Saying hello from Toronto!

beatdat

Senior Member
Hi everyone,

Been lurking here for some time now, and recently joined up.

A little about me...

Like some of you, I went back to playing drums after a long hiatus. I'm 47 years old now, and I stopped playing drums when I was about 35 years old.

I started studying classical piano when I was about six years old. In my early teens, I started playing percussion and played in the school's bands throughout high school. In my early twenties to early thirties, I played drums in a few original bands. In the last band I was in, which was about 10 years ago, I played organ and keys. When that band broke up, I gave up on music all together.

That changed about a year and a half ago when a new friend of mine told me he played bass guitar and was looking to start a band. Even though I hadn't touched a drumstick in over ten years, he insisted that we find a guitar player and singer. So we did.

I now play with these guys in a three piece band consisting of bass, drums and guitar. Our bass player and guitar player both sing and write the music, some of the songs individually and some of the songs collaboratively. Our music is all original. Our sound is predominantly rock 'n roll, but we try to break the waves, so to speak, by incorporating on occasion a swing, shuffle, funk or Latin feel in some of our songs. Aside from playing drums in this band, I also have the unofficial "veto" say - if I don't like a song or don't think it's working, we don't play it! So far, it's been a blast!

Earlier this year, I decided to take practicing seriously, and for the last couple of months have dedicated a few hours a day around five times a week doing so.

I could go on talking about music, drumming, drummers, drums and what not, but I think I'll leave it at this and save my other thoughts for another thread.

Looking forward to contributing what I can and learning from all of you.

Thanks for having me.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
Welcome aboard!

Has your more serious approach to practice enabled you to rise above your previous skills or are you still trying to get back to the level of skill you had at your previous best?

Now that I'm over 50 I've discovered it's thrilling to improve at anything!
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Thank for the welcome!

That’s a good question, and something I’ve been thinking about.

When I last played drums, I was a bit of a hack. Because I had been playing piano for some time and was proficient at reading and understanding music, learning drum patterns was not difficult. What I didn’t realize until I found a good teacher was that, although I may have known what to play, I didn’t really know how to play - I could play the right notes, but my feel and timing were off.

I’ve since taken a different approach, almost going back to square one. For the last few months, I’ve been practicing the first three pages of G.L. Stone’s “Stick Control” (with both hands and feet). I start slowly at 30 bpms (playing 1/16th notes or 4 strokes per click), and only increase my max speed once I can play each exercise cleanly for one minute. I've definitely noticed that my timing and execution have improved, but only in relation to what those three pages can offer.

So, am I back to the skill level I was at my previous best?

In some regards, yes, but when it comes to things like more complicated fills and moving around the kit, I still have work to do. I figure this is something I’ll start working on this summer - and hope I can rely on the members of this forum for advice.
 

PlayTheSong

Senior Member
I can relate, sort of :)

I don't have much time for solo practice, and when I do it's rudiments. I also play 2 hours/week with a concert band and sometimes with a church group. My double-stroke rolls are better than they were back in the day, but I no longer have the smoothness around the kit that came from playing for hours every day in my late teens.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Yeah, sounds like we're in similar positions.

Double-stroke rolls have become a large part of my practicing. They're really something I want to get down before I move onto other things. I've always thought that twice the notes for the same amount of movement can really impress an audience when done properly!

Do you play a full drum set in your concert band or individual percussion instruments?
 
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