have sound technique so that you don't cause any injuries. We don't heal as well as we did back in the day.
+1 and ear protection please
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:27 PM
kbuhagiar kbuhagiar is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Northern California
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

Hello DW,

Thanks for all the encouraging words so far.

It's good to hear that all of the suggestions for revival pretty much align with my ideas.

I do hope to eventually seek out like-minded musicians to work with, and I am grateful to have the Internet as a useful resource in this respect...what a difference from 30 years ago and the scraps of paper on bulletin boards in the music store.

Regarding ear protection..fortunately I became aware of that back in the day, after suffering through one particularly painful gig with the monitors turned up to 11. Since then I have always had some foam ear plugs on hand in my drum case. I am happy to say that my hearing is still excellent.

Thanks again.
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NorCal
Vintage 1985 Pearl Export
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2017, 06:47 PM
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Tyrnox Tyrnox is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 175
Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

People here have given you some sound idea's on how to go out and meet some fellow musicians.

If you want to work on one thing that will get your time and groove's solid and set, I would recommend the book "The New Breed" by Gary Chester.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2017, 06:52 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuhagiar View Post

Any other suggestions for a practice routine to clean the rust and put the edge back into my skills?

Thanks in advance!
1. For hands, Wilcoxon snare book (All American Drummer is a good one). Use a practice pad, metronome, and mirror. Stretch your hands, wrists, and arms. Warm up at slow speeds.

2. At least one system-based drum set book, i.e. Time Functioning Patterns, The New Breed, The Art of Bop Drumming, etc. Get that coordination back (and probably better than before).

3. Review different styles: Swing, bossa, samba, funk, rock, blues, whatnot. Search for at least one play along (i.e. music minus drums) in each style for practice.

4. Get into a band. Doesn't matter what style, really.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2017, 01:19 PM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 560
Default Re: Shaking Off the Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbuhagiar View Post
Hello DW,

Thanks for all the encouraging words so far.

It's good to hear that all of the suggestions for revival pretty much align with my ideas.

I do hope to eventually seek out like-minded musicians to work with, and I am grateful to have the Internet as a useful resource in this respect...what a difference from 30 years ago and the scraps of paper on bulletin boards in the music store.

Regarding ear protection..fortunately I became aware of that back in the day, after suffering through one particularly painful gig with the monitors turned up to 11. Since then I have always had some foam ear plugs on hand in my drum case. I am happy to say that my hearing is still excellent.

Thanks again.
When I got back into playing after 17 years off I was in the fortunate position of having my mates from back in the day ready to pick up their guitars again so we got to playing as a group. It's a bit like riding a bike and enough came back to me to allow me to play well enough without feeling depressed about how much better I was 20 years ago :-). 11 of the last 12 years have been spent gigging regularly and I'm currently in two bands so despite not being the man I was, I'm good enough!!

Re ear protection, hunt out some music specific earplugs such as ACS ER20s or similar. They can be had for under 15 and the sound you get back versus the bass heavy and treble sapping foam plugs can be a revelation. For me it put a massive smile on my face having both ear protection and high fidelity at the same time.
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