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  #1  
Old 11-13-2012, 01:27 PM
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Default Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I'm not necessarily talking about bad drumming technique....

But me and our band were chatting to a guitarist out of an old band I was in over the weekend and he mentioned the 'recording' incident.

So we elaborated...and my band mates said "yeah...we can hear you.....always"....

I hum....loudly....all the time.....along with the music.....

Previous band were recording a demo CD at Manchester Uni many years ago and the kid doing the recording started off by saying "there's something wrong with the drums....they're buzzing or something"....

We found out....after about three quarters of an hour....that the 'buzzing' was me...humming.

I'm trying to coach myself to stop doing it but was playing on my E Drums last night.....and my partner came upstairs to tell me to 'shut it'....."what???" said I? ..... "your bloody humming".

:-)
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I wouldn't call this 'incredibly bad, quite bizarre'. But as you mentioned, it could indeed interfere with recording if it's loud enough. To me it's _your_ way of expressing yourself (unconsciously). Now getting control over it and turn it off when needed would be a good thing though.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2012, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

You're not alone. There's an example of a guy who was renowned for making a fair bit of noise when he played. These tracks have done the rounds and you've probably heard them before. But on the odd chance you missed them, check some of these noises out: http://www.saladrecords.com/bonhamfiles.htm
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2012, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I do it too but I think I'm worse.. I have some sort of 'drum apnea' where I groan and hold my breath and I caught myself doing it on an e kit once and that's when I realized it was pretty anti-social.

I have a Dave DiCenso book and that encourages counting while you play. I thought this might help regulate breathing but not enough to 'fix' me yet. I think Virgil Donati does it too.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
I'm not necessarily talking about bad drumming technique....

But me and our band were chatting to a guitarist out of an old band I was in over the weekend and he mentioned the 'recording' incident.

So we elaborated...and my band mates said "yeah...we can hear you.....always"....

I hum....loudly....all the time.....along with the music.....

Previous band were recording a demo CD at Manchester Uni many years ago and the kid doing the recording started off by saying "there's something wrong with the drums....they're buzzing or something"....

We found out....after about three quarters of an hour....that the 'buzzing' was me...humming.

I'm trying to coach myself to stop doing it but was playing on my E Drums last night.....and my partner came upstairs to tell me to 'shut it'....."what???" said I? ..... "your bloody humming".

:-)
listen to any Elvin Jones or Thelonious Monk recording and you will hear them moaning and grunting the whole time

in my opinion it is a beautiful natural thing....not a bad habit
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2012, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

This is a bad habit IMO. I did this too, for too long. Here's my take on it. I used to hum because I wasn't comfortable with space at the time, and always had to mentally fill any "holes" with a drone. This aurally colored and somewhat masked what was actually happening. It was interfering with my listening. The goal is to listen, not hum. As soon as I became aware of what I was doing (humming unconsciously) I shut off my hummer and only then was I able to force myself to listen to all the things my drone was compensating for. It helped a lot to shut that thing down. It forced me to face the space. It cleared things up. It wasn't that hard to adjust, once I realized how detrimental it was to my listening/perception. Humming degraded my listening power, by way too much, and colored the results as well, not good. I'd encourage you to stop humming, it's an insecurity thing, it was for me anyway. Plus it sounds stupid and probably doesn't look good either. No good reason to do it IMO.

After I became comfortable with the metronome, all insecurities concerning time, tempo and spaces evaporated. I think humming is a part of the journey for a lot of folks, I sure suffered through it for years.


Sort of on topic, I've often wondered this but never asked...How many experience this? Not a bad or bizarre habit, but you are tuning your drums, drum key in hand, and after you do some tweaking, you start playing, drum key still in hand, and you play for quite a bit, you play some really nice stuff with the drum key still in your hand. It seems like some of the best stuff I came up with in my studio....I had my drum key in my hand while playing right after tweak tuning. I know I'm not the only one to experience this, as it happens often enough. Does this sound familiar?

Regarding what Anthony stated, I think grunting, and short vocalization bursts are a different thing, nothing wrong there, but a semi constant drone hum is bad for your perception.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2012, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
....you start playing, drum key still in hand....
yeah, I do that. I even got that big DW key so it would be easier to hold while I was doing it. lol....what a drum nerd I am....
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2012, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
listen to any Elvin Jones or Thelonious Monk recording and you will hear them moaning and grunting the whole time

in my opinion it is a beautiful natural thing....not a bad habit
Exactly! I've heard Jack DeJohnette groan live, but nothing compared to Keith Jarret.

It's all good.
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2012, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I like to sing along sometimes, and I'll also hum passages that really move me... I use it as just another way to get into the music. The other strange thing I do is "sing" the drum part quietly as I'm playing it... You know "boom - chack - boom - boom - bink - crash" or whatever the part is.

The only time I use humming along as any kind of crutch for my playing or time is when I'm playing with string players who do not have a good sense of time on their own. Sometimes it helps me to ignore them and their time stretches and hum the tune as I know it should be. This usually only comes up at open mic or really drunk band practice though, so pretty rare.

For my real "at the kit" time crutch, I know for fact that I move my whole body, usually too much. I bob my head, sway, bounce around, tap my left foot off-pedal... Interestingly, when I play cajon, my time crutch moves to both feet and I almost always do 1/3 on my right, 2/4 on my left.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2012, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Last night we were jamming/recording and the sound engineer kept saying the snare mic was rattling. I kept checking but there was no issue with the mic. He said it happened when the music got most intense.
So I started playing hard to test it, and it turned out that when I really get into it- my knees hit my snare drum and it moves around and smacks against the tom. So I am basically banging my drums together during the song. Not good, and surprisingly hard to stop doing.
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  #11  
Old 11-14-2012, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I like to sing along sometimes, and I'll also hum passages that really move me... I use it as just another way to get into the music. The other strange thing I do is "sing" the drum part quietly as I'm playing it... You know "boom - chack - boom - boom - bink - crash" or whatever the part is.

Had a jazz group in the studio about 2 years ago. We ran into a mysterious sound on a couple tracks. Long story short we finally tracked it down to the drummer's overhead mic. Turns out he was humming really loudly while he played. I almost always start there with 'mysterious' sounds now.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

The great jazz pianists Oscar Peterson and Erroll Garner made sounds like groans when
they played. No one minded because the music shown through and it was accepted that it
was part of their process to be able to get the music out.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

My facial expressions do not add to the music what so ever.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

ever fart so loud it makes your snare rattle?
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2012, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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ever fart so loud it makes your snare rattle?
Please tell me you didn't use a kick port.
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  #16  
Old 11-14-2012, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I hum too, cause I dont know the words.

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  #17  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I did this when I played on a e-drum in our local music store, this was so awkward!
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Another reason not to drone hum is that it uses energy and brainpower which could be better channeled to either your listening mechanism or your playing mechanism. Humming helps neither. Again, short groans and such are different, it's the constant drone that I think is detrimental. It kind of like clenching your teeth when you are trying to open a stuck jar. Clenching your teeth doesn't make you grip harder, it just seems that way. Actually it is siphoning some energy from your real goal.
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  #19  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I curl my toes when playing heel down. Not bizarre but definitely a habit
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  #20  
Old 11-14-2012, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

This man did it no matter which instrument he played... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy6B4lNixi4

Not bad or bizarre to me.

Last edited by dmacc; 11-14-2012 at 10:00 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Not a bad or bizarre habit, but you are tuning your drums, drum key in hand, and after you do some tweaking, you start playing, drum key still in hand, and you play for quite a bit, you play some really nice stuff with the drum key still in your hand.
Same habit here! :) Sounds funny but except of creative spark it might help in practice routine too. I used to hold 1 key in each hand to isolate pinky and the ring finger (holding the key in claw like position). That helped me to gain more control over the stick with the middle finger, improved my rebound and made my playing style more open. In other hand there's a load of fun doing back -clicks on rehersal while guitarist tunes his 'axe'! :D 'What the f#*% ?! Is that your trash can amp?' (q goes to bass player) 'Nope,maybe it's your beloved high-end-ultra-nuclear-godlike pedal board?' Hahaa,just try it!
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

If i have gum in my mouth while playing, i naturally blow bubbles. And I always make THE WEIRDEST faces while playing! Ugh. They never can get a good picture of me drumming. Whenever i play the electric kit at my church, my knees knock together. Without that acoustic snare, they naturally pull together like magnets. And the weirdest one is probably during band practices, I'll always make eye contact with the lead singer at the same time she makes eye contact with me.... I can't really explain that one... at all...
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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Another reason not to drone hum is that it uses energy and brainpower which could be better channeled to either your listening mechanism or your playing mechanism. Humming helps neither. Again, short groans and such are different, it's the constant drone that I think is detrimental. It kind of like clenching your teeth when you are trying to open a stuck jar. Clenching your teeth doesn't make you grip harder, it just seems that way. Actually it is siphoning some energy from your real goal.
out of curiosity .....what do you think of someone like George Benson, John Pizzarelli or Vinnie Valentino who sing the melody along with what they are playing

or maybe Steve Smith doing this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7QdbPQjtAc&t=0m45s
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  #24  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

It doesn't bother me. It's part of the self-expression of some artists. Some of the world's best do it.

Hey, all I know is, Keith Jarrett not only hums and groans like a motherf***er, he also gyrates like he's committing a sexual act with the piano while he's playing. And it doesn't prevent him from expressing himself brilliantly. This is maybe the greatest living musician, and he does all that stuff, and the music is still sublime.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I think this man's humming just adds to the experience....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2rByT541zk
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  #26  
Old 11-15-2012, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

now this is making too much noise lmao


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  #27  
Old 11-15-2012, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gvdadrummasum View Post
out of curiosity .....what do you think of someone like George Benson, John Pizzarelli or Vinnie Valentino who sing the melody along with what they are playing

or maybe Steve Smith doing this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7QdbPQjtAc&t=0m45s
A master singing the melody is way different from a non master humming to compensate for space insecurity is my take on it. The masters have overcome the issues they need to to get to where they are. For the rest of us, we need to maximize our focus and drone humming to compensate for space insecurity is an energy siphon and a listening crutch IMO. What Steve is doing is a high skill, drone humming is detrimental, at least it was to me.
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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A master singing the melody is way different from a non master humming to compensate for space insecurity is my take on it.
Seems like a false dichotomy to me, Larry. Surely a grunt is a grunt is a grunt? We should ask John about this :)

At what level of attainment is grunting rendered valid? For each rudiment mastered at 200bpm you're allowed extra 1.5dB of grunting and moaning?

No doubt you're right that it wouldn't help on some levels, although if it helps on other levels then maybe it's a moot point. There's a goofy charm to it too. I heard recently that the middle-aged "oof" when we're about to sit down or get up comes from not bracing your abdominal muscles enough in the movement ... not sure it's relevant, but I just thought I'd share that.
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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A master singing the melody is way different from a non master humming to compensate for space insecurity is my take on it. The masters have overcome the issues they need to to get to where they are. For the rest of us, we need to maximize our focus and drone humming to compensate for space insecurity is an energy siphon and a listening crutch IMO. What Steve is doing is a high skill, drone humming is detrimental, at least it was to me.
point taken

I don't consider myself a master......but I find humming a melody beneficial while playing

It allows me to play off of it and induces creativity

there are complete teaching philosophies dedicated to singing a melody while playing

now for a beginner to just hum a random note while playing doesn't make much sense and would be amazingly distracting...

but a skilled player I believe should be encouraged to hum a melody while playing sometimes

it is a coordination skill....sort of like a fifth limb

at least thats how it is taught by some jazz masters
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  #30  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Agreed humming melody is a different thing. If the OP is talking about what I used to do, humming one random note, pretty hard, just so there was never any complete silence in my head...I was not comfortable with complete silence, like during a 2 beat rest for instance, and I was not confident enough in my time keeping skills. It was a bad habit, and one that prevented me from relaxing completely with the time.

Humming the melody is like a 5th thing to coordinate, always a good thing if you can do it.

Does anyone find it hard to talk in normal conversation while playing? Sometimes it's hard for me to speak in normal conversation meter and not drop time on the drums. Like I can do it, but it takes some forethought and I tend to blurt stuff out quickly, so it fits in with the song. Like I find it hard talking "over the bar line" on certain stuff.
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  #31  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
A master singing the melody is way different from a non master humming to compensate for space insecurity is my take on it. The masters have overcome the issues they need to to get to where they are. For the rest of us, we need to maximize our focus and drone humming to compensate for space insecurity is an energy siphon and a listening crutch IMO. What Steve is doing is a high skill, drone humming is detrimental, at least it was to me.
I think you're spot on here Larry. I used to drone hum a lot myself and kinda figured out on my own that I had to stop it for the exact reasons you point out. Taking too much effort and energy away from listening and playing, I still catch myself doing it occasionally, but getting better.
I have seen Steve Smith do the Indian/cyclical/rhythmic singing thing at a clinic (what's that called again) and I also think there's a big difference between that ( a skill; or a Gary Chester-esque 5th part independance) and drone humming.

Neal
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  #32  
Old 11-16-2012, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

I just realized this. No joke. about 30 mins ago. Everybody air drums at some point, right? Especially if you get into a song, impossible to not air drum a little. But when just jammin' out, I just felt how tense I was. Any breakdown part for a metal song, drop in a dubstep song, funk breakbeat - tension in air drumming! I'm just, just, JUST starting to learn how important it is to stay relaxed while really drumming and here I am tense while fake drumming! Quite bizzare...
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  #33  
Old 11-16-2012, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Agreed humming melody is a different thing. If the OP is talking about what I used to do, humming one random note, pretty hard, just so there was never any complete silence in my head...I was not comfortable with complete silence, like during a 2 beat rest for instance, and I was not confident enough in my time keeping skills. It was a bad habit, and one that prevented me from relaxing completely with the time.

Humming the melody is like a 5th thing to coordinate, always a good thing if you can do it.

Does anyone find it hard to talk in normal conversation while playing? Sometimes it's hard for me to speak in normal conversation meter and not drop time on the drums. Like I can do it, but it takes some forethought and I tend to blurt stuff out quickly, so it fits in with the song. Like I find it hard talking "over the bar line" on certain stuff.
I hum the song Larry...
I've thought about it more of late and think I'm doing it not so much as some kind of 'crutch' for myself but more because I'm enjoying the tune.
Really have to stop though....getting better but still occasionally slip back into it.
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  #34  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Sometimes I put out my cigarette in the cowbell.
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  #35  
Old 11-16-2012, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

Lightly humming the melody is different from humming one note really hard. I guess there are degrees.
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  #36  
Old 11-16-2012, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Incredibly bad, quite bizarre habits....

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Originally Posted by SquadLeader View Post
I hum the song Larry...
I've thought about it more of late and think I'm doing it not so much as some kind of 'crutch' for myself but more because I'm enjoying the tune.
Really have to stop though....getting better but still occasionally slip back into it.
Grab a mic. and start singing. If you can hum that loudly while playing, you may have some serious pipes.
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